Mother Lode should be in public hands |

Mother Lode should be in public hands

After 36 years in business the owners of the historic Mother Lode restaurant are retiring and selling their land. They came to the city and said “Given its location, do you want to buy our property for future enhancements to the Wheeler Opera House?”

At the urging of the Wheeler board, the city negotiated a purchase contract and Aspen voters will make the final decision on Nov. 4. We’re asking for your yes vote!

Public ownership will ensure that any redevelopment of this land honors the historic character of the Wheeler and the Mother Lode, and is oriented toward improving the quality, diversity and number of Wheeler Opera House offerings that are central to Aspen’s vitality, economy and community life.

The Wheeler is a treasured community asset, but it has its shortcomings. Performers and artists have a long list of modern production needs, from increased rehearsal space, backstage areas and dressing rooms, to scene-building areas, in-house catering abilities, larger reception areas, and meeting and performance space for smaller shows that can’t fill a 500-seat venue. A comprehensive effort to decide the most useful improvements will follow the land purchase.

While this takes place the city will preserve the Mother Lode Restaurant by a lease to new operators, preventing inappropriate development and giving the Aspen community control.

No new taxes are needed! The Wheeler board supports making this purchase with some of the Wheeler reserve funds, as both a good financial investment and strategic long-range planning for the facility. The nonprofit Wheeler Associates also endorse the purchase.

Remember to vote early at the County Clerk’s office on Main Street if you won’t be in town on Nov. 4 Election Day. Your one Yes vote will make the difference on this very important opportunity for our community!

Bob Murray, Georgeann Waggaman, Brian O’Neil, Tom Waldeck, Denny Vaughn, Pat Fallin, Boogie Weinglass, Bob Sullivan, Janet Garwood, Gary Albert, Rachel Richards, Jimmy Ibbotson, Sy Coleman, Scott Lindenau, Torre, Ron Erickson and Ann Wilkinson

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