Lift One project too massive

Unfortunately, City Council packaged up an incomprehensible proposition that requires an all-or-nothing vote. To fix the proposition, we must first vote it down.

I welcome a new lift up from Dean Street. I’d also welcome Lift One Lodge and the vibrancy and the excitement of its restaurants, bars and facilities for apres.

But not Gorsuch Haus. At three-and-a-half times the size of the Aspen Art Museum, it’s a complete disaster for the middle of the ski slope at the top of Aspen Street. Changing zoning solely for the economic gain of Gorsuch and company makes a mockery of Aspen’s zoning.

Giant Gorsuch Haus would be in the viewplane of almost every building in town. Where we now see the open, white slopes in winter and lush, green hills in summer, there would be a sea of concrete if Gorsuch is a go.

Advantages of having just one hotel are obvious: One hotel yields half the traffic on the newly narrowed, dangerous Aspen Street; a smaller thermal footprint and fewer truckloads of earth to be hauled away. Think of mudslides in the past on the west side of Ajax; massive excavation high on the hill creates an unacceptable destabilization risk.

I’m aware Aspen Skiing Co., pushing further development, has proclaimed that they won’t build a lift without two hotels.

There’s a good chance they’re bluffing.

If we vote the proposition down, I’ll bet they take a more rational position. There’s a possibility of luring World Cup and its international media coverage back. Skico craves a revitalized Ruthie’s that has new value for summer activities.

But they’ve left us no choice; we must vote “no” to oppose this proposition, and force City Council to win a better one that we can support.

Karl Hartman