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Aspen Club wants special favors

Dear Editor:

The owners of the Aspen Club are asking City Council to grant them a zoning variance so they may build timeshare condominiums in a residential neighborhood whose zoning prohibits such uses. They are asking the council to bend the rules for the benefit of the owners’ wallets and their business – a privately owned and members-only club.

The city is being asked to bail out the Aspen Club, which is in direct competition with the city’s own club – the Aspen Recreation Center (ARC). The ARC does not break even or turn a profit. It would seem prudent for council to refuse to consider any arguments to bend the rules by any entity that is in competition with the city’s own, subsidized facility until that facility is at least paying for itself. In other words, if the Aspen Club would like to guarantee the shortfalls in operating costs of the city’s competing Rec Center, the City Council then may be asked to hear their plea for the privilege to have a timeshare hotel.

The council should have enough respect for the taxpayers’ enormous investment in the ARC that it insist on compensation of some kind to protect that investment.

I think the obvious answer is to respect the zoning that is in place in the neighborhood where the Aspen Club resides, to reject the Aspen Club’s proposal and to let free-market competition rule. If the Aspen Club cannot survive without being granted special favors, then so be it.

Tim Murray

Aspen


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