Aspen landlords face harsh reality |

Aspen landlords face harsh reality

Before The Virus, dining in restaurants was routine. Patrons didn’t scrutinize the staff’s health. We didn’t think about density, spacing, screening. No one weighed “should we have another round” against “let’s go home where it’s safe.” When the restaurants reopen, though, patrons’ behavior will reflect those factors; restaurant operators will have to accommodate the new realities. Different operating models will appear.

The new restaurant models will generate less revenue than the old ones. Will our restaurants survive? The city and county, themselves financially enfeebled by The Virus, can’t (nor should they) step in. It’s up to the landlords.

Landlords are entitled to seek profits. But they can’t defy economics. When a tenant’s sales decline by one third, it can’t pay the same rent it used to. Some landlords are facing this reality, working with tenants, modifying leases. Good for them. But some aren’t. Wake up, landlords. It’s a new era in Aspen. You can’t change that.

Maurice Emmer


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