Aspen council should revoke Gorsuch approvals |

Aspen council should revoke Gorsuch approvals

Aspen failed to uphold an honest and transparent land use process when it approved the Gorsuch Haus project at the base of Aspen Mountain.

The city should consider the damage to the reputation of the Aspen brand by allowing Vladislav Doronin, a billionaire who made his seed money under the corrupt regime of Russia’s war-criminal president, Vladimir Putin, to swoop in and buy the project.

According to press reports, one cannot become a big fish in Putin’s polluted sea without greasing the hands of the regime and Putin’s lackeys, the oligarchs.

In 1993, Doronin founded the Moscow-based real estate company Capital Group, which was one of the largest Russian development companies, according to reports. He has also boasted of owning the Capital Hill Residence outside of Moscow, a 36,000-square-foot residence, costing $140 million.

The taint of that money remains on the funds Doronin exfiltrated from Russia. Aspen should not become a “laundromat” for corrupt funds to be bleached, hung out and dried.

The original developers, Jeff Gorsuch, Jim DeFrancia and Bryan Peterson, gained a razor-thin, Aspen voter approval for the project, but also public scorn for flipping the approvals and land to Doronin’s company for a 700% profit.

The three vigorously touted their solid ties to the community and the myth that Aspen would be partnering with local-minded developers for the long haul.

Now, 884 individuals, or 74% of those responding to a recent online Aspen Times poll, say, “Yes, the previous developers (Gorsuch, DeFrancia and Peterson) betrayed our trust.”

Considering the public skepticism about the developers’ transparency leading up to the approval election, the Aspen City Council should revoke the Gorsuch Haus approvals. It should hold a new review process and a public vote with all the facts revealed, including the tainted source of Doronin’s funds.

Such a revocation could well spark a lawsuit against the city, but it might not be brought, considering the discovery process that comes with one.

Restoring public trust is paramount.

Bernard Grauer


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