Let’s hope we work it out on Monday
When the developers of the Lodge at Aspen Mountain sit at the table with the Aspen City Council on Monday, we hope this is the last game of poker they play.
But if it isn’t, we’re confident Councilman J.E. DeVilbiss will call them on their bluff ” again.
After all, just when you think Centurion Partners is about to leave the table in this high-stakes game, they return, only to play another set of cards.
Flash back to Aug. 13, when the City Council and Centurion held a marathon session in which council members, by a 3-2 vote, rejected the big hotel proposal near the base of Lift 1A. When Mayor Mick Ireland asked developer John Sarpa if he could whittle the project’s size down to make it more plausible for council members and less disruptive to neighbors, Sarpa replied that he couldn’t.
“We’ve done our best,” Sarpa said.
Apparently, however, they hadn’t.
Less than two weeks later, Centurion submitted a new proposal that trimmed the project by 24,000 square feet, or 14 percent of the floor area, to 150,936 square feet. Developers also reduced the largest units from 3,600 to 2,800 square feet and cut down the number of hotel rooms from 80 to 71, among other concessions.
This week, we learned that developers plan to house 100 percent of the Lodge employees.
These changes constitute good news, of course, but coming this late in the game they don’t exactly boost Centurion’s credibility with the council and the public.
This project has dragged on long enough, consuming much city staff and taxpayer money along the way. We also understand that that developers have to make some sort of profit, or it’s not worth their time.
But we hope when they all sit down Monday, this is it. And whatever the outcome, parties should agree to live with the consequences.
Everyone must lay all their cards on the table this time.
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The Wheeler Opera House will remain dark into 2021, with current COVID-19 public health orders in place. Meanwhile, the masonry work on the exterior of the building will continue into July.