Put environment, people ahead of luxury lodging | AspenTimes.com

Put environment, people ahead of luxury lodging

When someone asks you what you love most about Aspen, what’s your reply? When I get this common question, I always say the same two things: the mountains and the people. Does that ring true to you?

If our greatest assets are truly our mountains and our people, let’s honor, respect and care for them first. Please join me and many other concerned citizens and vote “no” on the Lift One proposal, which does not prioritize our environment or our residents.

There is nothing respectful about the construction or ongoing operations of 320,000 square feet of luxury development, primarily fractional lodging up on the slopes of our hallowed and historic Aspen Mountain.

The carbon footprint is undeniably massive and will be long term. As Aspen Skiing Co.’s latest slogan states, let’s “give a flake.” Additionally, there’s nothing respectful about housing only 30 percent of the jobs being generated, which by some city estimates is well over 200 jobs. This development, which is projected to generate well over $300 million, can and should provide more affordable housing. We need to house our residents, not take a big step backward in our affordable-housing goals and continue to push Aspen’s problems downvalley.

On a related note, we need to take cars off the road, not add significantly more traffic with this project. How are increasing traffic, pollution and stress beneficial to our residents and our visitors?

If the economy and making money are becoming our highest priority, our local economy relies on a clean, healthy environment and folks living and working in Aspen to flourish.

Let’s search our hearts for the truth and vote “no,” putting our environment and people first, not just an afterthought with this over-sized public subsidized private luxury development.

Erik Skarvan