Let’s do better
October 2, 2007
I have been reflecting this week on the rejection of plans to build a hotel and condominium property in the Lift 1A area, wondering what is next for this important but neglected portal to Aspen Mountain skiing.
While John Sarpa has been criticized for coming back to the City Council several times with new iterations of his project, I think he did the right thing, working to come up with a project design that could work for everyone. I am sorry it was turned down, and I hope we have not heard the last of ideas and options for the Lift 1A base. It would be a tragedy if the final development is just a collection of mostly dark townhomes.
While the area is neglected and quiet now, it has not always been so. At one time, it was an active base with lodging, people, activity and fun. I hope it can be again in the near future. I ask that our City Council initiate a master planning process for this important area while changes and new plans can still be made.
We heard council members say they really do want hotel lodging in that area, more rooms even than Mr. Sarpa had proposed, and they want to see the area as an active, vital ski mountain base. I ask that they help make that happen. I ask that they get together the parties: John Sarpa, the owners of the Skiers Chalet buildings and adjacent property, the Aspen Skiing Co., council members and city planners.
There is the opportunity now to design and develop the area into something great. Please, City Council, don’t just say no; say “let’s do better.” This historic, important base area needs our best efforts. Thank you.
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Aspen resident and lodge manager