Will the long-debated Pandora’s expansion at Aspen finally come to fruition? The latest developments from Pitkin County indicate that the expansion will finally take place. The Aspen Times reports the Pitkin County Commissioners voted to approve the project in a straw poll conducted on Wednesday. This comes after years of debate between Aspen Skiing Company and the Pitkin County, and an initial no vote from the Committee in 2019. It initially looked like the County was going to vote down the plans again, but thanks to negotiations, along with the threat to build real estate at the top of the mountain, the company was able to persuade one of the swing votes. Francie Jacober, who voted against the plan in the 2019 campaign, is in favor of Pandoras this time around for two reasons: Aspen Skiing Company is promising to not add real estate development in Pandoras along within two parcels the Richmond Ridge with the approval of these plans, and there is overwhelming support among the community for the expansion, which was displayed during the public comment period. One of their Commissioner recused herself due to having a conflict of interest in the case( her son-in-law works at the company).
If the plan is ultimately approved, the expansion will add one hundred and fifty skiable acres to the mountain impressive six hundred seventy-five acre network of terrain. The terrain pod will feature a mix of glades and a high-speed quad chairlift. Public comments will be accepted until November 10th. The next meeting between the council and the Aspen Skiing Company will occur on November 17th, where they will “hammer out details on formal approval documents.” With these latest developments, approval will occur shortly after.