Marolt: The excitement is building (a new façade) | AspenTimes.com

Marolt: The excitement is building (a new façade)

Roger Marolt
Cluster Phobic
Roger Marolt

The façade on Snowmass Base Village is worn, stale, outdated, and in dire need of rejuvenation. This is not some metaphor describing the executive team at Related Conglomerated Amalgamated, LLP, Etc. Etc., Inc., although I see how you could be mistaken.

I mean what I said literally. The false front nailed over the unfinished mess that is the dark, ages-old renaissance of Snowmass Village has weathered poorly and now looks like the hell it is supposed to be hiding.

I know, you don’t even see it anymore. It’s like repressed scenery we can’t bear to look at for the nightmares it conjures. When we stare into it, we see ourselves 15 years younger and much stupider for voting for the real estate project that logic rejected. For those of us who didn’t vote for it, we stare into it and see Mel Blumenthal kissing Jim Crown on the lips. Either way, it’s terribly painful.

Unfortunately, we can’t ignore the shabbiness of the fake front to our humble town that, no matter how invisible it has become to us, is situated on the northeast corner of the Disaster by the Patster, perched above our soon-to-be-completed concentric traffic circles, and is our face to the rest of the world. Think of that face as a pimpled, grizzled mug haphazardly obscured by a sparse, curly beard full of dandruff with a little snot strung below a crooked nose. Now you’ve got the picture.

The Base Village façade is faded, the color scheme is outdated, and the rebar sticking out of the top is degraded and rusty. From a distance, it resembles a poorly-cared-for haunted house on the back of a flatbed truck in a traveling carnival. Once you get up close you feel pretty good because you believe your nearsightedness has corrected itself.

This is embarrassing, my Village Peeps. The façade on a construction project is not supposed to outlive the warranty on its paint job. Iron sticking out from the tops of unfinished pillars is not modern art. Warped sheets of plywood are not architectural features. The only thing appropriate about the walls caving down on our image are the painted black, perpetually dark windows decorating the otherwise atrocious depiction that has become as permanent in our town as the inexplicable booths in the always-empty parking lot just northeast of the Rodeo roundabout.

I know, I know; why should we go ahead and waste a bunch of time, effort and money to fix the stupid façade? It’s only going to be up another year, or so. …or so. …or so. …or so etc., etc., etc.

My thinking is I won’t be alive to see the plywood curtain come down. I know they said the same thing about the Berlin Wall, and just over 30 years later it was gone, so I suppose you never know, but I’d rather err on the conservative side and just assume the Façade Over The Clod is permanent.

Thus capitulated, I would like to begin the process of modernizing our cover-up. My wish is that nobody will ever know there is a crime scene behind it. Instead of particle board, I want to create an illusion of success with glass and brushed aluminum. Let’s get some electricity flowing to real fake lights behind authentic phony windows. Let’s raise the ruse another story to hide the indecent sign of a failed real estate scam — naked rebar. Would it kill us to put a Styrofoam sidewalk out front with a toy newspaper box next to a balsawood bench? The town must have the shell of an old shuttle bus we could park permanently out front. It’s the illusion of vitality we’re after, after all. Is there such a thing as a LEED-certified smokescreen?

The finishing touch should be that thing that adorns all failed projects that need desperately to lay claim to a new beginning after the abject disaster of their past is indisputably well-known to all disinterested passersby. It is the last-ditch effort that isn’t resorted to until all other remedies are tried and failed. The message this trick implies is one thing while the reality may be completely another. It proclaims to the world that everything is different, but the truth may be that nothing has changed. Close examination of its words will reveal misunderstanding at worst and ambiguity at best.

The façade of Snowmass Base Village should fly a banner over itself when the makeover is complete. “Under New Management” will be its crowning deceit.

Roger Marolt knows that the tide that lifts all boats has become a mudslide in Snowmass Village. roger@maroltllp.com


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