Letter: Setting the record straight
November 7, 2015
I didn't know just how much of a hypocritical dirtbag I was until I read Scott Writer's letter last week criticizing me for being against the Base2 project ("The Aspen old folks home," The Aspen Times, Oct. 26). My Oct. 19 letter to the editor objecting to Base2 ("What would Bernie do?" The Aspen Times) mostly concerned the giveaways and lack of affordable housing associated with it. Having served four years on the Aspen City Council and four years on the housing board, two as its chairman, I have heard before from people who hate my guts, and I'm not much provoked to respond. But Writer's (I'm not trying to be funny here) assertions about my history in Aspen do need some correcting. Below, in part, is what he wrote:
"Or, from the 'I got mine; screw everybody else' perspective: Was that Frank Peters who wrote a tirade against Base2 and rich people taking advantage of the system the same Frank Peters who built and sold the Hotel Lenado for almost $12 million? The same Frank Peters who, when he built his hotel, refused to guarantee affordable room rates and used the small size of his rooms as an argument that they would be affordable? The same Frank Peters who sold his small hotel to someone who apparently has no interest in retaining it as a hotel? Interesting. I guess the rich Mr. Peters does know the game."
For the record:
1. Between building the Hotel Lenado — which I did with my own hands — and selling it, there elapsed 30 years, which Writer overlooks. It may be a detail to him, but for me it represents a major chunk of my working life. I'm sorry that Writer has hard feelings that after paying off our mortgage after three decades, I and my five partners, who are all in our 60s, made some money to retire on.
2. The part about refusing to guarantee affordability and using the size of the rooms as an argument never happened. It was simply not a topic of concern in 1983. We went through multiple reviews and were required to comply with all code provisions, which was sort of the point of my letter. Writer's assertion is a fantasy — but in such specific detail that it looks to me like someone fed him this nonsense, and I wonder who.
3. When we sold the hotel, all the approvals and restrictions were still in place, just as they were imposed in 1983, and we remained in compliance for the entire 30 years and seven months. Selling real estate to buyers who have their own ideas about how to use it is something Writer should know about. He is a Realtor.
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Finally, in comments posted on The Aspen Times' website complimenting Writer's hatchet job, Chris Bendon, the community development director, wrote: "About time! Those that complain about Aspen selling out should take a closer look at the sellers." I guess we know which side he was on.
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