Marolt: Sorry I missed the party
Sorry I missed you at the “big” announcement last week. You know, the one about Base Village getting underway … again. Yeah, apparently it is going to be finished a short 10 years from now. I suppose it’s relative. It’s been 13 years since the first time they got going on it and they didn’t even come close to finishing. If they work like snails for the next decade and get it all done, by comparison, that’s a huge accomplishment.
It’s not that I’m pessimistic or even depressed being reminded what a mess this whole project is, although I’d be lying if I didn’t admit there are elements of both in my views of the tide that will rise once all boats’ hulls decay from dry rot. I think it’s more blase than all that. I don’t actually care.
The free beer was tempting. The excited talk about buildings springing up from the ground soon and lighthearted apologies for some construction traffic inconveniences made me wax nostalgic for 2004.
Ah, I was a young man back then; I had two kids in middle school and a tot at home. I sketched ambitions and dreams in my head. I got more good advice from my elders than guesses I made to those younger than me who cared what I thought the future would bring. Physically, I was as strong and healed as quickly as any time in my life. That was at the beginning of Phase I of Base Village. Not that it means anything more than an historical reference, but George W. Bush was president of the United States and Pat O’Donnell of Aspen Skiing Co. then. My, how time flies!
It’s probably for the best I didn’t show up for the ribbon cutting, or whatever you want to call it. I mean, brides don’t usually wear white for their second weddings, right? So, what do you do besides turn over a shovel full of dirt or cut a ribbon to celebrate resurrecting a construction project from the dead? Maybe one of you who attended will fill me in.
If I’d had a free drink or two, I might have stood up and made a fool of myself. I would have asked a question that I really want answered and honestly don’t know the answer. It wouldn’t have been one of those that some ask at those type events that they already know the answer to and frame it in a way that makes them seem really smart or ingratiates them to the people in charge by flattering them.
Nope. I would have asked them, why do you need 10 years to finish this project if you are as optimistic as you sound right now? Are you continuing the quest to prove that time isn’t money? Isn’t the goal to get in and out and make your dough as quickly as possible? How can it take 10 more years to finish this thing now after the original work is already about one third complete and the plan back then was to get it all finished in five years?
I mean, if I am doing the math right, in 10 more years the total construction of Base Village will have taken 23 years and I will most likely be a grandpa — if, I am in fact even still alive, which realistically, not all of us will be.
For more perspective, if they all happened back-to-back, the entire Aspen silver-mining era could have been completed and both World Wars I and II fought to the bitter end in 24 years. A lot can happen in a quarter of a century except, apparently, here.
And with that, I probably jinxed us … again. Over the course of a decade, there is probably a better chance than not of something happening locally or globally that will set this project back once more. As I’ve mentioned, we are overdue for another recession, probably a war or two, too.
Climate change is acting weird and who knows what that might result in?
For all anyone knows, they might uncover some rare dinosaur bones when they start digging again. Maybe, even, the entire world will finally figure out what a rip-off timeshares are, no matter what they call them in the future, and they will pre-sell exactly none and the whole project collapse under its own weight, again.
Anyway, sorry I missed the big scene. But I will be sure my self-driving car gets me to the topping-off party; unless, of course, it happens to fall on one of my great-grandchildren’s birthday.
Roger Marolt is a patient man ready to be a patient in the new Base Village asylum. Email at email@example.com.
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The Aspen Camp for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing hosted the first in a series of volunteer service days focused on facilities work as the camp looks toward a possible reopening this summer.