Don’t build out-of-scale fortress
February 25, 2004
As I understand the current position of The Lodge at Aspen Mountain developers, there is an existing plan based on what is defined as possible options for the property on South Aspen Street. The discussion on the table is to gain exceptions (variances) to develop the property in an alternative way.
One of the unique elements of Aspen, as opposed to other ski areas such as Snowmass or Vail, is it was a community of people first then a resort second. I was around these parts in the early ’70s as the “manufactured communities” were being crafted from open space. In many cases, the proportionality of the project and open space are in a delicate and precarious balance.
I remain excited about the possibilities for South Aspen Street and even the notion of a feeder lift to the base of 1A. However, the current plan as proposed will define a “fortress” on the location that will not fit in, and most certainly stand out, as one looks up the mountain from Willoughby Park.
In essence, the current plan is more suited to Las Vegas Boulevard than Aspen, Colo. I would urge the members of the commission to aggressively challenge the current plan as unworkable due to scale and scope. The developers of The Lodge at Aspen Mountain are very creative and I hope they would use this creativity to explore options which are mutually satisfactory to their financial objectives as well as the town of Aspen.
Michael R. Mizen