Fractionals fracture Aspen

For years the city of Aspen has only allowed fractionals and hotels to be built, instead of free-market condominiums. We watched our town become saturated with them. Owners that bought, for the most part, watched the values go down as more and more were built. With them they needed full staffs — hundreds of housekeepers, bellmen, maintenance men, additional parking, etc., and more and more employee housing.

We watched our quaint town change dramatically into a town where no one knows anyone anymore. We need a reservation a month in advance to eat dinner during the busy seasons. Parking and cars have become a nightmare eight months out of the year. Summers have become so crowded many people are wanting to go elsewhere. Fractional owners are here for such a short period of time; few really get involved in our town, and of course none can vote.

Now, because of the mess the city has made with fractionals, they are penalizing owners of condos and houses for renting short term and acting as though it is their fault the town has changed?!

The reality is, more and more owners are wanting to be in Aspen. Fewer and fewer are renting more than a month or so a year, if at all!

I wonder what Aspen would be like today if the the Ritz phases 1 and 2, the Dancing phases Bear 1 and 2, Little Nell Residences, Prospector, Innsbruck, Aspen Club, Sky Residences, Hyatt, St. Regis, etc., had instead been mostly free-market condos. (Oh, wait, the city would not have received the overwhelming amount of tax each time a fraction sold.)

The massive amount of fractionals is what has taken the small-town feel away from Aspen, not the new owners that have bought homes and condos in the past two years!

Stop meddling so much. It always backfires!

Kristi Gilliam