Letter: Basalt, think outside the park | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Basalt, think outside the park

If the Basalt community and Basalt Town Council believe a hotel will be successful, what are our options for its location and how can we explore those options?

Swap Lions Park for the Community Development Corp. parcel and build the hotel closer to downtown increasing the built density and preserving the entire Pan and Fork parcel for use by everyone. This idea also eliminates the potential conflicts between park users and hotel guests. Town Hall and Wyly could explore moving to existing built spaces in Riverwalk or Riverside Plaza (19,000 square feet are available), which would also help encourage more retail and businesses to move into those adjacent spaces which have been vacant.

Collaborate with the Aspenalt Motel to redevelop their property to better serve the targeted hotel market. That hotel is already on the river!

Collaborate with Frank Traverna (owner of Clark’s Market) and the three owners of the adjacent parking lot to redevelop that parcel to accommodate a hotel, retail/restaurants/business that would benefit from proximity to a hotel. This parcel also is where underground parking could be located, which is more central to downtown and possibly less costly because of flood-plain issues related to construction. The Clark’s Market/parking lot parcel is big and it’s right in the center of our town. Creating built density in this area and preserving the Pan and Fork as a park can be a win-win.

Collaboration between private land owners, Community Development Corp., the town and a willing, creative developer is key. The town of Basalt is so fortunate to have this opportunity to have built spaces ripe for redevelopment and open space that can be highly successful as a park.

The community understands what happens when development occurs near the river as demonstrated with the Aspenalt Motel, 7-11 gas station, eight buildings along Two Rivers Road, Riverside Plaza, River Walk and Frying Pan River Lodge. To keep repeating this pattern of allowing development to be built along our rivers is a mistake.

Think differently. Think outside the park!

Lynn Nichols


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