Approve The Aspen Club
My first of many jobs in Aspen was as the men’s locker room attendant at The Aspen Club on weekends. Twenty-five years later, I have had the good fortune to be a member of the club for several years.
Reflecting back on that time, my association with the club and the entities that have owned and managed the facility, a kaleidoscope of images come flooding back. These images of globally recognized individuals (endorsing the club and staff) grace the club’s walls as testimony to its commitment to excellence, diversity of services and programming, and longevity.
To retain a competitive advantage, the club has relentlessly pursued innovative implementation of technology, science and qualified professionals to ensure it remains a viable option in today’s wellness market. The building upgrades necessary to facilitate industry shifts have served it well, until now.
Historically, the club has been an integral part of Aspen’s tapestry on a number of levels. The advantages of having a world-class exercise, rehabilitation and spa facility on our doorstep are quantitative from a balance sheet perspective, but this metric misses the mark when evaluating the vast array of qualitative health and wellness benefits the club is able to offer the community and our guests. Moreover, the scale of the largesse that Michael Fox and his staff, Dick Butera and Julie Anthony before him, have extended to the wider community is astonishing. The club is also a place where blue-collar guys like myself have been able to maintain affordable membership.
The proposal that has been in front of you in various iterative forms for some time is a game changer relevant to the club remaining a sustainable business model for the next 25 years and beyond. Approval of the project will also ensure the club’s vital contribution to the fiscal wellness of Aspen.
The citizenry of Aspen and their elected officials have a responsibility to recognize and reward entrepreneurship and innovation that has overwhelmingly positive collateralized upstream and downstream benefits to the city. The plan is not perfect; no plan is. However, the enduring benefits and merits of this project outweigh some of the non-insurmountable issues that go hand-in-hand when visionary projects are on the table for public review and comment.
Therefore, I respectfully urge you to approve The Aspen Club proposal.
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U.S. Forest Service ready to make happy campers with the opening of facilities in the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District.