Its not about the studies |

Its not about the studies

I just watched the end of the City Council meeting. Its a wonder why people get elected. Voters elect you to do a job, watch over the citys operations and city business. Why then so many meetings, committees, subcommittees, consultants and new staff?Hard decisions need to be made relative to winter tourism! Hiring staff is not a hard decision. Appointing committees is not a hard decision. Hiring consultants is not a hard decision. The budget has doubled to $65 million in six years. The number of tourists has not doubled. The number of full-time residents has not doubled. Skiers have declined. Business has declined.Businesses sign leases. Its their responsibility to negotiate the best deal for them. Its not the citys problem. The citys problem is the lack of growth and new winter visitors, and sustaining return skiers.Why have a downtown manager when we have a city manager? The resort needs to be promoted. We are a ski town, real estate town and music town. Real estate does its job very well. Hence, second-home owners are the new locals. Real estate promotes the Aspen lifestyle. The Music Festival keeps town full in the summers, a quality and cultural experience. The Ski Company and the city need to do as good a job as they do.Skiing is not a downtown event. Downtown happens when skiers fill beds. More transportation alternatives might be considered. Discounts to ski clubs for early December and January.With all the money spent on studies, staff and consultants, skier numbers have not increased during the six years of budget doubling.Some of the ideas being bandied about would fail in a B business school. These studies do not consider Aspens successful past and recognize that the slide began with the loss of Rocky Mountain Airlines, further declined with paid parking and snowballed to where we are today.Committees dont bring skiers to Aspen. Sign code changes dont bring skiers to Aspen. Tables on the mall dont bring skiers to Aspen. Bonfires dont bring skiers to Aspen. Airlines and buses bring skiers to Aspen. Is it possible that we need to subsidize transportation to Aspen?Sorry, Madam Mayor, but Aspen is not an experiment! You want to try things for a year as an experiment. The guy who just signed a lease did not sign onto an experiment. Torres letter shows that he is trying to work for his supporters. He actually sees that he was elected to do a job and not shift the responsibility to committees, consultants or new staff.n see Letters on page A14n continued from page A13Its profoundly sad to see the empty stores. With 33 years of business behind me, your actions affect me less than the newcomers. We need newcomers and stability for the older businesses, not huge empty spaces. Bravo to the Hotel Jerome. I heard the prize package giveaway on the Regis & Kelly show this morning GREAT ADVERTISING.With lots of love for Aspen old and new.P.A. WardBasalt