The Aspen construction blues — or maybe I’m just bitter
With the spring offseason doldrums in full swing, those of us remaining in town are left to deal with Aspen’s endless construction, cloudy skies, crappy weather and numerous social-media reminders of friends sitting on sunny beaches or frolicking in the warm, red-rock desert next door.
Of all those things, though, the construction is the worst, like the universe is piling on those of us who don’t (thankfully) work in the service industry and, thus, must remain at our regular jobs in April and May.
Getting into and out of town has become a nightmare again this week as the city’s ludicrous Castle Creek Bridge project has ramped up the stupidity with a new detour and frequent delays. The poor traffic flaggers are gonna need PTSD counseling when the first phase of the project ends in early June, judging by the pained looks on their faces now.
But at least tourists will be able to ride their bikes over the bridge this summer. Just like they’ve done for the past umpteen summers before.
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The Hotel Jerome continues its perpetual construction cycle, as well. First they closed off Bleeker Street behind the hotel for months, blocking all access to the West End from Mill Street. Then it elbowed its way onto Mill Street, shutting down the right-hand turn lane onto Main Street for several more months. Now they’ve taken over one of the two west-bound lanes on Main Street at the same time as the city’s Castle Creek Bridge detours.
Will this perennial stick in the eye of locals ever end, Hotel Jerome? I guess it will be nice one day when we’ll again have the privilege of purchasing $30 burgers and $10 well cocktails in the bar Hunter Thompson once frequented.
The city also has decided on the spur of the moment to “rehabilitate” the sewer line outside Hunter Creek this week, so no one in that area can bathe, flush the toilet or wash dishes for two days. Thanks for the warning, guys.
Then there’s the millions of smaller construction sites around town and the endless parade of diesel pickups, trailers, bulldozers, earth-movers, gigantic cranes and back-up beepers that plague every square inch of this town during daylight hours.
Or maybe I’m just bitter, and as badly in need of a beach or a Utah slot canyon as the sunglasses-wearing, a-hole bartender at Venga Venga on the Saturday before Snowmass Ski Area closed who told me I couldn’t have any hot sauce with my quesadilla because the chef “doesn’t believe in it.”
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Pools in Aspen and Pitkin County will be allowed to open Monday, though COVID-19-related rules will apply.