Redevelopment plan includes two hotels, shops, restaurants, museum. Members of the public on Monday were given their first formal chance to scrutinize what would be the largest development project Aspen has seen in decades.
By Carolyn Sackariason, Nov. 11, 2008, The Aspen Times, Aspen, CO Colorado

The Aspen City Council held its first public hearing on the Lift One Master Plan, which proposes hundreds of thousands of square feet in commercial and residential space. The development would completely overhaul the historic Lift One neighborhood at the base of Aspen Mountain, bringing vitality to a dilapidated area of town, planners say.

It’s a proposal led by the four main property owners on the 8-acre site — the city of Aspen, the Aspen Skiing Co., and the developers of two proposed hotels — Roaring Fork Mountain Lodge-Aspen LLC., and Centurion Partners.

The plan includes two large hotels, retail shops, a brew pub, restaurants, affordable housing, a ski museum and other public spaces on both sides of South Aspen Street.

Despite its massiveness and high profile in the community, only a handful of residents commented on the master plan Monday night. Resident Toni Kronberg suggested that there will likely be lawsuits and a referendum attempting to overturn an affirmative vote by the council if several issues aren’t addressed first.

The Lift One Master Plan serves as a land-use application for the entire site. It was recently passed by a 27-member task force charged with creating a new development scheme for the area. The group had been meeting every week since April, collectively logging more than 2,000 hours toward the effort.

“There is no question that this is the largest project that has come before you,” said Bob Hoover, an attorney representing Mountain Queen condominiums. “These are massive buildings that will require massive [digging.]”

He added that when one considers the Wal-Mart in Glenwood Springs is smaller than one of the buildings proposed in the master plan, its largeness is “astounding.”

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