In defense of the Nugget
(This letter was originally addressed to the Carbondale Town Council.)
Although I live just outside the town boundaries, I am affected and impacted by your decisions. I felt a need to express my opinion on the renewal of the liquor license for the Black Nugget.
I understand that Carbondale is facing a financial crisis and that the Town Council is looking for ways to keep the town viable and vital. Part of the town’s vitality is its young, hard-working class who make this their home.
The Nugget is one of the few places that has live music and a dance floor – a place where the young and some not-so-young can WALK to, drink a few, dance and socialize and WALK home without having to drive.
The Nugget has a long and colorful history here and is somewhat of a legend. If you shut it down you will rip out a part of the heart and fabric of our town. Who will be next?
If there is a problem it will only shift. Can’t close the whole town down. If you do, the young will leave, taking their rent payments elsewhere, perhaps to another town that cares. Of course this will hurt the landlords who depend on said rent for income. Have you noticed just how many rentals there are here, commercial and residential?
If there is a problem there, then identify it and fix it. Cassie and Mel are reasonable and responsible people. Work with them. This is not a police state, regardless of what John Ashcroft thinks. Allegedly, the police recommended denial – how every disappointing! (Surprising, since the word on the street says the Nugget isn’t the biggest problem.)
I urge you to think about how important is the message your vote will send to your citizens. Don’t take away part of the town’s soul. This would be the beginning of the end! The Nuggets owners do not deserve this – especially since they wouldn’t have been in this situation if Don Wolf had played fair!
I am 62 and still wander down to the Nugget to hear good music.
I think this might turn out to be one of the most important decisions you will make that will really affect the future of Carbondale. I urge you to vote for the young and the future.
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Peter Arnold’s playing career ended after high school, but his time on the ice continues a few decades later. A longtime USA Hockey official and new Aspen resident, Arnold is searching for the next generation of hockey referees among the youth ranks here in the Roaring Fork Valley.