Aspen Club withdraws its proposal
Lack of support from the City Council has caused the Aspen Club and Spa to withdraw its proposal for timeshare residences.At today’s City Council meeting, the applicant will formally withdraw a project aimed at allowing the club to create a destination holistic health facility. Co-owner Michael Fox wanted the club to evolve from day use to a world-class wellness retreat, he wrote in a letter to the editor last month.In November, the Aspen Club proposed building 13 townhomes on the site of its current tennis courts and six additional residences on a second floor. It also planned for a new outdoor pool, renovations of the spa and fitness facilities, and underground parking.”The proposal we have presented to the town to upgrade the Aspen Club, and add a residential component on site, is critical to our transformation,” he wrote. “The units we are proposing provide the rooms necessary to be a true destination facility.”However, at the Nov. 14 meeting, only Councilman J.E. DeVilbiss said he was willing to accept the conceptual plan for 19 residences. Other council members questioned the appropriateness of the units, which would have been sold in fractional shares on the East End site.”After rewatching the tape of November’s council meeting, it was clear that there was nothing we could say to change [Mayor] Helen’s mind, and we needed three votes to make this happen,” said Linda Schmehl, general manager of the Aspen Club. “It was obvious that it wasn’t going to get approval, so why put us through the expense, heartache and time of going through one more meeting?”Schmehl said now they are back to square one in terms of looking at alternatives to keep the Aspen Club viable, but it will most likely involve some kind of a PUD change. When a new proposal will take shape is anyone’s guess. All she knows is the Aspen Club is committed to staying competitive.”Whatever it takes, whenever it happens – it’s all about keeping this business here, so if takes 10 years, it takes 10 years,” she said. “We’re talking about building a destination resort that brings people here for one- to two-week spa, fitness and wellness retreats. Aspen doesn’t have anything like that. It’s absolutely ludicrous that [council] didn’t listen to us.”Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 13624, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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