Letter: Yes on Base2
October 21, 2015
I would like to encourage the people of Aspen to do your own research before voting "yes" or "no" on 2A, Base2 Lodge. Visit http://yesonbase2.com, and read the information that is offered.
The gas station is going to be replaced. This vote is our chance to decide what will go into the building going up in its place. We can choose Base2 Lodge, or we can allow developers to decide. It is very clear that the building would be commercial use and would, more than likely, be a bank or pharmacy. Aspen has a bank on what feels like every other corner already. Do we need another? If a pharmacy is the developer's choice, we can almost certainly say goodbye to our hometown pharmacy, thus stripping away a piece of Aspen's charm.
Our vote is not going to change the exterior size of the building as we are being led to believe. Our vote will only determine what is going to be inside the building. No exterior variances are needed to construct the building as it stands on paper. The variance necessary is for "density," which controls how much is placed inside the building and has nothing to do with the structure itself. There is on-site parking, and there are setbacks on each side of the building.
I feel Base2 will help alleviate at least a small amount of Main Street congestion. As an operator of retail businesses in the core, I speak to our guests every day. Many of them are staying in neighboring towns because they can't afford Aspen. Base1 and Base2 give these people a chance to stay here in town. They will check into the hotel, park their cars there and walk the rest of their visit. People will still come to visit Aspen, but this gives us the opportunity to actually stay here for more than just a day. Instead of driving in, searching for parking and driving out again, budget-minded travelers will now have an option to stay a few nights and really enjoy the charm that is our town.
In my business, I spend a fair amount of time in Vail. I certainly don't mean to pick on Vail, but I have watched overdevelopment there and would hate to see the same happen to our lovely town. Base2 would not destroy the charm of Aspen like some would like you to believe. Base2 would add liveliness to a corner that is on the very edge of the core. It would increase business for our small-town pharmacy that I would hate to lose.
Please do your research before casting your ballot. Visit http://yesonbase2.com, and really read the facts.
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