Goodbye, vitality |

Goodbye, vitality

Dear Editor:I rarely write letters to you, but the City Council denial of the proposed Lodge at Aspen Mountain on Monday is a very great disservice to our community. I am usually not in favor of large and disruptive development of any kind, but I do believe that the long-term benefits of the Lodge far outweigh the couple of years of disruption during its construction. Our town sorely needs additional beds, and 80 more rooms will certainly help. Seventeen more townhomes, that often sit vacant for much of the year, will only contribute in helping to make Aspen a “dead” town, lacking the vitality that more hotel beds will bring.I believe that the developers have gone to great extremes in their proposal to compromise with the city on many levels and to offer benefits to the community that, in the long run, will far outweigh the temporary disruption caused by the construction. The addition to house about 138 employees, not just 17 housing units without this development, a 20 percent locals discount, snowmelt on the Aspen Street hill and a large contribution to a new high-speed lift at 1A is far and away more community benefits than any other development in this town has ever offered. I think that Mayor Ireland’s request to make it 33 percent smaller just does not recognize the economics of this development. I wonder that if he were an investor he would feel the same way?I hope that the citizens of Aspen will agree that the long term benefits of this proposal far outweigh the short term inconveniences and, if the developer proceeds with a referendum, they will support not only the referendum but will also vote to approve the project and thus overrule Monday’s City Council’s denial. Please look to the long term!Gary L. GoldsteinAspen