Aspen Mountain long overdue for upgrades |

Aspen Mountain long overdue for upgrades

I have been visiting Aspen Mountain since driving cross country as a college freshman from Athens, Georgia, in 1974. While the town has changed, the mountain itself has changed little. While other resorts around the U.S. have upgraded and expanded, Aspen Mountain remains the same little ski mountain it was in 1974.

It is the only ski mountain of any note that still has three ancient, fixed-gripped chairlifts. When I visited in 1974, I remember Aspen Highlands as this little operation with surface lifts. Today, after the addition of high-speed lifts and the addition of the Deep Temerity Lift, it is one of the premier ski mountains in the country. Had it been up to the current county commissioners, they would still be operating with surface lifts and the bowl would be inaccessible to all but a few.

Adding the new lift 1A and the new Pandora lift is long overdue to bring the Aspen Mountain up to 21st century standards. But the county commissioners, in their infinite wisdom, deadlocked on the Pandora expansion. Incredible. What a short-sighted decision. All against the backdrop of the cluster over lift 1A.

Using the crutch of rural and remote upzoning, the commission failed to vote in favor of the required rezoning. How shortsighted can give people be? By their logic, the Temerity lift would never be built. Imagine Highlands without the Temerity lift.

My kids have grown up skiing in Aspen, all skiing the bowl before they were 10. But now they prefer to go to other towns. “Aspen skiing is too spread out and Aspen Mountain is boring.” Guessing they are not alone.

Joseph M. Ferguson III