The Aspen Daily News: Parties must agree on short list for next round of Lift 1A study

 A working group seeking to devise new infrastructure for the Aspen Mountain portal at Lift 1A must settle on a short list of options to be studied in further detail before the project can move forward.

As part of that process, the city and a consulting firm that designs ski-lift systems are asking the Aspen Skiing Co. and two hotel developers with plans for land to be impacted to determine what qualitative issues might prevent them from getting on board with any of the specific options.

Those options — whittled down after SE Group presented nine initial scenarios last fall — appear to consist of a single-stage lift extending to Dean Street, an additional 500 feet down the hill from current loading terminal; a single-stage lift going roughly to Gilbert Street, which is about halfway between the current base and Dean Street; or a multi-stage alignment that loads at Dean with a stop at the planned Gorsuch Haus at the top of the South Aspen Street hill, where the existing lift loads.

Each scenario presents challenges. For example, some have questioned whether the quality of the skiing experience for the last 500 feet, as well as operational challenges related to snowmaking and grooming, would be a deal breaker for a lift that extends to Dean Street. Others feel this is not a sufficient reason to not bring the lift down the hill, as the surrounding parcels are blanketed by new hotel development.

The lift-to-Gilbert scenario may be a half measure that politically satisfies no one and requires a major redesign and potential loss of square footage for the Lift One Lodge.

A two-stage lift requires packing more loading and unloading infrastructure into an already challenging circulation picture, but has the advantage of allowing repeat skiers to avoid going through a narrow park to get back to the lift, alleviating operational challenges.

Read more here

The Aspen Times: A Lift 1A replacement on Aspen Mountain a lot to digest for City Council

The Aspen Times: A Lift 1A replacement on Aspen Mountain a lot to digest for City Council

The land-use application seeking Aspen City Council's approval of a new hotel on Aspen Mountain will remain on hold so that key players seeking to recharge the Lift 1A side of the ski area can reach a consensus on where a new lift would be placed.

That was the upshot of a Monday work session among City Council, Aspen Skiing Co. and the developers of the already approved Lift One Lodge and the proposed Gorsuch Haus hotel, which followed a three-hour open house for the public to review various lift-site scenarios.

In front of a crowd that crammed City Council Chambers for a meeting that consumed more than 31/2 hours, Aspen's elected officials heard a broad overview of the various lift-location options from Chris Cushing of the SE Group, a consultant firm that has come up with nine different ways a replacement of the historic Lift 1A could be used on Aspen Mountain.

They also heard from representatives of Lift One Lodge, Gorsuch and Skico, as well some residents, a few of whom lobbied that a new lift should follow the same path as the current one up for replacement. Read more here. 

The Lift 1A Assessment Report is Released, October 2017

SE Group has been engaged by the City of Aspen to undertake a third-party assessment of the Lift 1A replacement project as it relates to proposed developments of the Gorsuch Haus and Lift One Lodge properties, and create a skiers’ link to the original ski area portal near Dean Street. SE Group’s assessment involves evaluating potential optional lift configurations, and outlining regulatory, physical, and operational considerations for providing enhanced skier access to the original mountain portal near Dean Street.

A total of nine different scenarios were analyzed for the replacement of Lift 1A, representing a broad range of lift configurations and skier return routes servicing a potential skier portal at the proposed public transit drop-off at the southeast corner of South Aspen and Dean Streets. This is an initial study of options related to the replacement of Lift 1A, which is based only on an evaluation of key planning determinants related to the Skier Experience, the Functionality and Operations aspects of the options, broad-scale Land Ownership considerations, and Regulatory factors related to lift installations and the historic Lift 1 structures. This study does not include a detailed engineering analysis, evaluation of commercial/lodging impacts and viability, legal constraints or neighborhood outreach, and it must be recognized that any of these factors could render an option infeasible.

You can view the full report here

An Invitation To The Community

An Invitation To The Community

The City of Aspen’s Lift 1A Placement Report is complete and on Monday, October 30, 2017,  you can see what may be possible (and what’s not) for Lift 1A alignment and location options.

Last spring, the City engaged SE Group to analyze and evaluate potential locations for a new Lift 1A terminal. SE Group is an established industry leader in mountain community and ski resort planning and design. In conjunction with the open house, the SE Group Lift 1A Assessment Report will be available online at the City of Aspen website:

On Monday, October 30, the City is holding two events around the Lift Placement Report: a midday open house from 11 am to 2 pm, followed by an evening City Council work session. During the open house, you will have a chance to review the options under consideration and SE Group’s analysis, as well as submit your thoughts on comment cards. The City Council work session starts at 5 pm and will include a presentation by SE Group. During that session, public comment will be allowed.

The Gorsuch Haus team appreciates all the work the city and the other stakeholders have put into this report. We encourage you to become informed on the future of Lift 1A: attend either or both events and share your thoughts.