We need the Lodge at Aspen Mountain
Editor’s note: This letter was originally addressed “To Mayor Ireland and City Council members.”Dear Editor:As many of you know, I’ve been here for many years. Our town very much needs a project like the Lodge at Aspen Mountain and especially these kinds of additional hotel rooms. We are a ski town at our core, and the west side of our mountain has needed attention for decades.One of the reasons that many of us live here is because of the reasonable and smaller size of many of our buildings that let us interact with our mountains in a very natural way. This project, while big, is none the less located in the right area, at the base of the mountain. In fact, I understand the people most affected by its size (the neighbors) are almost all in favor of it. In our very controversial town, that one fact alone must tell you something about how much good work the developers must have done to make sure it fits appropriately into its location and neighborhood.Another critical reason why you should approve this project the new meeting space it will bring. The owners have committed to free or significantly discounted meeting space for local nonprofits. As you know, I’ve been very involved with the Buddy Program and many other nonprofits and I can tell you we have an urgent need for additional space for our groups to host their various meetings.As you know, I’m in the retail business and I know a little something about it. Many areas of our town have been focused on for the development of retail, while the west side of town has been ignored. It can use and it needs some additional activity. This hotel will help spur that on.We all know that many times during the ski season, the base of the gondola is jammed up and very crowded. This project, with its new lift, will give us a great new way to get up the mountain, alleviating much of the pressure at The Little Nell gondola area.This project has been under review for years and many of us have been watching it closely. I’ll bet by now I have talked to several hundred people about it, and I can tell you in all honesty and candor that somewhere around 80 percent of them are strongly in favor of it. So for this, and many other reasons, I urge you to finally approve it, let it get started and allow the community to begin to benefit from its development.P.S.: Please help keep Aspen a first-class town with a first class project. We have not had a new hotel in 20 years and rooms are badly needed.Boogie WeinglassAspen
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