Lift One’s time has come |

Lift One’s time has come

The decline of the Lift 1 area began in the 1950s and ’60s as Little Nell became the primary access to Aspen Mountain and continued in 1971 with the replacement of Lift 1 with Lift 1A at the top of Aspen Street. The decline accelerated in 1986 with the opening of the Silver Queen Gondola and then again in 2005 with the closing of the Skiers Chalet and Steakhouse and the demolition of the Holland House.

Redevelopment and restoration proposals in 2007-08 lacked enough land area to move the base of the lift lower, and although approved, have not been built. The Lift 1 portal eroded further with the city’s removal of Aspen Street parking in 2018.

Now, 48 years after the Lift 1 area decline began in earnest, the community has an opportunity to create and restore an appropriate portal to Aspen Mountain on Dean Street, restore and reuse the Skiers Chalet buildings, restore the historic Lift 1, allow a continuation of Aspen’s ski-racing tradition, replace lost bed base and vitalize this long declining area. This opportunity is only possible with the cooperation and compromise of all parties — the city of Aspen, Aspen Skiing Co., Aspen Historical Society, Dolinsek family and the landowners. Is it perfect? No. But it is very good. Forty-eight years of decline and deterioration is long enough. It is time to move forward with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to restore and revitalize the historic Lift 1 area.

Vote “yes” for the Lift One corridor.

Mike Maple