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New Construction Of Affordable Lodging In Aspen? You Don't Say!

Developers newest plans for the site of the former Boomerang Lodge near the base of Aspen Mountain at Fourth Street and West Hopkins Avenue are for a hotel that is "intentionally not service oriented" in order to provide the rare commodity known as economy lodging in one of America's least affordable ski destinations. The change in plans comes as the city continues to push for the lofty goal of making the town more accesible to those outside of the 1%, and the plan for the Boomerang, which includes building 40 stripped-down hotel suites in the 200-300 square foot range, aims squarely for that goal. But in order to do so, the Maryland-based owners argue, they must have the option to build 17 free-market condos they could sell to individuals, since land and construction costs in Aspen are too high to make a living off just cheap lodging. By "cheap," of course, we're talking relative to the $400/night Aspen's full-service hotels charge on average; the new hotel would hope to be somewhere in the $175-200/night range.

The newest plan is one of several that has been put forward since 2006, and no doubt developers are trying to take advantage of incentives the city has put forward to encourage construction of new lodging, especially low and mid-range hotels. Jim DeFrancia, the local developer coordinating the project, has mentioned taking advantage of breaks on building, engineering and affordable housing fees, as well as an expedited review process.
· Developers pitch affordable lodge for Boomerang [Aspen Daily News]
· Boomerang Aspen archives [Curbed Ski]