Letter: Shouldn’t Skico, developers pay their own way?

The Sept. 19 Aspen Times reported Aspen Skiing Co. executives’ lachrymose pleading to the city for even more privilege than the bountiful benefits already a part of their grand entitlements and hegemonic presence in the upper valley.

Both CEO Mike Kaplan and Senior Vice President David Perry expatiated on the topic of incentives reported by Scott Condon, of The Aspen Times. Condon wrote “that the two delivered a one-two punch” at the Thursday Aspen Chamber Resort Association meeting.

How about a half punch?

The idea that incentives carry the corporate real estate development in the upper valley is poor and disingenuous. “Inconsistent,” Kaplan quotes his domestic and international tour operators regarding Aspen’s lodging inventory, and some of it overpriced for the quality, he told a group of about 220.

The problem here is not the stars, Kaplan and Perry nor the lack of incentives. The crossroads that Kaplan and Perry refers to is not blocked by those who dare ask for responsibility by developers. Nor is it, as pleaded Kaplan, “that we should protect every single view corridor that’s existing,” nor, perish the thought, that we should disincentivize current lodge owners or condo owners. What if the current laws and zoning are adhered to? Would this satisfy?

May I be so bold as to write that developers need pay their own way? Do you not pay your own way? Is this but a part of the American way? Have we, as Kaplan noted, but “the false choice that development be stymied to preserve the Aspen Idea”? Perish the thought!

Consider vesting incentives offered for Base Village. A decade of incentives left an albatross around the neck of the town of Snowmass Village, a plague, and shockingly, the original vestors are back at the table begging more. Have you vested the village lately?

Perry closed with, “I would beg you to stand up; let your voices be heard in this dialogue of these lodging debates. Don’t let the noise, the hyperbole drown out the truth, so that we can truly have a civil dialogue,” and the crowd gave a loud ovation.

To this I am adding my voice. Will you?

James Herrel

Snowmass Village