July 13, 2010
I am very frustrated that the Aspen Daily News reporter continues to focus on negatives regarding the La Cocina project when the positives far outweigh them. It is unfortunate for everyone that our building was completed six months late and 20 percent over budget. Nevertheless, we have accomplished a great deal for our community.
It is the first new building in the downtown core in more than a decade and home to two thriving restaurants. One, the Ute City, is intentionally oriented toward locals with great price points. There are three on-site affordable housing units occupied by locals. We paid more than $600,000 in fees to the city of Aspen and more than $11.5 million to the local economy through our local subcontractors and suppliers.
As to the issues brought up by the Aspen Daily News reporter, they are at the very least misleading. We have fully paid all but a few subcontractors. For those who we have yet to pay, issues and problems remain with the scope and quality of their work and, unfortunately, there are a few billing discrepancies. We are currently in negotiations and intend to have resolutions as soon as possible.
In consideration of what we have accomplished in the worst U.S. economy in more than 80 years, it is disappointing to be continually misrepresented in your reporting. The four principal owners are longtime locals and care about our community. We will finish the job.
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