Time to declare our independence from Related | AspenTimes.com

Time to declare our independence from Related

Roger Marolt
Cluster Phobic
Roger Marolt

I feel like I have to assure you about something — I am not hoping that Base Village fails. It already has.

It has, in fact, failed so miserably that there is no room left to hope it fails anymore. It is such a disaster that there is no satisfaction whatever in saying, “I told you so.” Things are so far gone that it is not even worth burying. All the stinking meat has rotted off the bones and has long since turned to dust. The last attempts at resuscitation by its and-then-there-was-none developer, Related Amalgamated Whatever LLC, were so feeble that the only feeling it can evoke is embarrassment and the only thing left to hope is that you remember to turn your head as you drive past this carcass on your way to our deserted mall.

This is old news, of course. What I really want to confess is that I hope Related Amalgamated Whatever LLC fails. I really and truly hope it exits this place as soon as possible with more egg on its face than a nearsighted fox in the Easter Bunny’s hole and its tail so far between its legs that it’s gaging on it.

Just to make myself clear — I can’t stand Related Amalgamated Whatever LLC. It’s a bunch of stinking, lying, thieving, manipulative, arrogant, tail-dragging, shameless thugs with no sense of purpose or being. Further, I think they are the worst developers in the entire world, which means, in case you don’t quite catch my drift yet, that they are the worst possible developers who could have landed in our town.

All that’s left is hard work. What have you done for me lately, baby? Let’s just say I don’t see a lot of scrambling or sweat pouring off the brows of anyone at Related. Any lights on at night? Anybody working weekends?

How do I know this? That’s simple. Any ordinary, lousy developer with only average scruples for the industry would have been out of here a long, long time ago with their saddlebags loaded with loot. Does anyone remember Aspen Skiing Co. riding off into the sunset before the engagement ring it gave us turned our finger black? Even Intrawest got out of here holding its head up, even if it was on foot and with a slight limp.

But even this is not the reason I hope Related Amalgamated Whatever LLC leaves here a failure. The bottom line is that it doesn’t deserve to succeed. This is written in indelible red ink.

Last time I checked, we live in America, where ingenuity, opportunity and hard work pay off. Which of these three elements has Related capitalized on in Base Village?

Ingenuity? No. It took over a ridiculously overinflated project designed for perfect economic conditions, which existed in reality for all of a week or two in 2007, that had been hot-potatoed to it with two sets of burned fingerprints on it already. When that didn’t work out, Related declared bankruptcy, unloaded the project and a pile of debt with it and then, incredibly foolishly, bought it back for what could have only seemed like a good price to Related. Even Skico, the potential owner with the absolute most to gain by its development, passed on even low-balling in the white-elephant sale. Related has since parlayed this strategy into sitting and doing nothing until — well — nobody is quite sure until what happens.

How about opportunity? Look around and answer that for yourself. Related owns the center of one of the most popular ski areas in the world amid stunning natural beauty 9 miles west of world-famous Aspen. The only thing missing is the silver platter.

All that’s left is hard work. What have you done for me lately, baby? Let’s just say I don’t see a lot of scrambling or sweat pouring off the brows of anyone at Related. Any lights on at night? Anybody working weekends?

In a nutshell, Related Amalgamated has done nothing to deserve to be successful here. It has messed with our town. It has messed with our lives. I cannot think of one single, solitary local person who has benefited from its presence. Not one. Even its lawyers are from out of town. If Related leaves here with even a dime of profit, I will be sorely disappointed.

OK, so, if I am the only village person who feels this way, the people in the Related front offices can go ahead and have a good laugh over their cups of coffee this morning while they read this incredibly funny piece of fiction with their feet on their desks for a few minutes before they dig out their secret blueprints and get to work to make this project the pride of their portfolio.

If not, what’s the point of sticking around?

A firecracker went off in Roger Marolt’s head. Happy Fourth! Email roger@maroltllp.com.


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