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Forget fractionals

Dear Editor:I don’t understand why this is such a tough issue. Many highly desirable cities throughout the U.S. have already banned or severely restricted fractional ownership projects. The reasons are patently obvious. For every hotel/motel demolished or converted, there are that many fewer beds available for visitors. Aspen has already seen a decline of over 60 percent of the number of available hotel beds in the last decade. Where are these visitors going to stay when they attempt to stay in Aspen to enjoy the tremendous outdoor recreational opportunities, skiing and other numerous festivals/events throughout the year? Downvalley, creating more traffic for which an entrance solution will be further debated, ad nauseum? How many of the vehicles coming into/out of Aspen during rush hour are construction vehicles for the fractionals? Do the visitors give up when they can’t find a place to stay and not come, making the festivals/events extinct?Don’t listen to the developers that say there is/will be high utilization of the fractionals by the new owners, or they will place them into a rental pool for out-of-towners to rent as if they were a hotel room. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out the true utilization – walk by any of these fractionals at night and count the number of rooms with the lights on.For the record, I’m not a tree-hugging lunatic. I was a real estate investor for my entire career before I retired. But, I never did or would do developments that destroy the character of the towns that I invested in. This danger is real and will destroy the character of Aspen. Pretty soon, the entire town will resemble the “lights out,” rarely utilized, historic West End. The developers will have skipped town with all their new-found loot, and the officials in Aspen city government who approved these projects will be sitting around wondering what happened to this great town. Aspen needs to ban all new fractional projects before it’s too late.Tim WagnerAspen


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