Keep what makes Aspen special
My family and I have been visiting Aspen for many years. During that time we have viewed with interest, concern and sympathy the town’s struggle to permit development and change while providing for the needs of all its citizens and at the same time maintaining the unique character of this authentic and picturesque old mining town that just happens to have a world class ski area out its back door ” and three more down the road.
While not arguing against development as a natural and healthy process, there are some recent changes that disturb me. One of them is the new Limelight Lodge. It is too large, too tall, too close to the street and is architecturally unappealing. Now, Aspen must deal with a proposal for another large-scale development, the Lift One Lodge and the larger Lodge at Aspen Mountain on South Aspen Street. While the ballot issue scheduled for May 5 has been canceled, the size and scope of the development is still undecided. I would hope that the developers have Aspen’s future in mind as they redesign their plans, but the unsightly mess that remains from their demolition project does not engender warm thoughts regarding their concern or their real motives.
I would add that it is also alarming to read that Aspen’s heroic efforts to limit the height of new buildings in its review process have been flagrantly disregarded even after site plans have been approved (The Aspen Times, March 3). It again demonstrates bad faith, if not greed run amuck, and a contemptuous disregard for the town’s long-term welfare.
Finally, I would add my voice to Jerry Bovino in his letter of March 25 to The Aspen Times. He states his regret for the loss of Aspen’s small ski lodges which have largely been replaced by “big box” projects. My family and the many friends we have met over the years are lucky enough to stay in one of those small, charming lodges. It was spared the wrecking ball when many other lodges were being destroyed because it represents Aspen in the infancy of its skiing fame and also because it was designed by a student of the Frank Lloyd Wright school of architecture.
My hope is that our precious accommodation will remain and flourish for years to come and that Aspen will try to re-energize the small-scale development that is so appealing to many of its visitors and that will also help it maintain the special qualities that have made it the one and only “Aspen.”
Franklin Lakes, N.J.
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