Aspen is ready for Lift One

I’ve heard a number of rumblings about various aspects of the Lift One corridor proposal, but I have not heard anyone talk about what the alternatives would be. So I did a little research and this is what I learned:

Michael Brown’s original Lift One Lodge received approvals in 2011. The state of Colorado has a law preventing development rights from extending beyond 10 years. The existing approvals for Lift One Lodge are coming up on their expiration date.

Mr. Brown put that project aside for two years, at the community’s request, in order to work with the city and other parties to create a corridor for Lift 1A to extend to Dean Street. There is not enough time for Brown to start over with another new plan to bring the lift to Dean before the existing entitlements expire. Therefore, Brown would have no choice but to build the lodge that was approved in 2011.

The 2011 approvals are for the same size and heights for the Lift One Lodge buildings as the new proposal. The biggest and most unfortunate difference is that the two approved buildings are too close to each other to allow for a lift and ski return to go between them, per the Tramway Board’s requirements. Therefore, there could never be a lift to Dean Street.

If Lift One fails, something else can and would be built on the Gorsuch Haus property. It could be single-family homes or condos with no public access.

Potential negative outcomes if Lift 1A fails:

— No lift to Dean Street

— No new high-speed quad

— No new parks

— No World Cup ski racing

— No Skier Chalet steak house restaurant

— No public spaces in Gorsuch Haus: restaurant, bar, outdoor terraces, bathrooms, lockers …

In the 35 years I have lived in Aspen, this is the first time I have seen the Aspen Skiing Co., two developers, the city, the Historical Society and the community, come together for a common goal — to connect Lift 1A to town, bringing vitality to the west side of Aspen Mountain and making possible the return of World Cup racing to Aspen.

Please vote “yes” for the Lift One corridor ballot measure.

Terri Caine