Forum for redevelopment of Aspen Mountain ballot question postponed
February 13, 2019
The Lift One forum on the city ballot question asking whether to approve or deny redevelopment of Aspen Mountain's west side that was scheduled for Thursday night has been postponed until next week.
Developers of the Gorsuch Haus and Lift One Lodge informed The Aspen Times on Wednesday that they would not be attending the town hall-style debate, despite that they had confirmed their participation last week.
The event, to be hosted by The Aspen Times, was slated to have two critics of the plan and two from the development side discuss the pros and cons of new development on the 1A side of the mountain.
Campaign spokesman Allyn Harvey said due to unforeseen medical and travel issues, developers Jeff Gorsuch and Michael Brown would not be able to participate in Thursday's forum.
Harvey confirmed they would attend a rescheduled forum that the Times is organizing for Feb. 20 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in Aspen City Council chambers in City Hall.
The intent of the forum is to present both sides of the plan and answer the public's questions about its impacts.
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The Lift One Corridor Plan includes two new lodges, a new chairlift that comes down to Dean Street, and a refurbished Skiers Chalet Lodge and Skiers Chalet Steakhouse housing skier services, a ski museum, a bar and restaurant and other public space.
Voter approval is required because the plan involves rezoning a parcel from "conservation" to "lodge," as well as repurposing city open space and a $4.36 million taxpayer contribution to the development.
It is the largest development plan referred to city voters in almost three decades.
An issue committee called "One for Aspen" filed a campaign spending report Tuesday, citing that the developers of Gorsuch Haus and Lift One Lodge have spent more than $67,000 in public and community relations, advertising and other means of controlling their message about the plan.
When asked to provide details on where the money has been spent, Harvey wrote in an email: "The money was spent on campaign materials including advertising, brochures and printed materials, social media, mailings, postage and events. Our goal is to educate the public about this plan. It's a complicated plan, so it takes extensive outreach and communications to explain the public benefits and provide information about the overall proposal."
He also noted that the in-kind contribution was split evenly between Lift One Lodge Aspen LLC and Norway Island LLC, the companies that control the development.
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