Using public funds for ACRA is slippery slope |

Using public funds for ACRA is slippery slope

(This letter was originally addressed to Mayor Klanderud.)

General inquiries received by the ACRA at the visitor centers in the Wheeler, at the airport, at the kiosk on Cooper Avenue and adjacent to the Rio Grande parking garage are, by written policy, referred only to ACRA members. This referral policy would make sense if ACRA members were solely responsible for ACRA expenses.

However, the ACRA is lobbying you to move the Rio Grande visitor center (annual rental expense $27,150) to a yet-to-be-constructed location between the Courthouse and US Bank (annual expense $105,000). The Aspen Times editorial considers this nearly $80,000 increase in annual expenses one of several “serious concerns that must be addressed.”

ACRA members have not stepped up to fully fund the $105,000 annual expense by increasing membership dues and are instead lobbying you as our mayor to spend general fund Aspen tax dollars (money from both non-ACRA and ACRA members) to subsidize the increased cost of a new ACRA location.

If you support using additional city funds to subsidize construction of a new ACRA visitor center, I urge you to follow the lead of Councilwoman Rachel Richards, who reportedly “stressed she’ll want the chamber to dole out recommendations to visitors equitably ” with no regard for whether a lodge, restaurant or other business is a chamber [ACRA] member or not.”

Bert Myrin


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