Don’t be shortsighted about Lift One |

Don’t be shortsighted about Lift One

On Feb. 23, The Aspen Times published and endorsed a “no” vote on the Lift One Corridor Plan. I disagree with the paper’s use of long-term community challenges like housing and traffic as justification to vote against a thoughtful proposal that will create a new park, preserve our history and satisfy the community’s desire to bring Lift 1A back into Aspen.

Do we want our community and the area surrounding Lift 1A to remain stagnant for another 50 years? Or do we want to see community-minded, thoughtful development like what is being proposed for the base of 1A?

It is extremely rare to have developers who are willing to redesign their projects with input from organizations like the Aspen Historical Society, Aspen Valley Land Trust, Aspen Skiing Co. and the city parks department. We must not let this unique opportunity slip away.

Jeff Gorsuch and others who created this plan want to do something that is good for the community. We should rally around those who seek the greater good versus those who don’t. As Aspenites, we should encourage the kind of collaboration behind the Lift One plan. We want developers to do good things, and a “yes” vote supports that notion.

Aspen is much more than a ski resort, but let’s not kid our ourselves — we are also a leader in the ski industry. We have been hosting international ski races since 1950, and the entire world visits every winter to ski on one or all four of our mountains. The Lift One plan helps bring back the original portal to our original mountain. It brings with it so much more with the park and ski corridor, a museum to share our rich skiing history, and new lodging and dining. We can’t be world class without world-class facilities.

Voting against the Lift One plan will not solve the housing problem or the traffic issues on Main Street. It will only deny us the opportunity to create a well-designed and community-minded new base to serve our community and visitors from around the world for generations to come.

Please, vote “yes” for Lift One. Let’s keep Aspen the world-class community it has always been. And, yes, we will still find good lines down Norway!

John Bucksbaum