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Comedy Fest the last straw

Dear Editor:

I have been a resident in Aspen for years and work for a high-profile real estate firm in the core. I am writing out of extreme concern for our beloved town of Aspen. Working in real estate in this town, I have watched a lot of our town be converted into condos and private housing in a short time. Over the past few years, Aspen has lost more and more tourists due to limited lodging and hotel rooms. The most current example is the sale of the historic Jerome Hotel on Main Street and the Sardy House on Main Street and the St. Regis ” and the list goes on.



This morning I woke up and decided it was the last straw when I read the lead article of the Aspen Daily News dated Friday, May 11:

“The U.S. Comedy Arts Festival is moving on after 13 years and is taking all its jokes and going somewhere other than Aspen next year.”



A spokeswoman for HBO confirmed the festival’s departure Thursday, citing a main reason was the dwindling number of hotel rooms available. The fact that a lot of the hotels in Aspen are turning into condos, the St. Regis being one of them, space is limited, said the spokeswoman, who asked that her name not be printed. Many of the properties also require four- or five-day stays, which is difficult. Not everyone comes for four or five days. Most people come Friday, Saturday and Sunday because they have to be at their offices during the week. It takes with it some of the biggest names in the business, including Whoopi Goldberg, Mike Myers, Billy Crystal and Larry David.

The Lodge at Aspen Mountain would add 56 badly needed hotel rooms to a shrinking base. It is important to note that if the Lodge at Aspen project does not get approved, this site is approved for 14 townhomes.

Being a real estate environmental eco-broker, I must point out my interest in the acceptance of this project based on the new energy conservation systems that will be part of the project. According to the city’s Canary Initiative office and building departments, these systems will be exceptional and will produce a project at least 30 percent more efficient than other comparably sized hotels in Aspen.

For all of the reasons cited above, please approve the Lodge at Aspen Mountain. If for some reason the project doesn’t get approved, I will send this letter onto the next council.

Alison Bierhoff

Aspen


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