Bumper stickers in Aspen bash developer
ASPEN – Bumper stickers criticizing a large redevelopment project in the heart of Aspen mysteriously turned up all over town Monday.”Obermeyer lied, Businesses died,” the sticker proclaims in bright red writing, referring to Obermeyer Place, a mixed-use development under construction between Rio Grande Place and East Bleeker Street. A cartoon graphic on the stickers shows two hands shaking.The project site, which is next to the recycling center and skateboard park, is owned by ski clothing magnate Klaus Obermeyer.Two stickers turned up Monday on the fence at the Obermeyer construction site, and Mayor Helen Klanderud and Councilmember Tim Semrau left a City Council meeting later that night to find the stickers on their cars at City Hall.The front window of The Aspen Times was garnished with a sticker sometime Monday night, as was a newspaper box in front of The Aspen Daily News.A number of businesses that were at the project site have been relocated around town and in the Airport Business Center during construction. There is space planned for the businesses in the new development. But some people were not satisfied with their relocation arrangements, or lack thereof.As of last night, whoever was responsible for the design, production and placement of the stickers remained a mystery.”It was unfortunate that, given that the mayor and I were in a public meeting 30 steps away, whoever the individual was didn’t simply walk into City Hall and tell us what was on his or her mind,” Semrau said. “Even though some people think the city is modeled after communist Russia, this is a free place and I would welcome whatever comments they had.”Semrau added that he believes Obermeyer has done everything possible to keep the displaced businesses intact. He wishes that the critic would come forward so they can discuss the issue.”I think it’s underhanded, inaccurate, and I don’t think it should be elevated higher than what it is, which is graffiti,” said Tim Belinski, manager of Obermeyer Redevelopment Co., saying he could think of no prime suspects. “I think this is just a bad apple in a barrel of good apples. It’s not good for the community or the project, and I’d rather focus on our successes.”Belinski said seven relocated businesses have signed leases for locations in the new development, and six are in talks with developers.But Mona Long, owner of Main St. Quick Print and Copy Center, is currently feuding with Obermeyer about her relocation spot on Hopkins Avenue. When Long was relocated she reportedly found mold in the building’s walls. She complained, and a dispute flared to the point where Obermeyer officials are pursuing eviction proceedings.She expressed surprise when told of the stickers Tuesday.”I don’t know anything about this, but it’s interesting,” she said.
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