Letter: Not a beer joint? Yeah, right

Let me get this straight. The group calling itself the Aspen Power Plant wins over the council a year ago with a proposal for a brewery, biergarten, restaurant, TV station, event space and commercial kitchen for public and private events and incubator offices in the 7,200-square-foot, city-owned Old Power House, with promises of revelry and vitality at the site “morning, noon and night, 365 days a year.” This in an established, quiet, residential Aspen neighborhood.

Now, a year later, despite lying to city officials, residents, the local media and NPR about meeting and negotiating with concerned neighbors, the Aspen Power Plant announces that it has recently morphed into something other than merely a beer joint. Apparently, it’s all about office space now for our local millennials who want Cupertino-esque careers but don’t want to leave Aspen to attain them. And guess what, the Aspen Power Plant partner, whose responsibility was the incubator office space, is mysteriously now missing from the team. Of course there will be some “small bites” available on site for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and booze for the 65 or so resident budding entrepreneurs, courtesy of the Aspen Brewing Co., but despite the 7 a.m. to midnight operating hours, the Aspen Power Plant principals say it’s no longer about “beer, booze and partying.” Oh really?

When questioned about the remaining need for an on-site brewery at the newly designated “collaborative work space with an F&B component,” the Aspen Power Plant explained that the whole project’s business model is “dependent” on a brewery.

If this sounds nothing short of crazy to you, you are not alone. The City Council has recently given the Aspen Power Plant group until April 18 to come to common ground with the neighbors. I can’t see how lies and obfuscation are going to win the Aspen Power Plant any friends and favors in the neighborhood, especially after a year of total silence.

If Aspen Power Plant wants to say “it won’t be a beer joint,” go right ahead. I went to college. I know what study hall looks like in a frat house.

Elizabeth Milias