Let voters decide on Lift One proposal
There’s still time to put the Lift One proposal on the May 5 ballot. We hope the Aspen City Council pursues this option.
After all, this issue has dragged on for years, with the proposed development’s fate to finally be decided by voters.
But last week it was reported that the developers had gotten cold feet, and did not want to seek voter approval on the project, at least in its current form.
Their logic made sense, as far as their agenda is concerned: After discussing the project with its critics, the developers ” Bob Daniel and John Sarpa ” did not believe they could win over the public in a May vote. And, there simply was not enough time to tweak the proposal in time to get it on the ballot.
Sarpa, principal of Centurion Partners, had wanted to build a 175,000-square-foot condominium hotel on South Aspen Street called the Lodge at Aspen Mountain.
Daniel, chief operating officer of Roaring Fork Lodging Co., has proposed to build a 130,000-square-foot membership lodge called the Lift One Lodge across the street from the Lodge at Aspen Mountain, partly where the Holland House used to sit at the base of Lift 1A.
It’s understandable that Daniel and Sarpa have invested ample amounts of time, money and energy in this project, and they don’t want that effort to be a waste.
Even so, the process has meandered through public meetings long enough.
Sarpa has scaled down the proposal several times, even when he said he could not.
There also were hundreds upon hundreds of hours logged by the Lift One task force last year; and now, Sarpa and Daniel are suggesting the formation of yet another task force to hatch a new and improved plan for the Lift One area, located on the Lift 1A side of Aspen Mountain.
As uneasy as they might be about bringing this issue to voters, a May decision could finally give them the directive they are seeking. If the voters say yes, then it would be full steam ahead for the project.
If the voters reject it, then it might be time for Daniel and Sarpa to part ways and craft their own, independent proposals for the area in question, instead of convening another task force and conducting more polls to gauge public interest.
In any case, this issue needs to go to a vote, so all concerned parties can move on.
The Aspen Times Editorial Board consists of Publisher Jenna Weatherred, Editor Bob Ward, Managing Editor Rick Carroll, Community Editor Naomi Havlen, and columnist and senior sales representative Su Lum. The editorials are not always the opinion of individual members of the board, but instead are the positions of the majority of the board.
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Ghez, 55, has long been a familiar name around the Aspen Center for Physics, a nonprofit launched in 1962 that seeks to bring the best minds in the world together for collaboration and innovation.