New Lift One Lodge stands alone in Aspen review
July 28, 2009
ASPEN – Developers who propose to build a 114,000-square-foot lodge at the base of the Lift 1A lift on Aspen Mountain were told by the Aspen City Council on Monday to make it more palatable for the public with amenities like lift-served skiing to Dean Street.
The request is nothing new for Bob Daniel, who represents developers David Wilhelm, Jim Chaffin and Jim Light. He participated last year as a co-applicant in a six-month-long master planning process for South Aspen that was created by a 26-member citizen task force. The task force recommended to council a development area that included a host of public amenities that were attached to Daniel’s Lift One Lodge, as well Centurion Partners’ Lodge at Aspen Mountain across the street.
The master plan was ultimately withdrawn because of a lack of support by the council, and the COWOP (convenience and welfare of the public) task force was disbanded.
Daniel opted out of a new attempt to create another task force to help design the Lodge at Aspen Mountain, a 160,000-square-foot hotel and residence proposed on the west side of South Aspen Street. Led by John Sarpa, the project also was a key element in the failed master plan.
So the Lift One Lodge is back on its own, which it had been until early 2008, when developers decided to be a part of the master plan process and folded their project in with Sarpa’s.
While it might be difficult for Daniel to live up to all of the master plan’s aspirations, the council asked him to incorporate some of them, namely finding a way to improve lift-served skiing, especially since his project will require moving the Lift 1A terminal farther uphill.
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Daniel presented to council the original conceptual plan, which was approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission in 2007.
Lift One Lodge is proposed to be a multi-story structure consisting of 32 timeshare lodging units divided into one-eighth interests with 256 member interests. Those lodge suites would contain 97 keys of separately rentable rooms, which would be made available to the general public when not used by members.
The lodge would be built where the Holland House once sat at the base of Lift 1A and the old Skiers Chalet Lodge.
Other facilities in the lodge include a restaurant and apres ski deck, as well as public lockers, spa and fitness facilities. The Aspen Skiing Co. also would have space within the lodge for ticket sales and public restrooms.
The Skiers Chalet Steakhouse would be renovated and converted into six one-bedroom employee housing units. Three one-bedroom and two, two-bedroom units would be included in the lodge building. The 11 units will house more than 20 workers.
Also proposed in the application is a sub-grade parking garage with 216 spaces, part of which would be underneath Willoughby Park.
The council told Daniel to amend his application to include concepts from the master plan. The next public hearing is scheduled for Aug. 10.
Councilman Torre said if citizens created the master plan, they shouldn’t be ignored. Councilman Steve Skadron agreed.
Councilman Dwayne Romero said he wants financial assurances and protections that the project will be completed. He also suggested that the design of the building be broken up to address mass and scale issues.
Mayor Mick Ireland said the development will need more affordable housing attached to it and there are too many parking spaces. But he said it’s a workable plan thus far.
“I think we’re off to a good start here,” he said.