The benefits of voting ‘no’ Lift One
The big question for Tuesday is: What will happen if Aspen votes “no”?
Here’s at least one plausible scenario. The deal could still be there if it’s good enough for at least one of the developers. And parts of this Lift One corridor deal certainly are — if you happen to be Lift One Lodge. A new City Council could fast-track approvals for Lift One Lodge’s new design, even with needed modifications.
Lift One Lodge with a lift going to Dean Street becomes a more valuable property than when the Browns bought it. Now, it’ has true ski-in, ski-out. And without competition from Gorsuch Haus, its chances for success increase.
Gorsuch? Two hotels atop the street aren’t needed. We eliminate the Haus simply by insisting on no zoning change. Result: just one hotel, much lower on the street. Substantially less traffic. Less pollution. Far less potential of destabilizing the hillside during construction. A better skiing experience. Hopefully, Lift One Lodge will do it right with a great restaurant and apres.
Importantly, the view from town up the mountain is saved; the skiing experience improves.
What about Aspen Skiing Co.? After a “no” vote, when there is no possibility of Gorsuch Haus, they’ll probably reconsider the lift. Why? Luring racing back. Its cost-effective, international media exposure is a powerful incentive. Does Skico need a telemix to whiz the racers up hill? No. But it’s vital if they are to capitalize on the lucrative summer wedding business. Or bringing non-skiing guests to a resuscitated Ruthie’s with unforgettable lunches on the deck and starlit dinners.
It will help dispel Aspen’s reputation for having “first-class skiing but third-world infrastructure.”
Will all this happen? As noted, nothing is certain. But for sure it won’t happen unless Aspen votes “no”!