Save the Hearthstone
October 30, 2006
Dear Editor:”Aspenomics” faces a watershed event: Does it intend to remove from its streetscape, in perpetuity, its best-situated and most solidly built ski lodge for a cold façade of heavy environment-user condos to the profit of one distant money interest?Indeed, the Hearthstone House is always a graciously run ski lodge, a classic, composite design from the best ski lodges of the world. Its diverse and interesting clientele is long loyal and enthusiastically satisfied.Is the alternative 17 rooms with bath, one kitchen, one laundry, one steam bath, one lovely private yard and one great fireplace in one living room/library with the best mountain gazing from an interior in town to be 10 kitchens, 10 fireplaces, 10 chimneys, 10 laundries, 10 living rooms, 20 baths and no private yard?Is moderation dead? Is there nothing moderate in price and luxury, yet graceful with style and convenience, to be left in town? There are athletes, writers, teachers, government employees, billable hour folks and the like who come to stay short and long, once and more per season at the Hearthstone. They are not there to cook, housekeep and entertain. They use all the services of the town: lifts, lessons, books, spas, sport clothes and equipment, movies, Wheeler, Given Center, restaurants, taxis, buses.I ask Aspen to hold onto its heart, its heritage and avoid the slippery slope to being “an anywhere to stay and ski in the USA”; or worse, a town highlighted by real estate offices, purse museums and often shuttered condos.Cheryl L. Tennille Washington, D.C.