Letter: The wrong project for Aspen

I write to you in opposition to the Gorsuch development proposal that now appears to be headed to a hearing before the Aspen Planning and Zoning Commission. My perspective is of someone who has been skiing and hiking in Aspen for nearly 40 years. I live in Connecticut but fly out four to five times a year, often with children and now grandchildren. I don’t have to elaborate on the effort this involves, but we think of Aspen as our second home and always look forward to coming here — the town, the mountain and our many longtime friendships.

We don’t have to put up with the challenges of getting here, snow is the same everywhere, and there are places far more convenient to get to. But nowhere have we found the feeling and look, the vibrancy and spirit of what a ski town should be. I see this slowly changing — big-box-like structures (the art museum and Little Nell Residences come to mind) — and now Aspen is on the verge of completely girdling its magnificent mountain with yet another over-the-top structure. And for what? A few more rooms marring the view for townsfolk and visitors, cutting off the last vestige of direct access to skiers (mostly local), all to the benefit of a couple of developers, promising a further erosion of the qualities that make this town so special.

This is a time when the men and women who are elected to weigh the long-term good for the many versus the short-term benefits to a few need to take a stand, and the place to start is not to allow business interests to manipulate long-standing zoning regulations, complicate ski access or allow any of the other inconveniences that the Gorsuch proposal introduces.

For the good of everyone, stop this project now.

Don Gilbert

New Canaan, Connecticut