Roger Marolt: Shame, shame, shame on developers | AspenTimes.com

Roger Marolt: Shame, shame, shame on developers

Roger Marolt
Roger This

Roger —

Help! I am having a serious ethical dilemma and I write to seek your guidance and wisdom.

Recent newspaper articles strongly imply that Gorsuch doesn’t have the money to build. Some of us were concerned about this from the beginning, which is why some of us wanted a bond or other financial assurances before the community voted.

But now we’ve voted and we’re stuck with a deadbeat developer — “surprise, surprise, surprise,” as Gomer Pyle used to say.

Be that as it may, now I need input from you on some hard questions: how hard should one gloat? Is there an acceptable level of I-told-you-so?

Or, we could ask some harder questions, such as: When exactly in the process did the developer know that the developer didn’t have the funds to build and why wasn’t this disclosed to the community before the vote? Why didn’t the city investigate the developer’s funding before putting this matter on the ballot?

Finally, the quandary that truly deserves consideration: Can we change the project’s name from Gorsuch Haus to Gomer Haus?

Please advise,

Lou-Anne Poovie

Dear Ms. Poovie,

It is telling that you quoted your boyfriend, Gomer, here. He is a beloved country bumpkin for a reason. As we are almost instinctively drawn to do by the force of primal urge, nothing would feel better now than saying “I told you so” about the implosion of this ballyhooed project not six months after it was approved by a margin of just 13 voters leaning one way instead of the other.

Yet, I think we are better served by humbly expressing our keen foresight by simply saying, as he might have, “Suprise, suprise, suprise.” If you prefer to be less folksy and more professorial, “This is what we were afraid of” substitutes as a solid intellectual form of subtle gloating, implying that there is a studied group who carefully examined this issue and knew with certainty that it would not work and everybody else can be excused for only believing what they read about the project on Facebook and heard at the free hot dog cookouts.

I do think it is important to establish that you got this one right, Lou-Anne, so that next time people may listen more attentively to you, but if you gloat too much, you run the risk of making people angry with you rather than at the developers who really deserve it.

The fact is there really never was anything to vote on here and yet, crafty opportunists somehow convinced the entire city that there was this incredibly huge issue at hand that would decide the fate of our beloved town for eternity. And yes, as evidenced by the huge voter turnout and all the inter-community fighting we did leading up to election day, we fell for this outlandish sales pitch and bought an oak barrel full of snake oil.

It is now obviously ludicrous that slick-talking developers convinced us that the gold-plated legacy of the greatest ski resort in the world depended on a single new hotel and upgraded old ski lift. The objects in the mirror were not larger than they appeared.

There actually never was a project to vote on here. We voted on a concept, with the emphasis on “con.” This was nothing but a recipe for dough-less, fruitless pie in the sky that a group of dreamers cooked up and got approved so that they could sell it. Every variance, concession and exemption we gave only served to line their Teflon pans through a higher asking price.

So, you see, the people who stood before us and swore they would be with us to the end have been exposed. They never had the intention, much less the wherewithal, to build anything except our trust, which has been totally abused. Go-o-o-lly!

As you suggest, Lou-Anne, we have to be smarter the next time around. Requiring completion bonds on these types of landscape-changing projects before we all get frothily excited over, spend gobs of time, energy and money on, and stage another community-dividing election about, will serve to make future dreamers put money were their mouths are. So gagged with the actual dollar bills they profess our town will benefit from, we can hope the rhetoric will be changed to straight talk.

And finally, yes, since the project of which we speak was never more than a figment of anyone’s imagination, we can call it anything we like. “Gomer Haus” works as well as anything. Shazam!

Roger Marolt is thinking about taking up a regular advice column under the pen name “Sgt. Carter.” Email at roger@maroltllp.com.


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