Redevelop South Aspen Street
(This letter was originally addressed to City Council Members)Dear Editor:First, heartfelt congratulations on getting the Lodge at Aspen Mountain (LAM) reconfigured to a far more appropriate size and shape; had it not been for your firmness and commitment the city would have faced much less attractive alternatives.However, now that you have, on behalf of all of us, won the battle with LAMs developers, I strongly urge you to approve their latest reconfigured plan.South Aspen Street must absolutely be redeveloped. Its a wasteland-like disaster zone right now. I know; I live there. The city arguably needs more hotel rooms, and LAM would supply these. It doesnt need more condominiums. More importantly LAM would supply public amenities like meeting spaces and a restaurant that would enhance this side of the mountain; it has the potential to provide a venue for locals and visitors to interact.Unlike the proposed Lift One Lodge (LOL), LAM would give the Aspen Street part of town the energy and public ambiance of a real hotel.LOL, which is basically a money-generating cobble-together of time-shares and a membership-only Club would not. Time-share establishments just dont generate much energy; try hanging out at the Hyatt! LOL, which I strongly hope will be rejected, would only introduce more exclusivity to Aspen and we certainly dont need that!Finally, council, three cheers for those of you signaling you arent buying the nonsensical argument of the Skico and LOLs developers that the loading terminal for the new Lift 1A must be moved uphill for technical requirements. Indeed moving the lower terminal uphill is just about the dumbest idea anyones come up with in a long, long time! If anything, the lift terminal should be moved downhill; if it were closer to Dean street it would serve residents and guests far better than asking them to ascend steep, and all-too-icy Aspen street. At the risk of stating the blindingly obvious, moving the terminal further downhill would enhance the skiing experience; moving it uphill would diminish it!Alex BielAspen
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Onsite parking won out over a Turkish bath at a new lodge planned to be built across from City Market. Aspen’s elected officials didn’t want to burden the neighborhood with offsite parking for the new hotel.