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A heck of a town

Dear Editor:

My husband and I first visited Aspen in March 2010 and returned for two weeks this March in need of an escape. We certainly found that in Aspen. This open letter is a thank-you to the city for your warmth and hospitality and the personification of “mind, body and spirit.”

Thanks to The Aspen Times for publishing a free local paper we looked forward to reading every morning with our breakfast. There is just the right mix of news and entertainment.

To the people who work in the shops, restaurants and bars – thank you for greeting us with a smile and a “How are you today?” each and every time we walked in.

Thank you for being a town where people can leave their shoes under a bench, and their shoes will still be there when they return after a day of skiing.

Thank you for the solar-powered music system in the red gondolas on Ajax Mountain. The staff picks perfectly accompanied the spectacular view.

Thanks for fostering such a friendly and casual environment, where sitting on a barstool engages people in conversation – locals and tourists alike.

Thank you for what must be exhaustive measures to maintain such a clean town and to strive to preserve your mountains, lakes, trees, trails, etc.

Thanks to the person who returned the bike they stole to the Sheriff’s Office with a note signed “Drunk.”

Thanks for being a city with free shuttle buses with friendly and courteous drivers.

Thanks to whoever thought up the Iron Bartender competition. We accidentally walked into one, and it was a hoot.

Thanks to the late Lou Wille and to the generous people who donated his Chrome on the Range sculptures so people can enjoy them. We located five.

To all the people who work to keep the history of Aspen alive, especially Nina at the Wheeler-Stallard House, whose enthusiasm made us want to know more.

Thank you, CP Burger, for offering a spectacular tuna burger with kale and to Justice Snow’s for having tempura pickles on the menu and for serving the best chicken wings we have ever eaten.

Thanks for all the benches situated throughout the core, in the parks and on the trails. Sometimes it’s just nice to sit and watch.

Thanks for leaving Jennie Adair’s sawmill equipment along the Rio Grande Trail. It gives the space more soul.

Most of all, thanks for being such a great ski town and still offering so many options for nonskiers or for off-ski days. It was a struggle to keep this letter to 500 words and acknowledge all the people and places that made our vacation great.

Stephanie Cybruch

Toronto


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