Not like everywhere else
Aspen is a special place. We all know that. When I try to define all the things that make our town unique, I come up with the obvious.
We are a town surrounded by beautiful mountains providing world-class outdoor activities, the cultural and educational opportunities seem unlimited, the restaurants and shopping are always tantalizing.
So, just what sets us apart from Beaver Creek, Vail or any of the other resorts in Colorado? It is this. We are a real town, a community of people who live and work here, who share our daily lives with each other 365 days of the year. That is what makes Aspen so special.
If accepted, the proposed lodge at the Aspen Mountain complex on South Aspen Street will present Aspen with its largest building. Another ballroom, another spa, underground parking tearing up Shadow Mountain.
The developing “team” is asking for two times the size for their new luxury hotel than this land is zoned for. This upzoning places Aspen in the same category as all the other resorts along Interstate 70, where gross excess and size try to compete with each other.
We do not need another large, luxury hotel. Because many of our town fathers have been so very careful over the past 50 years with our building requirements, we have a charming town where community residents still want to make their daily lives. When we become the same as all the other resorts, a town of large hotels, we will lose that special community feeling.
I strongly urge the planning and zoning committee to follow the legal zoning laws for the land on South Aspen Street, which is zoned residential, and not allow the lodge at Aspen Mountain complex to be constructed.