We’d just take a Motel 6
In her recent column, Su Lum aptly called out the not-so-honest high-end hoteliers who want to turn Aspen Street and the 1A lift area into a down-sized colossus. Let them build their big-bluff stinkin’ townhomes. We can live with that.
If top-dollar hotel rooms are in such demand here, why did the Ritz/St. Regis claim that they couldn’t fill their endless supply of rooms and have to go timeshare? Remember, their plea for jumbo was that they were going to bring in conventioneers.
What we really need in Aspen is a Motel 6.
Furthermore, any new ski lift should start way down the hill, and no amount of employee housing bribes is worth blocking the view of Shadow Mountain.
But the most egregious result of this over-sized hotel on the west side of the street and the as-yet-to-be-determined development on the east side would be the privatizing of Aspen Street from Durant Avenue on up the hill. Somehow these big hotel/timeshares get to own all the adjacent city streets for their fleets of SUV shuttles (to the Ute Trail trailhead, etc.), for their guest and valet parking, or for anyone just dropping by in a Lamborghini for a meal.
Take Deane (sic) Street for example. Named after Judge J.W. Deane (with an “e”), Deane Street was Aspen’s original main street. He was the first lawyer in Aspen camp in 1880, and he laid out the first street plan. But now, Deane Street has been taken over entirely by private interests from Monarch Street to Ute Avenue, and no skiing citizen can park anywhere along its length.
This is what will happen to upper Aspen Street. And watch out for a street grab by the Limelight and the Dancing Bear.
Of course, some believe that by eliminating citizen parking and making it too expensive to park, everyone will quit cars. But the sad fact is that Aspen Mountain is the only ski area in North America without a parking lot. Citizen-skier parking must be kept on upper Aspen Street, and this is more likely to occur with vacant financial instruments … um, I mean, townhomes, there.
Citizen parking shouldn’t be regarded as a hostile concept, but rather as a community consideration.
And I suggest that the city team up with the Skico and offer free six-hour parking to anyone who ponies up the full price of a day lift ticket. This might attract Coloradans ” who already think Aspen is a joke ” to come up for a couple of days of skiing. This demographic would walk around town and spend money, and tell others that, hey, Aspen’s a good place to visit, with some great skiing. Maybe the new Red Onion will be open.
We don’t have to fly everybody in.
Also, we shouldn’t allow oversizing for speculators who pay too much for their property and then can’t make their profit formula work. Tough. Take a hike with the hedge-funders and the short-selling ghouls.
Please, City Council, enforce the height and size restrictions as written. Slow down the perpetual construction derby. Vote no on this Taj Mahal again!
While new restaurants enter the Aspen scene, there are several spaces that will remain empty this winter. Meanwhile, the retail market remains extremely hot.