Letter: Why mess with Aspen’s character? | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Why mess with Aspen’s character?

Why mess with Aspen’s character?

The owners and applicants of the Hotel Aspen seem to be asking for much more than other remodeled small lodges have with their PUD small lodge district overlay and an unprecedented amount of variances to build lot line to lot line with heights way above code in two historic districts, Main Street and the West End.

The Hotel Aspen already has 45, lately remodeled hot beds, so why are they going through so much heavy-duty uphill fighting for only nine more, while designing all rooms smaller? Isn’t this the type of lodge that caters to families? With similar remodels like those at the Annabelle and Innsbruck Inns, it seems the Hotel Aspen could easily reach its nine additional units without asking for a free-market development money engine, several variances for height and mass, plus a public subsidy of $91,000 that steals from the city’s parks and transportation departments.

Both the Annabelle and the Innsbruck, small lodging boutiques on Main Street, did recent remodels by staying within the codes (or at least very close) in height and mass. They are beautiful, fit in with our unique town charm, and are well operated and successful. As far as I know, they did their remodels without needing public/city subsidy. Why does Hotel Aspen deserve special favors to do their improvements?

City Council should oppose this project, for we, the public, have too much to lose. We should not scrape and replace within our historic districts only to build lodges that look like office buildings more fitting for downtown Chicago, and that compromise our City Council’s standards and cheat other town departments. One more negative to this project is that another huge, healthy fir tree, which adds so much in aesthetics and environmental health, will be cut down with this plan.

Aspen has a special character that has made us distinctly different and unique from all other world-class resorts. Why are we trying to change what works and what brings tourists here who seek out and enjoy our Western and Victorian flavor?

Ricki Newman


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