An endorsement for the Aspen Club
Dear Editor:The Aspen Club & Spa’s plan to improve their facilities and add a residential component to their offerings should be approved. This business has earned the consideration to be more than another local business, but rather a unique community neighbor offering a level and selection of health and fitness options normally only found in a larger city.Beyond this, they generously offer countless community service assistance and contributions by hosting fundraisers, donating space for nonprofits, supporting locals in all varieties of need, and even annually offering the entire facility on graduation night to recognize each year’s AHS graduating class. And, they have been doing all of this for more than 30 years.During my 25 years of owning and operating the Aspen Athletic Club, I watched with respect a worthy competitor while knowing the obstacles and challenges that must be overcome to successfully run a health club. Unlike many Aspen-area businesses that adjust operating hours or even close according to the season or other factors, a commitment to member health and fitness requires operating 15 hours a day, 365 days a year. Costs related to extended operating hours and days, along with the operating costs associated with large square footage buildings, i.e., property tax, utilities, maintenance, etc., are significantly higher than most other business ventures.The health club business, maybe even more than other businesses, must also make changes to facilities and investments in new equipment technology to stay current with rapidly improving techniques and services that the members and guests have come to expect.City approval will allow one of Aspen’s largest employers and businesses, impacting more than 2,000 members and employees, to continue providing important health and fitness services, while maintaining and creating quality jobs and professional career opportunities.Bill HoffnerCarbondale
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Aspen Skiing Co. is replacing the nearly 5-mile cable, technically a haul rope, on the Silver Queen Gondola for the first time since it was installed in 1986.