Rejecting Lift One is Aspen’s best option |

Rejecting Lift One is Aspen’s best option

Gorsuch and the Crowns say a new lift won’t happen without a “yes” vote. Really? Not unless Aspen Skiing Co. is stupid, which they very clearly aren’t!

Skico has many business incentives for a new lift down to Dean Street. It will bring many new skiers to this side of the mountain who currently will not walk up the Aspen Street hill to the current lift. A new lift also will lure racing back with its extremely valuable international media coverage. A new “chondola” lift would allow for summer and winter activities at Ruthie’s restaurant. The Sundeck is currently maxed out for very profitable weddings. A new lift would enable a new revenue stream for Skico — summer weddings, summer and winter dinners on the Ruthie’s deck with its incomparable view over the town and Smuggler and Red mountain beyond.

A new lift would enhance the Aspen image — Skico and the Crowns must know the current lift is inconsistent with Aspen’s reputation as “world class.”

A revised plan for Lift One Lodge also will likely happen; it’s a good deal because it’s very profitable for the developers. Their approvals also don’t expire until 2021, a full two years to resubmit the same plan, with a conservation zoning conforming Gorsuch Hotel plan. A lift coming to Dean Street also makes Lift One Lodge, a hotel for all intents and purposes, even more valuable; it will then have an even better ski in/ski out claim.

With this revised plan, the community gets all the other amenities that it wants: a large new park, a ski museum, a new restaurant, perhaps a steak house and so forth. In short, vitality!

And Gorsuch house? If this ballot proposition is turned down and conservation zoning stays in place, as it should, then our ski slope stays open and our current priceless views up the mountain from town are retained. Gorsuch still has the right to submit a revised plan, conforming with its current conservation zoning for a smaller project, with a maximum height of 25 feet. Either way, it seems like a better outcome for Aspen!

Patrick Dempsey

Pewaukee, Wisconsin

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