Report: Lift One committee has spent $215,728 on campaign
The issue committee pushing for the passage of the Lift One corridor project so far has spent $215,728 on marketing, advertising and promotions, according to a campaign finance report filed Monday with the Aspen City Clerk’s Office.
Lift One Lodge Aspen LLC and Norway Island LLC, the developers of the proposed hotels on the west side of Aspen Mountain, have supported the committee, One for Aspen, by sharing the costs associated with urging voters to approve the project.
Their biggest expense, $153,246, was paid to the Aspen public relations firm O Communications, whose work is described in the report as “media relations, community relations, campaign tool/digital, collateral, content design, printing, ad buys, contract labor.”
The developers also have spent nearly $35,000 on advertising in The Aspen Times, $6,460 to resident Amanda Vanderpool for social-media management, and $5,000 to former Aspen mayor and current Aspen Daily News columnist Mick Ireland for consulting, voter lists and voter mapping.
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Monday was the deadline for the candidates and issues committee to file their campaign funding and expenditures reports with the City Clerk’s Office for the period of Feb. 12 to 24 The election is March 5.
Last week saw the formation of an issue group against the Lift One project — No On Lift 1A. The group reported that it has $15,000 to spend, all coming from the Shadow Mountain Townhome Association. Alex Biel, who lives on South Aspen Street in the Shadow Mountain Townhomes, nearby the proposed Gorsuch Haus, started the committee, which reported spending $500 so far on its campaign.
The Lift One Corridor Plan includes two new lodges — the 64,000-square-foot Gorsuch Haus and the 107,000-square-foot timeshare project known as Lift One Lodge. The proposal also includes a telemix chairlift accessed at Dean Street, a relocated Skiers Chalet Lodge housing a ski museum, skier services and ski patrol, and a refurbished Skiers Chalet Steakhouse refashioned into a restaurant and bar. The ballot question also asks voters if they approve the city of Aspen’s $4.36 million contribution to the museum as well as improvements to Dean Street.
The eight candidates gunning for two open Aspen City Council seats and the mayoral post also have one week left to try to influence voters to sway their way, with some having more money to spend than others.
As of Monday in the mayoral race, candidate Adam Frisch had the most funds remaining for the final stretch — $4,177. From Feb. 12 to 24, Frisch reported having raised $6,954, also more than his opponents. He also spent $2,776 during that time, his biggest expense of $1,575 on print advertisements and $250 on digital ads in the Aspen Daily News.
Torre’s campaign coffers have $2,179 remaining after he raised $3,123 and spent $943 during the cycle, including $159 for a campaign event at Mi Chola restaurant Feb. 15, and $205.95 spent on advertisements in the Aspen Daily News.
During the Feb. 12 to 24 cycle, Torre picked up contributions from St. Moritz Lodge owner Michael Behrendt ($250), Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo ($250), former Aspen Daily News editor Troy Hooper ($100) and Walt Madden ($250), who is the husband of Bert Myrin, who is seeking re-election to the City Council.
Those living in Aspen might have seen campaign fliers for mayoral candidate Ann Mullins taped to their doors or in their mailboxes. Mullins, who is in the middle of her second term on City Council, reported expenditures of $3,663 during the most recent cycle — the most among the mayoral candidates — including $1,594 for services from Gran Farnum Printing in Glenwood Springs and $969 on postage. Mullins, who collected $4,125 from Feb. 12 to 24, has $761 remaining for the final lap. Her contributors include Steamboat Springs resident Jim DeFrancia ($50), the president of Lowe Enterprises, one of the partners on the proposed Gorsuch Haus hotel development; Ireland ($100), and Pitkin County Democrat Party Chairman Howard Wallach ($200).
The contest for the two open seats on City Council shows Skippy Mesirow with the most funds on hand for the final weekend of campaigning. Mesirow reported having $4,073 remaining after spending $3,720 from Feb. 12 to 24. Among his financial supporters for the last cycle were Rick Balentine ($50), chief of the Aspen Fire Department.
Rachel Richards, who reported giving her campaign $5,000 out of her own pocket, has $3,777 remaining as of Monday after spending $7,204 during the most recent period. Most of that money, $6,100, went to Aspen Marketing Partners, while Ireland made another $500 for supplying his voter data.
Richards has numerous elected officials in her corner, including state Sen. Kerry Donovan ($50), state Rep. Julie McCluskie ($50), Pitkin County commissioners Steve Child ($50) and George Newman ($100). Other supporters include former Aspen mayor Bill Stirling ($100), Balentine ($50), Pitkin County Clerk and Recorder Janice Vos Caudill, and Aspen Daily News columnist Lo Semple ($100).
Incumbent candidate Bert Mryin has $2,091 to spend after ringing up $2,894 in expenditures during the last cycle. Myrin’s most recent expenses included $600 for a campaign event at his home, as well as $1,184 on ads in the Daily News.
Reporting a balance of $282, candidate Linda Manning has the least amount of funds after spending $994 in the last cycle.
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Wayne Hall took a job as an air traffic controller at the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport in 2003 thinking he would stay for a short time. Instead he stayed for nearly 17 years and was promoted up to the position of air traffic manager. He reflected on the experience upon retirement.