Reject the Gorsuch monstrosity

Dear Aspen City Council,

My family and I are Aspen property owners and we have been coming to Aspen for more than 50 years. We love Aspen for its unique feel and as such I am writing to urge you to reject the current Gorsuch Haus proposal.

The biggest problem with the current Gorsuch House proposal is its huge size (height, mass and footprint). Rising more than 47 feet (four stories) and encompassing some 70,000 square feet, this development would be a huge detriment to the Lift 1A side of the mountain.

As proposed, it would take up a great portion of the currently open area and ski run at the base of 1A. The view up the mountain would be dominated by a gigantic and hulking building running way up the ski slope (versus a pristine open area today) and the currently proposed project is totally out of scale and much, much larger than the neighboring developments. This would ruin the appearance and feel of this side of the mountain.

In addition, as currently proposed, this project will not increase access to the west side of Aspen Mountain (one of the town’s longtime objectives). Gorsuch Huas proposes to move lift 1A uphill, causing a longer walk to the lift from the top of South Aspen Street, which makes lift 1A less convenient for Aspen residents and visitors. By not extending the lift down into town, as has been the town’s long-term objective, access will be further reduced by the planned elimination (post this summer) of all on-street parking on South Aspen Street.

Furthermore, Gorsuch Haus’s proposal of running a van up and down South Aspen Street will be a traffic and safety nightmare given the often slippery conditions in the winter and the extra visitor and service traffic that will occur due to the two new developments already approved below Gorsuch Haus.

The city Planning Department and the Planning and Zoning Commission thoroughly reviewed this project over several months and several meetings and unanimously recommended that it be rejected due to its huge and inappropriate scale, the very negative impact it would have on the current open ski slope and views up the mountain, and the lack of improved access to this side of the mountain for anyone other than Gorsuch Haus guests. All of this for a reduced lift time of two to three minutes and some additional hotel rooms? We are not Vail and we should work hard to retain our special character and ambience. If you destroy this open area and current vistas, plus reduce access to the mountain, we have made Aspen worse, not better.

Please follow the unanimous advice of city staff and the Planning and Zoning Commission and reject this proposal.

Bill Seelbach

Aspen and Cleveland, Ohio