Roger Marolt: Making zest from the lemons | AspenTimes.com

Roger Marolt: Making zest from the lemons

Roger Marolt
Roger This

The election was a humbling experience; one that was decided by 14 voters who could have been persuaded to see things the other way and save the day. It is a reminder to future issue hucksters that the person who votes regularly is worth twice a newbie. You can recruit two first-timers and then try to convince them on the issue or you can attempt changing the mind of one already headed to the polls. The latter seems like easier work.

I suggest checking the records to see who votes every single election and knock on their door armed with a new Patagonia fleece full-zip jacket in their size with the logo of your cause embroidered tastefully on the breast. It says so much more than a flier. If you are going to spend $300,000 campaigning, you might as well be practical about it and influence thinking with something well-made that folks can use. People will argue over the minutia of an issue, but never with a functional and stylish outdoor garment. I am not too proud to admit that my position standing on principle and justice might have been swayed by this.

Be that as it may, we didn’t get new fleece jackets and the anonymous 14’s minds were not altered, so we are left with making the best of things. I want to contribute to make the Lift 1Be project better. Not only is it the right thing to do; I have a deadline, an election hangover and nothing else coming to mind to write about.

I would offer three fabulous suggestions, but we lost forevermore the opportunity to gain a decent number of new affordable-housing units from this project, so I am left with just two. But they are a good pair of ideas and, while nobody will ever live or raise a family in them, they will make life more enjoyable for the skier and tolerable for the commuter.

We don’t need thousands of dump trucks on our highways over the course of the excavation of this project belching smoke and clogging up traffic with the fits and starts of the double-clutching of gears required to get loads of dirt hauled to someplace far out of our sight and mind. We need this even less in the summer months, the only reasonable time of year major excavation can be done and when our streets are already jammed with tourists salivating at the sight of a deep pit that one day might be their dream hotel.

The solution, of course, is taking the dump trucks off the highway by having them dump their loads right in the front yards of the new hotels. Pile the good earth just below Summer Road, to the skiers’ right of Lift 1A. Then, smooth it out into a gentler grade that will be friendlier to the visiting skier not looking forward to side-slipping down the ice and up to the new apres-ski bars on the exiting World Cup racing-quality slopes there now.

A consistent low-grade slope would be perfect for events to be staged on. Think Fanny Hill and summer concerts. Think base of Buttermilk and winter concerts. It is not inconceivable to construct a half-pipe and jumps by shaping the excess soils hauled from the future hotels’ foundations. Let us pipe dream and imagine the Winter X Games being staged right there in the middle of town. Oops, we just lost the ski racing crowd who backed this project. No worry, their votes have already been counted.

If there is any dirt left over, they could haul it a bit higher to the top of Norway Slope. Let’s re-contour that part of the mountain and add some of the vertical relief back that they are taking away by parking a hotel at the base of the iconic ski run.

Which brings me to my second suggestion to make the best of this project. Jeff Gorsuch, if you truly do love me like a brother, build the breezeway through the hotel that would get skiers stranded at the bottom of Norway Slope back to the new ski lift without sticker burs clinging to their gators. It doesn’t have to be big. You don’t have to worry about getting snow inside of it. Make it a glass tube with a magic carpet people-mover in it like they have running through the shark tank at Sea World. Run it through your lobby. It would be cool. It would pay for itself in increased bookings.

If you can’t manage any of this, I will be seriously disappointed. In any event, I wear a size large Patagonia jacket.

Since the juice is all dried up, Roger Marolt is settling for making zest from the lemon rinds. Email at roger@maroltllp.com.


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