Better for the better

Dear Editor:Jim Breasted quotes Robin Molny when asked if there was anything better in Aspen now than in the ’50s: “Yes, the food” (“Do it for Robin, Mick,” Letters, March 13, The Aspen Times).I’ve only been here since 1971, but I’ll add a few other “betters” to the list. The skiing is way better (fast lifts, more terrain, snowmaking and incredible maintenance). In 1971, there were no bike trails, no Roaring Fork Transportation Authority, no Aspen Recreation Center and no affordable housing (now 2,000-plus units). The cross-country and pedestrian trail network is dramatically better, Highway 82 is four lanes (better for those who drive it, but I guess that is worse for the people who don’t). Our “ski-in, ski-out” schools are better, ranking among the best public schools in the country. I can fly in and out of Aspen in a jet, replacing Rocky Mountain Scareways. Facilities like the (not-so-new anymore) music tent, Harris Hall, Silver Circle Ice Rink, ACES and the downtown mall have been great additions. Our nonprofits have flourished, and many have a home in the former middle school (Red Brick), and preschool services are better, particularly given the addition of the former elementary school (Yellow Brick) to that service. And I’ll add as a “better” that Aspen did not sell out to intense development pressures and end up like Vail with “skyscrapers” in town. “Better” is obviously in the eye of the beholder, but I love events that have grown up here that were not here in the ’70s, like the Food & Wine Classic, the X Games, the Pro Challenge race, etc. I love this place, and in my view, it has gotten better in more ways than worse. Yeah, many miss the ’50s through ’70s, but those days are gone and not just in Aspen – everywhere. And yes, I would agree the food is better, and add that now we can even get it in the offseason, too, and I am all for food in the offseason.Scott WriterAspen


Professional dancers return to Aspen to perform in ‘The Nutcracker’

Roaring Fork Valley natives Emily Ridings and Nikki Ferry have come full circle when it comes to dance. Both studied dance with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet (ASFB) as kids, continued their training with other prominent schools, and now return this weekend, as ASFB presents “The Nutcracker” at Aspen District Theater.

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