A daunting task ahead | AspenTimes.com

A daunting task ahead

Dear Editor:

Several good articles have been written recently regarding the immense Lift One proposed development and the fast-changing character of our town. The letter to the editor written by Irma Prodinger, published on Jan. 12, expressed deep concern for the erosion of Aspen’s history, and the innumerable things about the town that made it so dear to so many of us who live here, and who have visited over the past many, many years.

Irma, who has lived and worked here for more than 50 years, wrote, “In our decision over this last big [Lift One] development, let us be guided by our history and mindful that elected public servants are not responsible for the profits of developers. We encourage our City Council and developers to guide this project toward the broader interests of Aspen, versus a cold, fortress-like development that serves only a small constituency.”

The “small constituency” represents those visitors who will be able to afford the accommodations, restaurants and businesses that must be priced according to the huge cost of the development. We seem to have lost any sense of what Aspen means to people who are not wealthy. Aspen has forever graciously incorporated everyone; no longer is that true.

Downtown is now mostly filled with banks, real estate offices, expensive boutiques, many national chains, less and less affordable restaurants, and very few places to buy reasonably priced necessities. Cruising around downtown Aspen once meant seeing, hanging out and talking about nothing with friends; that doesn’t happen much anymore.

This City Council’s formidable task is not as daunting as President-elect Barack Obama’s, but maybe we should assume it is.

Elizabeth Farson


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