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Mountain gondola system needed

(This letter was originally addressed to elected officials in Aspen, Snowmass and Pitkin County.)

Why is “Aspen” Number 8? I say a big reason is because there is no “Aspen” ” there is Aspen, Snowmass, Buttermilk and Highlands. Essentially separately marketed and promoted and competing against each other. Inconvenient (in relative terms to other resorts) to get back and forth to and each suffering from a lack of what the other mountains provide.

At the same time we are also faced with a teetering transportation infrastructure that is driving us all nuts. Time to look back to the future ” we should pursue a gondola system to link the mountains, and the elected officials should take the lead. A system principally for skiers, tourists and recreation seekers (most of us).



Hub the system out of Buttermilk (the four lane ends there anyway) and step forward to a improvement that enhances our quality of life and the enjoyment of our community. A healthy and progressive community will make/keep the resort successful. This is not a case of “bigger is better,” but of “better is better.”

I find the environmental argument against such a solution difficult to agree with given what I know of the current science (and yes, it is different than it used to be).




Why is a proposal that will take cars off the road, promote non-auto transit, centralize parking outside of Aspen, and lift this community into a transit system less dependent on the car anti-environment? It helps accomplish what most of the “environmentalists” say they want. Is the gondola link THE solution? No. A key part of the solution? Absolutely.

I am asking all of our elected officials to consider such an environmentally based addition to the overall system as they plan and debate our transit future. Don’t get hung up on it replacing buses and cars (it won’t), but reducing the number and length of trips those vehicles make. Look into the current science regarding elk herds and the impacts on them and let’s get this age-old proposal back on the table.

The elected officials charged with guiding this ship we call Aspen should train their sights on environmentally based, non-auto solutions that will make a huge difference to us all. Please, Aspen and Snowmass city councils and Pitkin County commissioners, let’s get serious about solutions that will make a difference. Take the lead and let’s join our local communities, not by expanding asphalt and CO2’s, but with a clean and enjoyable system that will be one very important piece in the overall community health puzzle.

Scott Writer

Old Snowmass


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