Relax, Basalt, it’s all good in eyes of visitor

Scott Condon
The Aspen Times
Chicago-area architect got inspired to draw this sketch while hanging out in Basalt recently. He said he enjoyed his first visit to the town.
Fred Polito/courtesy sketch |

Maybe Basalt isn’t in such a bad spot after all.

After the turmoil and rancor of a hard-fought mayoral campaign, which is spilling past election day, a note arrived at Town Hall on Friday that lifted spirits, at least temporarily.

Chicago-area architect Fred Polito sent a note to Town Manager Mike Scanlon detailing his delightful stay in Basalt during a ski trip to the Roaring Fork Valley.

“Last week my wife and I spent spring break skiing at Snowmass and Aspen Highlands,” Polito wrote. “We wanted a slower, more quiet, Western town and thought we’d try Basalt. What a great place!

“The river, the restaurants and the warm people really made for a great stay,” Polito added.

He enclosed a sketch he made while sitting in Lions Park in the heart of the town. It combined the western architecture with the splendor of surrounding mountains.

Reached in his office this week by The Aspen Times, Polito said a friend told him to check out Basalt because it was more laid back than the upper valley.

“Aspen, especially, gets to be too much,” Polito said.

It was his first visit to Basalt. He and his wife enjoyed their stay at the Aspenalt Lodge on the banks of the Fryingpan River. “You hear the river all night — really delightful,” he said.

They skied three days and on the fourth day of their trip they hung out in Basalt and drove into Fryingpan Valley. The Politos liked the western feel of Basalt and the high quality of its restaurants, he said.

While sitting in Lions Park on a nice day, he said he was inspired to draw the sketch. When told about the rancor of the election, Polito said perspective sometimes gets lost.

“I bet you forgot how nice it is there,” he said.