How many more reasons do you need?
Dear Editor:I am hopeful that comments in support of The Aspen Mountain Lodge project do not fall on deaf ears. To date, support for the lodge, beginning with the project’s neighbors, has far outweighed opposition.Beginning with the well-thought-out opinion of The Aspen Times (“Deciding on proposal puts council in dilemma,” July 27,) to myriad letters and vocal proponents at council meetings, the benefits of approving The Aspen Mountain Lodge clearly outweigh the construction of 14 empty town-homes.To whit:• Sales tax revenues generated by the hotel rooms.• $1 fee per occupied room night to non-profits!• Housing 72 percent of the hotel’s employees (the requirement being 60 percent). Many will likely reside in the valley already.• Green Construction. City Council has stated that the Canary Initiative is one of their main priorities. Auden Schendler, our local environmental guru has clearly stated that The Aspen Mountain Lodge not only compliments the Canary Initiative but that other projects should be modeled after The Aspen Mountain Lodge!• Facility use by nonprofits at no charge.• A much needed opportunity to add to a bankrupt bed base.• More beds, more people, a stronger economy.• A better opportunity for businesses to remain viable.• Much of the heavy construction will take place during the off-season. That alone will help to mitigate a lot of the impacts of construction on traffic, tourism and pollution.• Deed restricted hotel rooms for 99 years. This is unheard of in the lodging industry.• A new ski lift.• Too large? Of course it’s large – it’s a hotel. In this case a hotel with much-needed meeting facilities and amenities for both guests and the general public. A hotel with skier parking, après ski; vitality! A hotel that neighbors and businesses alike want in our community.• Lastly, every concession that city council has requested has been agreed to and enhanced. Not only have the developers met the requirements imposed by City Council and won the support of the community, the project is consistent with The Aspen Area Community Plan.It is commendable that City Council takes seriously their stewardship of our community. In this instance, when public sentiment is clearly in favor of a project that benefits our community economically, environmentally and aesthetically, it is incumbent on you to approve The Aspen Mountain Lodge and know that you have helped move our community forward in a positive and meaningful way.Andy ModellAspen
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Students would no longer be required to take the SAT or ACT when applying to Colorado’s public colleges under proposed legislation that aims to make higher education more accessible to low-income and first-generation college applicants who often don’t do as well on standardized tests.