Make Gorsuch Haus happen
I fear Aspen is circling the drain around a long-ago missed opportunity, and as a result, will miss the chance to revitalize Lift 1A and ensure World Cup racing for generations to come.
I ski Lift 1A all the time — multiple times every week — and can tell you the base area is tired and pathetic. The lift needs to be replaced and that part of the mountain feels too private, with multiple condominium complexes and new townhomes being built. Michael Brown’s private condominium club, the soon-to-be built Lift One Lodge, will only add to the privatization of Lift 1A.
Gorsuch Haus is actually the way to ensure that Lift 1A and Aspen’s original base area is open to locals and the entire world for another 50 years. We saw last week how great Aspen and that side of town can be when it is full of activity. The World Cup Finals brought Aspenites out in force — and the rest of the world joined us.
I watched the races every day from one vantage point or another, went to the World Cup’s 50th anniversary party, attended concerts and, best of all, got to meet some of the greatest racers in the world. I met my childhood racing heroes — Franz Klammer and Andy Mill. Wow! And ran into Maria Höfl-Riesch. Yay!
The FIS has made it clear that they need to see improvements to that side of the mountain, particularly the lift and the infrastructure at the base, before they will consider us for future races. We have an opportunity to do that now with the Gorsuch Haus proposal, which will bring a lively hotel and restaurant and bar along with a new lift right at the base of the mountain.
What are you waiting for, Aspen?
The time to move Lift 1A down the hill passed long ago, perhaps back when D.R.C. Brown moved it up the hill, but certainly with the decisions that have been made by City Council and landowners since that time. Please don’t let a great project fail because some Aspenites want to pursue an impossible dream.
Aspen is the most important North American stop on the World Cup circuit. We’ve hosted the world’s greatest skiers in the 1950s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s and for the first 15 years of the 21st century. But if we don’t act now, we will become a secondary stop after Vail and Killington, Vermont, or, worse, no stop at all.
I urge approval of Gorsuch Haus for all that it will bring to our town and our ski area.
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