Public will be able to debate redevelopment of Aspen Mountain in forum this week

Staff report

The Aspen Times is hosting a public forum Thursday to debate the merits of a ballot question facing city voters that asks to approve or deny a proposed redevelopment plan at the base of Aspen Mountain’s west side.

The forum will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Aspen City Council chambers in the basement of City Hall on Galena Street.

The forum will be aired live on GrassRoots TV, channel 12.

The Lift One corridor ballot question asks Aspen residents to vote yes or no on two land-use ordinances governing two lodge proposals, as well as a $4.36 million city contribution as part of a public-private partnership and a host of other details like rezoning of property and a change in use of open space.

The ballot question itself is one sentence and more than 250 words long. The two ordinances combined are 88 pages.

Voters will consider that as their ballots show up in mailboxes this week in advance of the March 5 election.

To sort through all of the details, merits and impacts of the plan, which includes over 300,000 commercial square feet, The Aspen Times is bringing supporters and opponents to the table.

Representatives from the proposed Gorsuch Haus, a 64,000-square-foot, 81-room hotel, and the Lift One Lodge, a 107,000-square-foot timeshare project that would provide 104 room keys, will speak to why their projects and the entire corridor plan deserve a “yes” vote.

Opponents of the project, Aspen City Councilman Bert Myrin and longtime local resident John Doyle, will speak to why the plan deserves a “no” vote.

The plan, which a majority of Aspen City Council members in January agreed to send to voters, includes the lodges, a new telemix chairlift that would extend to Dean Street (500 feet farther down the hill than the current Lift 1A); a relocated and refurbished Skiers Chalet Lodge and Skiers Chalet Steakhouse that would house a new restaurant and bar; along with ticketing services, ski patrol offices and a new ski museum that pays homage to that side of the mountain’s rich ski history.

City Hall reporter Carolyn Sackariason will moderate the forum. If you have questions to submit to either side, email her at