Cashing out at Aspen’s expense

I was very disappointed to read in the March 5 editions of The Aspen Times and Aspen Daily News that the Lift 1A base area parcel had been sold to a hotel developer.

Three years ago 1,529 votes were cast against the hotel project against 1,555 in favor, a mere 26 vote difference. Those voting no were concerned that the original entry/exit to our ski slopes would be changed. The assurances given swayed just enough voters to say yes. Had only 14 voters said no instead of yes, the proposal would have failed.

I believe that many of those voting yes had confidence that the proponents, all longtime residents of Aspen, gave the impression that they would be involved over the long haul, maintaining the communities best interests.

The motto of the Rotary Club of Aspen, a mainstay of our community for over 50 years, is:

— Is it the truth?

— Is it fair to all concerned?

— Will it build goodwill and better friendships?

— Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

Is this sale really fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Is it beneficial to all the Aspen community? The truth is our trust was betrayed.

This past week one of them said “there’s no reason for anybody to be disappointed or concerned,” yet I am disappointed. It is another case of Aspen being taken over by individuals and organizations that have little or no interest in Aspen as a community, their goal being to do whatever they can to maximize their dollars.

Per the article, in July 2021 the site was purchased for $10 million from the Aspen Skiing Co. The reported sale price was $76.25 million. The fact that a windfall profit was reaped is beside the point. In my mind, the sale to a company without long-term ties to Aspen is a violation of the trust placed in them during their efforts to secure approvals for the development.

John Keleher