Please don’t go! | AspenTimes.com

Please don’t go!

Dear Editor:

Time to express Aspen’s appreciation to second-home owners without whom everyone’s quality of life would be considerably reduced. No one can deny the vast amounts of money paid to the city by second-home owners in both annual real estate tax and sales tax, not to mention generous donations that provide for our social amenities as well as performing arts.

In addition to these funds, large private donations provide for Aspen’s many special attributes which make this town special: Aspen Music Festival, Aspen Institute, Theater Masters, Theatre Aspen, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, KAJX, ARC, Aspen Animal Shelter, Anderson Ranch, Aspen Art Museum, the Aspen Valley Hospital, and the list goes on and on.

Second-home owners own and operate our ski mountain, without whom Aspen would have a much more “corporate” ski mountain.

I would venture to say there isn’t a hardware store, florist, caterer, gas station, restaurant, dry cleaner, jewelry store, art gallery, health spa, transportation company, airline, landscaper, photo shop or pharmacy that could survive without the business of the second-home owners, not to mention the adoption of 30,000 little rubber ducks. Furthermore, part-timers use very few local services (schools, hospital, senior center, library, animal shelter, etc.), but they pay a huge proportion of these costs.

I have not done an analysis of the real dollars flowing into Aspen, but there can be no question the high quality of life we enjoy here and our elevated standard of living can only be attributed to the resources of second-home owners so freely flowing into city coffers.

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We’re thankful to those who live in Aspen part-time for appreciating the beauty of this special town, so it’s time to say thank you, and to encourage part-timers to stay longer because your presence brings vitality to Aspen and enriches our lives. Thank you for your generous participation which provides all Aspenites a quality life, but please, do stay longer!

Susan O’Neal

Aspen

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