Vote for Lodge at Aspen Mountain |

Vote for Lodge at Aspen Mountain

(This letter was originally addressed “Dear Town Council.”)Dear Editor: I am writing to urge you to vote for the Lodge at Aspen Mountain. Aspen is in the midst of an economic and social transformation. The decline in availability of lodge rooms has been absorbed by the growth in second home/condo construction. As a result, the construction and real estate business has overtaken the tourism sector as the town’s economic engine. Translation – we are moving from a ski town, to a retirement community. If that is your vision for the future of this town, then you should vote down the Lodge. But make no mistake, a “no” vote will not preserve Aspen’s unique character, instead, it will move us further from the original vitality and energy that made Aspen great. Many of the residents of those new town homes will send their attorneys to your meetings to fight employee housing construction in their neighborhood. Some will call you to complain about the noise created by the groomers and snowmaking machines. Others will grumble when you close the street off for World Cup, and they will despise all the rowdy youngsters that come to town for Xgames. If you really want to preserve Aspen’s true spirit and character, vote for a new hotel at the base of 1A. Vote to revitalize an area that used to have lodges full of visitors from around the world who enjoyed the slopes, ate in the restaurants, and hung out in the bars and night clubs. Vote for a new lodge that will support community events and the spirit that makes Aspen a great place to live, work, and visit. Vote to be a vibrant ski town, not a ghost town. Thank you for your consideration.Mike KaplanAspen