Letter: The people have spoken
November 7, 2015
Dear City Council and "Mark Hunt Enterprises,"
There is no "old guard" in Aspen, only concerned residents who came to Aspen for its refreshing lifestyle and to escape the very cityscape in which the Mark Hunt Enterprise is wishing to create.
Among the issues concerning voters against Base2, are, hey, there's no housing for the future hotel's employees and no parking for the tourists, with their families, bikes, tents, camp gear, ski gear, etc. Who wants to have their car parked blocks away when they need to retrieve an item from their car, let alone tip a bellman to run a few blocks to get said item from the vehicle, especially if there is a family involved? This is a major inconvenience. Many condominiums in Aspen have underground parking ramps, not elevators — the Butcher's Block building, for one. If these other structures can provide a ramp for underground vehicles, why can't Mark Hunt?
And where are the new employees supposed to live? Our entrance is already a debacle. We Aspenites need housing here for said employees, not more downvalley commuters. Not to mention the bottleneck and the entrance and departure problems.
And there's the probable future sale of said hotel rooms as condominiums — how does Aspen stop future sales, like the Independence Lodge? Once a hotel, now individually owned units. In other words, keep said hotel as a hotel, placing future obstructions to sell individual hotel rooms.
What the City Council and Mark Hunt Enterprises fail to recognize is that the developers behind Hunt are solely interested in investing their finances in Aspen real estate. After all, the volatile stock market offers less security than ground in Aspen.
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Big developers are seeking prime areas in which to invest their wealth. They care less about the character and visual impact big-block intrusions cause in a small, historic town. It's the money, folks.
Should investors be involved in the quality of life, which brings people to Aspen in the first place, the voters would be more amenable to development. For instance, height restrictions and indigenous design guidelines for architects rather than the Chicago-style, big-block city buildings which belong back in the Midwest, not in a beautiful mountain town. And they block the view for which we all came, like the new art museum does.
Thank you to all voters who spoke.