Letter: A smart approach to Hotel Aspen
“Does Aspen really want to save its classic lodges?” This is a question that is facing our City Council right now. The question that is facing lodge owners is, “Do lodge owners want to be lodge hoteliers or real estate developers?”
Tying the use of lodge properties to an incentive of free-market housing, rather than incentives for better uses of the lodges, has created a condition of “the tail wagging the dog.” This is extremely deleterious to our lodges. The rental of large, free-market houses to pack with large groups is in direct conflict with lodges and does not encourage patronizing of local restaurants/bars, etc.
Before any further action is taken on our lodges, these lodge incentives should be immediately rethought and rewritten. If the need is for Hotel Aspen to gain nine additional small rooms and upgrade the existing 45, this can be done more financially efficient and environmentally LEEDs correct by affirming the entire property for the lodge use.
The historic Main Street side of Hotel Aspen should be preserved and renovated as is and additional units built in a contextual design using the remainder of the property available. With minimum demolition, maximum use of this amenity preserved, with the excellent reviews from its existing clientele and with a re-branding renovation of the Hotel Aspen, this lodge could be financed, upgraded and preserved without risk to the owners or the community.
Sherrie S. Cutler
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