Aspen Club proposal: Change we can support |

Aspen Club proposal: Change we can support

Aspen Club proposal: Change we can support

Dear Editor:

While only a valley resident for the past four years, I’ve had more than enough time to witness first-hand Aspen’s inherent – and completely justifiable- aversion to superfluous development and unchecked change.

Change, of course, is inevitable. With that understood, it’s incumbent upon both Aspen’s leadership and its residents to stave off proposals that represent change merely for change’s sake, and instead embrace those alterations to our local landscape that add value; leaving the town richer in body and spirit than it was prior.

This is why I am adamant in my support for the development of the Aspen Club. The obvious benefits that come from improving a prominent health club in a destination resort are many. Aspen is, after all, a tourist attraction, enticing people from around the globe with the active pursuits it offers. As a result, while our average visitor doesn’t comb downtown in search of a tricked out Wal-Mart or a kick-ass Krispy Kreme, they do expect to find a world-class health club.

For the development to meet the standard of adding value, it’s imperative that Aspen locals also benefit from an improved Aspen Club. As a people, we aren’t ones to catch up over coffee or close deals over dinner as much as we tend to foster relationships – business or otherwise – in a spin class or from neighboring yoga mats. For this reason, the Aspen Club is a valued resource, and an improved club would continue to entice the members of our town to a place where they can congregate and collaborate.  

Perhaps most importantly given the current climate, we also can’t underplay the role that creating jobs – both through the construction of the fractional and affordable housing units and the new roles at the expanded club – can have in boosting our troubled local economy. 

This is not to say, of course, that the town should embrace all development. But when a project comes along such as the Aspen Club, which has been carefully considered from all aspects – from the traffic on Ute Avenue to the commitment to energy efficiency to the required minimum reinvestment of $5,000,000 into club expansion – perhaps it’s time to put aside our natural tendencies and support change.

 Tony Nitti




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