Marolt: Poo-pooing a potential tourist attraction
I think pretty much everyone around here is resigned to the idea that nothing meaningful is going to happen with Base Village for decades.
The developers have little incentive to complete it, and the town has no leverage to force it. The way I see it, the town is faced with the impossible balance of trying to encourage progress while at the same time possessing no legitimate threat of enacting limitations on anything the developer might propose in changes to the plan. The wiggle room for negotiation between the involved parties is so vast as to be as unnavigable as crossing The Universe moving at the speed of the Village Shuttle. So, we are left waiting for the fickle forces of The Market to kick in, which is exhibiting as many signs of life currently as a virus on the lid of a can of Lysol.
What has needed to be said about Base Village has been said dozens of times for every unbuilt inch of the million-square-foot project. If buildings could be constructed with expressed disdain, we would have the tallest building in the world here to attract tourists. As it is, we only have skiing to talk about, which is and hopefully always will be more fun to do than it is to talk about.
This leaves little fodder for the local newspaper opinion columnist, if he has any ambition to be creative, much less provocative. This dilemma is much exacerbated in the offseasons and the summer, when life is very pretty here, but nothing much happens. I’m not complaining about that, by the way, it just makes a lot of jobs tough around here, least of which is writing.
So, my dilemma this week is to decide between the only three available local opinions to mull over. The first is to take a position on whether or not anyone actually did discover fecal matter in the stream flowing, however impeded, through the manicured grounds of our town’s flagship hotel, the Viceroy Snowmass.
More precisely, I suppose, the question is not whether there is poop in the stream, but rather if the amount of poop in the stream is a quantity we can live with. I don’t know of anyone who drinks directly from those waters, but I suppose it could happen to a naive hiker visiting from the city who finds inspiration from mountain scenes and hinted-at lifestyles from Coors commercials, and so cups their hands and sips from the Assay Hill waters on the short hike back to the Viceroy from the bus stop.
The other option is to opine on whether or not the fecal matter in the stream is of human origin or some other animal species. My inclination is not to make the topic about this. I know it really matters to some people, but for the life of me I don’t see why. Whether it turns out to be human feces or dog crap or horse manure seems beside the point. I’m not going near that stream, regardless.
My gut feeling is that most people hope that it isn’t human waste in the stream, but the way I see it is that raw sewage would probably be the easiest thing to find the source of and, thus, the easiest potential problem to solve. Suppose, instead, they figure out that a pride of lynx has been using the Viceroy front yard as a wilderness toilet — then what?
The third opinion I’ve considered to express is, of course, what to do about the problem of fecal matter in the flow below the five-star hotel. People want solutions, so this would be the popular choice.
As to this I would suggest outlawing fishing in Brush Creek from the town center past the roundabout; not that a little poo added to the waters before the golf course chemicals and livestock pens of the rodeo drain into it matters much, but our tolerance has to end somewhere and it might as well be with this.
Another thing we might consider is hiring some high school kids to walk the banks of the stream dressed in hazmat suits with scientific-looking implements hanging from backpacks. They would be actors paid to look busy and basically stay out of the water, just in case. Say what you want; there’s no such thing as bad publicity.
The ironic thing is that these waters may actually originate from Fanny Hill. Maybe, if visitors notice at all that the waters are polluted with poo, we simply point this fact out and say, “what did you expect?”
Roger Marolt hopes that a swift runoff flushes this problem away quickly. firstname.lastname@example.org
The film “The Art of Making It” explores a kind of existential question for artists entering a crackling contemporary art scene. Anderson Ranch and Aspen Film will present the film Wednesday night in Snowmass Village.
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