Aspen electeds reluctant to open economy but approve $500K loan for marketing – Aspen Times

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Aspen City Hall.
Aspen Times file photo

As Aspen’s elected officials voiced their reluctance to reopen the local economy in favor of public health and safety, City Council on Monday agreed to loan the chamber of commerce $500,000 for its new marketing plan in a COVID-19 world.

The loan will match the $500,000 the Aspen Chamber Resort Association is pulling from its reserves for its “restorative destination marketing” plan.

“We are bringing this forward with the community in mind,” said Eliza Voss, the director of marketing for ACRA. “We don’t want Aspen to fall off the map.”

ACRA’s strategic plan provides a road map for phased recovery, based on local public health orders, which restrict commerce and gatherings to slow the spread of COVID-19.

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“This is the easiest decision that I’ve had to make in the last eight to 10 weeks,” said Councilman Ward Hauenstein during a work session Monday.

He added, however, that council and others involved in the response to the COVID-19 crisis are in the “impossible position of saving businesses and saving lives.”

Mayor Torre said he was concerned
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