Friday letters: Hershey explains pot vote decision, plus Hotel Denver responds and Safeway redevelopment plans spur comment

Pot shop hours election context

I wanted to briefly respond to the Post Independent’s editorial, “Forever Elections” (Post Independent 4/17/23). I appreciate the frustration with the City Council putting the marijuana closing time question to a vote. But I wanted to clarify what happened when the council voted 5-2 to take the time extension for marijuana dispensaries to the electorate for a decision.

One, this matter was brought first to the Planning and Zoning Commission who voted against it. Then, a group of owners/citizens organized a petition drive and successfully acquired enough signatures to place this issue on the ballot. That is their right under the City Charter. That left Council with two choices: 1. place the question on the ballot, or 2. agree to the 10 p.m. closing time, verbatim. There could be no compromise, no limitations on locations, nothing. The decision was simply yes or an election. 

That is not failing to “make policy,” that is being forced to choose 10 p.m. everywhere

Secondly, Council was never presented an opportunity to negotiate with the petitioners. Had they had that chance perhaps we could have compromised on times and locations. A dispensary open till 10 p.m. in the downtown area is far different than a location in a residential area. And 8 or 9 p.m. seems like a more reasonable time to many. Alas, that ship sailed with the submission of a petition, and the Council was faced with a binary choice.

Finally, I have no issue with the people getting to vote on something that directly affects them. I disagree with the P.I. that a business with lots of traffic is “unlikely to have any great impact.” People in our residential neighborhoods are entitled to peace and quiet, and maybe I am getting too old, but 10 p.m. seems late. Regardless, like the PI, I encourage everyone to vote and decide what they want.

Tony Hershey, Glenwood Springs

Hotel Denver responds

After reading the letter printed on April 17, titled ‘Don’t Change Iconic Hotel Denver,’ we would like to offer a response.

Thank you for being so passionate about the Hotel Denver, and our beautiful city. The owner of the hotel lives locally and has raised his children in the valley, and I’ve lived in the valley for 22 years. I’ve been the General Manager of the Hotel Denver for many years and we both have a tremendous amount of love for the hotel and the community. 

While change isn’t always easy, progress is impossible without it. Glenwood has seen an incredible transformation over the past 20 years and in an effort to cater to the future generations of visitors we are presenting fresh, modern, upscale accommodations, while still honoring the incredible history of the building.    

While we have upgraded creaky old beds and sagging furniture, we have kept many of the beautiful antique pieces in many rooms and hallways, and the refreshed lobby will prominently feature many of these treasures alongside comfortable new furniture.

We have worked tirelessly over the past 12 months planning for the improvements to the hotel, and I encourage you, or any other readers, to please stop by and I’d be happy to personally show you around and give you a little more insight into the property and the plans that we have in place.

Roger Smith, General Manager, Hotel Denver

Need a new grocery, not mixed use

We need a second supermarket before we need 187 apartments and 15,000 square feet of commercial space at the old Safeway in Glenwood Springs. 

City Market has no competition and that’s not good. I had an employee laugh at me when I used self checkout incorrectly, and then mumble to a colleague while I was standing directly in front of her. I complained to headquarters about her and received no response. 

I have been doing most of my shopping at Natural Grocers since then. We need two supermarkets in Glenwood. A Trader Joe’s or a Sprout’s would be a perfect fit for the area. 

I urge the Planning Department to turn down this mixed-use development.

Joan Isenberg, Glenwood Springs

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