Money well spent | AspenTimes.com

Money well spent

Dear Aspen:

I had the pleasure of taking one of the recent publicly offered tours of the Droste open space near Snowmass, hosted by Jack Hatfield and Dale Will. It was to allow residents to understand the value of our local governments acquiring the 742-acre Droste property for $18 million under the pending deal, to encourage voter approval.

I can, without reservation, encourage all area voters to support this purchase. While the price is considerable, the benefits are enormous. This open space is uniquely rugged and beautiful. It would be combined with other publicly owned property and conservation areas, and turned into a new mountain park which would be enormous, stretching from Highway 82 to Highline Road, approximately 3 miles. It occupies the ridge line between Owl Creek and Brush Creek, offering spectacular views. It will have hiking, mountain bike and equestrian trails, which could make it as used in the warm months as Smuggler is now. It will tie into other publicly owned property and bike paths linking to Aspen. It also will preserve the ridge from development of a bunch of large homes, and preserve forever a beautiful vista for the entrance to Snowmass.

This public purchase would have been unlikely to have happened if not for the current real estate market.

Gerald Grayson

Aspen

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