Aspen homeowners deserve swing at golf passes |

Aspen homeowners deserve swing at golf passes

The Aspen Municipal Golf Course advisory board solution to the rise in season passholder demand is far from perfect and not particularly good. The decision to require local drivers’ licenses to qualify for the season passes priority list disenfranchises people who own homes in the valley but do not have a Colorado license.

Aspen homeowners pay property taxes, which support outdoor recreation facilities, including the municipal golf course. Local homeowners, some of whom send their children to the Aspen schools, some of whom vote in Pitkin County and some of whom give generously to multiple local charities, are being denied this benefit by some random and irrelevant requirement. Homeowners whose only fault is that they have not dealt with the Glenwood Springs DMV or hold out-of- state driver’s license for a legal or regulatory reasons.

The golf season pass system as currently conceived characterizes these locals as if they have no connection to the Roaring Fork Valley, seeing them as mere tourists or summertime renters. This is not a good outcome.

Even Don Wrigley, chairman of the advisory board, has expressed empathy towards local homeowners shut out of the golf registration given the committee’s imperfect dictate. While not perfect, a better solution would be for the golf advisory board to establish a second season pass priority list, or simply expand the list, to include local homeowners, who in lieu of a local driver’s license, can prove they pay property taxes in the valley. Give this group, whose tax dollars support the community, the ability to purchase season passes before opening the marketplace to the general public.

John Goldsmith