Letter: Too much downside to midvalley rec center | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Too much downside to midvalley rec center

Too much downside to midvalley rec center

I appreciated reading the recent letters from Bob Schultz and Bruce Gabow, two thoughtful, long-term residents of the midvalley who oppose the Crown Mountain Park Recreation Center.

I agree with them: Crown Mountain should be left as a park and not be impacted by a large new building. I also agree with them that it will impose too large of an annual tax burden on district residents to build and operate it. Plus, I would imagine there would be a daily or monthly fee for anyone to use it.

If I wanted to spend $500 or more every year for this type of recreation, I would join a private club. But I don’t need that — my club is the mountains where I can run, ski and hike and I don’t expect to use this building at all. I would guess that many of you feel the same way about recreation. Think about how much these tax payments will add up to and then consider if you’ll be getting your money’s worth in terms of usage. I know I won’t.

I would suggest that there are several other reasons this should not be approved.

First, it would add another large traffic generator to one of the most overcrowded highway intersections in the valley. This alone should give everyone pause. Eagle County is asking the district and others to pay millions of dollars to “improve” this intersection. I can’t imagine what a bottleneck they’ll create this time. Let’s not add to the congestion at one of the worst intersections along the entire highway.

Another thing to think about is the business it will take away from every private recreation facility in the midvalley area. Do you think it was an coincidence that the Aspen Athletic Club closed its doors right after the city of Aspen installed fitness equipment at the Aspen Recreation Center?

Private owners can’t compete with a public subsidy, so it’s likely that one or more of the clubs in the midvalley will go under, pulling the rug right out from under hard-working business people just when the economy is recovering.

And finally, I would ask, do we really need another public recreation facility in this valley? There are already facilities in Glenwood, Carbondale, Snowmass and Aspen. Anyone who wants to use a facility can pay to enter one of these. Why do we taxpayers in the midvalley, who have chosen not to live in one of these cities, need to purchase this city-styled amenity?

I would urge the taxpayers of the mid-valley to come together in opposition to this project.

Alan Richman


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