Letter: Keep Aspen alive | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Keep Aspen alive

I am an old slow-growth supporter, and I also appreciate beautiful buildings. When I saw the design for Base1 last year, I thought it was the first beautiful building proposal I had seen in a long time. The rustic materials, the design based on old mining structures and the thoughtful use of public space made it one of the most appealing lodge projects in town. Moreover and importantly, it is not about speculative real estate — it is about creating real and lasting value by adding hot beds to Aspen’s lodging base.

And I love Base2 for similar reasons. It will have this rustic synergy with the historic transitional area it sits in. They are sister lodges, and both should be built.

 My husband, Jesse Boyce, and I went to every Aspen Area Community Plan meeting. The prevailing issue was and remains accessible lodging that can appeal to a broad and new demographic — yes, millennials — but other visitors who want to experience our community, as well. Base is about aliveness and vitality, not keeping Aspen Aspen, which sounds so dead to me.

Instead, consider what it takes to keep Aspen a destination that is both relevant and lively. Twenty more skiers on each of our four mountains would not make a dent. I skied 80 days last year generally for two- and three-hour stretches of time, work and ski.

Why shouldn’t the next generation have the opportunity to fall in love with skiing as my father taught me? 

The older affordable lodges are each of value in their own way. But they are not this. This represents a new option, a different option for our visitors. I reject Su Lum’s investigation (“The cost of closet space,” Commentary, The Aspen Times, Sept. 9), wise as she can be. Looking at room rates the week after Labor Day and before the leaves change is nonsense. The Limelight is listed as $669 from Jan. 31 through Feb. 5 — I believe the facts about Base1 and Base2 here speak for themselves.

These rooms — by design and commitment — will remain $150 to $200 a night almost every week of the year.

Important meetings that could have been held here are going elsewhere this winter because during high season there are not available rooms at decent rates.

I know traffic was increased this summer with people staying downvalley and commuting to spend time in Aspen.

I believe Mark Hunt when he says this is his promise to the community and hopeful tourists of Aspen. He has kept his word and been transparent in all his dealings with the city of Aspen. He has every intention of providing a fully independent, evolved parking plan before a single shovel goes in the ground.

I think his desire to open Base1 and Base2 by the 2017 World Championships should speak to anyone who still cares about Aspen being first a ski town.

The community has asked for affordable lodging solutions for 40 years. Thank you, Mark, for answering that request with a great lodge. Please vote to approve Base2 on Nov. 3. 

Phyllis Bronson