Letter: Played for fools
I followed with some amusement the goings-on with the Base2 “project.” I suppose that since I only live in Aspen four months a year and vote elsewhere, I should keep quiet; on the other hand, what is happening is an affront to the people of Aspen. If there is an ordinance limiting the size of a building, the City Council cannot in good conscience allow a variance doubling the size of the construction just because the developer asks for it, “promising” that the lodge that will be built on his lot will have “affordably priced” rooms, about $200 per night.
Maybe the City Council should have a quick course on free enterprise and capitalism. The operator of the lodge will set the price of the rooms, not the developer. The developer will charge rent, and the operator of the lodge will come up with the room prices necessary to operate and make a profit. The whole thing smells to high heaven: Mark Hunt gets his permit; petitions are circulated to rescind the permit (and put the rescission to a popular vote); enough signatures are secured and validated, meaning the matter will go on the ballot in the November elections; Hunt bows to the people’s voices and says he will abandon his plans to build Base2; Hunt hires a former councilman (Dwayne Romero) whose expertise is property development; and pronto — in less than a week, Hunt changes course yet again and wants the people to vote on the Base2 project. What a joke! He is playing the City Council and the Aspen residents for fools. Just like Burt Myrin so aptly put it: Don’t trust Hunt!
Los Angeles and Aspen