Marolt: It’s no big deal if you voted for Base Village, unless you now deny it
August 14, 2018
I think it is time to set up some rules for complaining about Base Village.
First of all, let there be no more railing about the size and design. Yes, it's horrific in both regards, but there is nothing we can do about it. If you still fight the urge to protest, consider it a lesson learned. The time for that was before they started digging, 15 years ago, albeit very intermittently. Basically, don't cry over spilt cement.
Secondly, especially don't cry over spilt cement if you helped guide the mixer to the forms.
Aside from the mass and scale of Base Village, nobody should complain that the architectural drawings were misleading and/or that the developers spoke with forked tongues. This is not because those things aren't true. Rather, what the heck did you expect?
Of course the architectural renderings depicted a picture more rosy than realistic. If you pay top dollar for the best in the business, you get incredible pictures of fantasy. Any fool can draw reality. If you couldn't tell the difference, that's on you.
As for developers, I'm not sure I believe anybody is innocent enough to honestly not know that people who come up with the plans, money and governmental approvals to construct big buildings are excellent storytellers. They constantly turn the page, depending who they are reading to, be it bankers, politicians, reporters or voters. It's an obvious talent.
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It should be illegal to act like you think Base Village is turning out too big and ugly, if, for example, you lived here part-time and knew a lot of others who did so, too, and you actively courted them to temporarily change their voter registrations so they could help swing the vote to approve Base Village. It would be going too far to make these scofflaws admit to voter tampering and racketeering, but they should remain silent on the subject, out of decency.
Do not confuse complaining with "I told you so," though. Pointing out the many obvious defects in Base Village while reminding people that you were adamantly against it from day one is not the same thing as complaining. If you were against this thing, it is your right of consolation for making the correct choice in vain so many years ago. And, it is just punishment to have to listen to it for those with such poor judgment and values to have voted in favor of Base Village.
Besides, if you voted for Base Village, I am sure you can seek consolation from the former Aspen Skiing Co. executives, former Village politicians, and Jim Crown, himself, who promised to be your lifelong, dependable, call-me-if-you-ever-need-anything friends forever. They were stalwarts of the community that you needed to know. They swore they would be here forever. This was their home! I never see them anymore, but I'm sure you are in close touch. Go party with them like it's 2005.
This all kind of adds up to a sort of fool's golden rule of Snowmass Village: If you were all for Base Village back when there was still something we could have done about it, buck up and confess that you drank the Kool-Aid. Admitting a mistake will salvage some respect. Keeping silent will do you no harm. Pretending you were against it all along will destroy all credibility you might imagine you had.
Villagers have good memories. The oldest villagers have some of the best. We may not talk about it much anymore, we are happy to let bygones be bygones, it's nothing more than pimped dirt turned over now, but locals remember which side of the biggest issue this town has ever dealt all the players were on.
There are no major grudges carried here, it's too much baggage that nobody wants to carry on a hike or mountain bike ride. Base Village is what it is. A lot of boats floated off to far-flung ports when the tidal wave started coming in. Many that tried to ride it out sank. Only the ones who bought a few of the damaged barges at auction for half price may eventually sail off into prosperity. We'll see. At any rate, the water is now under the stone bridge. Life goes on in this place we are blessed to live.
The only thing about Base Village that really still irritates is the once stolid supporter of it who now claims to have been against it all along.
Roger Marolt knows it takes character to admit a mistake, and a little slime on the scales to slither out of a lie. Email at Roger @maroltllp.com.
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