OK, fellow citizens, here we go again. A proposal for another hotel went before the Ketchum Planning and Zoning Commission on Monday, July 29. This is important to us all for the following reasons.
While I am not opposed to new developments in our town, I am concerned, as we all should be, about the proposed location and exceptions to our city zoning laws. The new hotel location, if approved by the P&Z, will be at the intersection of Main and River streets, adjacent to the Limelight Hotel and facing the “phantom hotel project-large hole in the ground” at the gateway to Ketchum and our community. The hotel as proposed would appear at our entrance as a long, tall wall running along Highway 75. In addition, the hotel is asking for a height variance of 72 feet versus the zoning limit of 35 feet (Tourist zone). Another variance request is to put this large hotel on one acre of land when the legal requirement is three acres.
My major purpose of this letter is to make you aware of this application and the justification for another giant hotel.
As reported in the April 12 issue of the Idaho Mountain Express, we know, per a consultant’s report commissioned by Sun Valley Economic Development, that this past year’s winter occupancy rate hovered between 20 percent and 40 percent, rather than the 70 percent needed to be profitable. Do we really need more empty rooms?
Most assuredly, the location would create a traffic hazard, with or without a traffic light. Picture coming up the hill at the entrance to Ketchum during our peak visitor seasons. There are plenty of other locations for a new hotel—not at this critical location and certainly not at the size and scale proposed.
It seems reasonable to me that our city officials and various committees would better serve our community by promoting our lovely mountain town with its current hotels, restaurants and retail businesses.
So, my fellow citizens, I hope you will oppose the location of the proposed hotel.
Pat Duggan, Ketchum