Consider Aspen Club proposal
(This letter was originally addressed to Mayor Helen Klanderud and City Council members.)Dear Editor:I am writing this letter in support of the application for the residences at the Aspen Club & Spa. I watched a replay of the club’s hearing on GrassRoots, and wondered why some council members were hesitant to discuss the merits of the club’s application. They seemed reluctant to even provide the developer conceptual input or direction for the application. The Aspen Club’s request to build on-site housing for an upgraded holistic health and wellness retreat is reasonable and worthy of the community’s consideration. The Aspen Club has begun to show signs of age and wear, and it would be logical to assume the current dues do not provide the profit necessary to upgrade the facility and the member base is inadequate to make the holistic and wellness retreat a viable venture. A holistic center would be a wonderful asset to our community and would support other local businesses by attracting more diverse visitors to town. The proposed center supports Aspen’s image as one of the most progressive small towns in the country. It also makes good sense that the wellness retreat operate at the current Aspen Club site, as the structure, expertise and professional staff already exist in this location. As the population ages, this program could help insulate the town from the falloff in skier numbers and help broaden and diversify the base of tourists we draw from.I believe the proposed townhomes are appropriate to the neighborhood and they offer a buffer to the current 100 percent commercial usage of the parcel. The club has been in existence for almost 30 years as a pure commercial venue, and that use has not hindered the residential quality of the neighborhood. This is not a rural neighborhood, but one with diverse uses, such as the offices adjacent to the west side of the club, the Silver Lining Ranch to the club’s east side and the multifamily units located across the street from the club. The Aspen Club townhomes have existed in this neighborhood for over 20 years, and the short-term use of these units is consistent with the club’s residential proposal. Other condominium properties, such as The Gant and the Aspen Alps, don’t negatively impact the neighborhood although they are much larger and therefore have more neighborhood “impact.” The idea of selling fractional residential units for two- and three-week time periods fits in well with the current uses in the neighborhood and with Aspen’s need for visitors that help keep the town vibrant throughout the year.My hope for the community is that you will give the club’s application at least fair consideration.Thank you for your time.Gayle MorganAspen
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