New lift doesn’t benefit public
November 16, 2009
Bravo to the councilmen who are taking a hard look at the Lift One Lodge proposal to build a new high-speed chairlift that starts some 240 feet higher on the mountain. The new lift may sound like a swell benefit. But is it? I don’t think so.
The new lift will only save about three minutes versus the present 1A lift. It won’t go any higher. And of course we all know that the present lA lift certainly doesn’t suffer from a capacity problem. The “World Cup needs it” is a specious argument; does anyone seriously believe there’s any possibility that Aspen could lose the race because the current lift is inadequate?
So who wins if this clearly less convenient chairlift gets built?
Well, the Skico picks up several million dollars by selling the site of the current 1A base station to the Lift One Lodge folks. Oh, and the developers get to build their lodge further up the hill on land now zoned conservation.
Meanwhile, Aspen gets a little less skiing and a little less of our famous view of the mountains from the middle of town. This might be a swell idea for the likes of Vail. But does it really benefit Aspen?
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Don’t get me wrong; I’m very eager to see a new lodge replace the Holland House and the Skiers Chalet. But wouldn’t it be far better to put the 4 million bucks the new lift would cost toward a geothermal snowmelt system for dangerously slippery South Aspen Street?