Answer to employee housing woes: Tiny homes on Aspen’s golf course
I have lived in Pitkin County for over 40 years and was the assistant chief of Aspen Police at the conclusion of the 1970s. Every day, we hear and read about the disasters facing Aspen in employee housing and worker shortage because of no affordable housing. The answer to these woes is right in front of us. It may be tough for some to swallow, but it could and would work.
The land is already owned by the City of Aspen. It’s right here. Where? Hang on: The Aspen Golf Course, 213 acres, all landscaped, with an abundance of utility infrastructure.
What about the houses, Michael? Use tiny houses. Whoa, Michael! We can’t have a bunch of clunky storage units at the entrance of Aspen! What would all the visitors think? I mean, no high-end resort in the world would do such a thing. Yes, they do. Jackson Hole for one.
How is this tiny home thing possible? Right now, there is a well-established builder of tiny homes in Salt Lake City called Wheelhaus. They construct tiny homes that look like mountain chalets, completely furnished. And they start at around $100,000. Each ready to be delivered to the site … golf course. Between now and time of delivery, the city lays down architect-designed roads and tiny lots. Concrete pads all set for electricity and sewer plug-ins, all ready to use. Just drop the home on top and you have a home ready to go.
Imagine how many landscaped tiny homes you could put on one acre, let alone 213. No more commute, traffic jams, no worker shortage.
But what about our golfers? Head just down the road: Snowmass, Basalt, three in Carbondale, Iron Bridge, Glenwood.
Let the city provide the land. Private business buys the homes, like the Aspen Skiing Co. Rent them out at a truly affordable price.
Look, I know this is bold. It takes guts. It would work.