Letter: A poor choice for the Old Power House | AspenTimes.com

Letter: A poor choice for the Old Power House

Let us all breathe a sigh of relief. Aspen will now have a brewery in the Old Power House. We might have had to deal with the Aspen Science Center, but we need a brewery.

It’s true that American schoolchildren fall behind those in Europe and much of Asia in all fields, especially science, technology, engineering and math, and the Aspen Science Center would have given a head start plus enthusiasm and excitement to our youngsters from toddlers to high school as well as seniors and whole families, but we need a brewery.

It’s true that Aspen has nothing like a science center, nothing anywhere in the valley that comes even close (Ann Mullins said at the council work session that the Aspen Science Center would duplicate what‘s already here; she may be able to find the duplicate, but we can’t), while close to 200 other towns and cities (including Grand Junction) have one, so their kids and families are being given the unique adventures of hands-on learning in fields crucial for their and the planet’s future, but we need a brewery.

Oh, yes, there will be an “incubator” space upstairs to satisfy the hordes of young people in Aspen who will pay every hour or day or week for a space to “create a business” (though some businesses we’ve heard of were created in garages or at kitchen tables), and the Pitkin County Library’s expansion will, we’re told, include workspaces for people who want them, but the incubator needs a big daddy to pay for it, so we need a brewery.

It’s true that it’s unusual, not to say outrageous, that the city would use taxpayer dollars to support a commercial enterprise when nonprofits do singular work throughout the valley while working to raise every penny to pay rent and all other expenses, but we need a brewery.

It might be true that breweries generate community and community spirit, though the location for this one is not beckoning to visitors or locals. It is in fact a trudge from town on leafy nights as well as icy ones, and it’s a fair question whether a bus system will add the trip to its schedule unless the buses are pleasantly full, but we need a brewery.

It’s true that zoning would have to be changed to allow a commercial enterprise in that part of Aspen, but one of the council members said at the work session, “Well, that’s easy” (truly?), and we need a brewery.

It’s true residents who live in that part of town might be unhappy with a neighborhood hot spot serving beer and music, but they’ll get used to it, and if they choose to move, that’s a plus for Aspen Realtors, and even more importantly, we certainly do need a brewery.

Perhaps the headline in the newspapers around the country will be, “Aspen chooses brewery over science center.” A real public-relations boost for the town.

Judith Barnard


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