Letter: Enough dumb growth

Over the past decade, Aspen Skiing Co. has been beating drums to the effect that Aspen has lost rooms. We infer that means they need us to build more rooms to fill up their slopes. Their chamber of commerce and the city planning staff joined the chorus. Three studies were done: one saying we were down 20 some percent, the others were much tighter with a 4 or 6 percent drop.

I did independent research and found that Aspen gained 412 rooms from 1965 to 2011. Old lodging came down and new went up, always bigger, nicer and more expensive. But the most shocking fact was that none of these studies included many Aspen condominiums and homes, all of Snowmass and mid- and- downvalley. These many, many thousand more bedrooms were completely unconsidered, as if they weren’t there. And who’s counting the digital additions of Airbnb? Counting lodge rooms misses the changing market. Revenues are way up, people counts are up, traffic is up. We are at capacity. The ski company and chamber just want more everything. Enough of dumb growth.

All of us claim to love this town, but some want it to grow and some want the town to stay the scale they found. I, for one, want to put the brakes on never-ending, unintelligent growth. Offseason doesn’t make me foget the madness of everytihng this last summer and winter. We are seasonal, we will stay so.

When you vote this November, please say no to hotels with variances, no to bigger government, no to endless expansion. We are wrecking this wonderful valley.

Michael Behrendt