Stagnation not an option |

Stagnation not an option

Dear Editor:How will Snowmass grow? According to the town’s projection, its visitors will grow 60 percent over a nine-year period if Base Village is built. That works out to 5.36 percent per year. Nobody would make the contemplated investment without such expectation, granted that forecasting is not an exact science as I know from long experience.Sue Smedstad, in a letter to The Aspen Times (Jan. 18), points out that growth of the ski industry in the United States has only been about 1 percent in recent years and therefore the town and the developers have it quite wrong. Actually Sue makes my point better than I did.That 1 percent average is by definition a mix of winners and losers. If we don’t dramatically prepare Snowmass for its future in the competitive world of ski resorts, we can barely hope to achieve the average for the near term and will gradually slip lower until we become a second-class resort at a first-class mountain.If, on the other hand, we aim to be among the winners, we need to vote “yes” in the referendum. An up-front investment of $45 million in infrastructure plus $8 million in traffic and other mitigations as proposed by the Crowns and Intrawest is unlikely to happen again in the foreseeable future.My old friend Jeff Tippett asks: Where will they come from? They will come from wherever skiers and snowboarders who are looking for a superior experience come from – even (horrors!) Aspen.Stagnation is not an option, neither is “yes, but …,” Vote yes!Curt StrandSnowmass Village

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