Letter: Revitalizing the Aspen paradise
Revitalizing the Aspen paradise
The good news this summer in town is that the crane index hit four, and with the addition of our new tiptop art museum we could come closer to filling up the economic dead space during the off seasons. If the museum can secure world-class exhibits as well as cutting-edge tortoise art during our do-nothing downtime, fuller Gulfstreams will fill the second private jet port. Since jet people often travel with a wealthy posse, Aspen businesses, real estate and hotel bookings will improve. With this, the extra-tall lodges slated to rim the base of Aspen Mountain could see an uptick year-round. More affluence will flow into Aspen like life-giving water.
As the obsolete ski-town style buildings are replaced by neo-Palladian designed by famous architects, along with their right to acquire the surrounding parking spaces for planters, loading-zones and/or Ferrari parking, citizens won’t drive into town because there will be no parking. But with fewer slots the city will lose violations revenue needed to support the free bus routes, while bus ridership will increase by default. More riders on more buses will balloon the RFTA deficit unless fares go up, finally making the service ripe for privatization. Seniors and locals would then have to pay their fair share. What parking is left should be leased to valet parking, concierge services, construction vehicles, rent-a-bike racks, and electric-snowmobiles in winter.
High-end flea markets, polo, foodie festivals, and concerts ought to be permitted more time to button up Wagner and Rio Grande parks. Since locals will be working more jobs, the need for lazin’ around on the grass would be minimal. By leasing the parks more often, the city might balance its budget. Besides, who really needs in-town parks when there is so much under-used big-government wilderness within easy reach?
Our handful of farsighted landlords should consider stitching together a few tear-down lots for a domed arena with underground parking, wherein more imaginative downtown events could be held even in bad weather. Hungry pot conventioneers, tech/app conferences, and daredevil symposia for young adults would add to the neck-badge-wearing visitors who spend freely and walk in the streets.
And, seriously, cage-fighting competition in the “Heck Arena” could cement a new demographic during the horse latitudes of April, May, September and October. This competition would catch on as a new extreme sport for locals, attracting world-class athletes who might reignite timeshare sales. Aspen could harvest untapped market share with direct flights from Cleveland, Detroit and Oklahoma City.
Such a comprehensive economic strategy would be rubber-stamped by our threesome majority on City Council. This will put the match to demand and keep construction in town going full steam. Vital jobs in concierge services, property management, security, shuttle driving, fitness training, and masseurology will increase. Out-of-town contractors will thrive, too. More new banks will open and prosperity will trickle down to the temporary workers.
Aspen as our fully realized paradise is within reach. Any slowdown would be Obama’s fault.
Yours in the flag.