Aspen’s resort economy, the AACP and weeds |

Aspen’s resort economy, the AACP and weeds

Dear Editor:

Let me lay my cards on the table first, in respect to the Aspen Area Community Plan (AACP)

I believe the AACP as a guiding document has merit and is a useful tool to help our local politicians move forward.

With that said, I’ll add this – the AACP is too long and at times, contradicts itself trying to be a regulatory document, as opposed to a guiding document.

I would have liked something more in tune with an Executive Summary, with a three-page limit to all sections, and a more manageable list of action items, specifically focused on items to be completed within a two-year period. Each new City Council could then replace finished items. Long-term goals, obviously very important, could be moved to another document.

Now, I’d like to address Weed Management (the Jim Markalunas kind of weed, not the I need to eat a lot of chips kind), which received its own sub-section within the soon-to-be-renamed environmental steward section. Bravo! I support weed … management.

What jumped out to me was that within a section called Managing Growth and Economic Stability, was a sub-section titled, Maintain Our Tourist-Based Economy. The sub-section is an entire half-page. Bravo – not!

Simply put, our resort economy deserves more attention. I suggest that the resort economy be elevated from a sub-section to a stand-alone section – in CAPS.

Doesn’t our resort economy, which is the driving engine for our community, deserve anything less?

I would suggest charging ACRA, the Aspen Skiing Co., local arts and cultural organizations, retailers, and commissions such as the CCLC, which produces the very successful Saturday Farmers Market, with writing an independent section I’ll call RESORT ECONOMY.

Items covered could include:

• Special events (vital)

• Destination marketing (a competitive challenge) • Facilities and Services “what we pride ourselves in”

• Retail (narrowing in scope)

• Lodging (shrinking as I write)

Finally, the overall economic Impact of how we address the future of our local economy needs to be addressed.

It is a task we can accomplish, but not until we put policy in place under which we can function, and a funding plan to pay for all the great ideas put forth so we can retain our character, and flourish.

Andrew Kole


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