Buying what the town’s brewin’
Truth be told, The Aspen Times wasn’t devastated when it learned the Town of Snowmass Village ended the BYOB policy at the free summer concerts. Sure, we were disappointed and, like virtually everyone else, began pondering ways to bring our booze anyway. But the BYOB policy hardly topped the list of local crises, so we had a hard time getting worked up.This week, however, Snowmass Village dug itself in even deeper. The town’s public relations machine announced Tuesday that, since the town will sell alcohol at the concerts, the proceeds from said sales will be transferred to a handful of local nonprofit organizations. This is a transparent ploy for positive publicity, but that’s not the really bothersome part.Listen to what Snowmass Village has created in order to satisfy Thursday-night music fans: “Three to four beer and wine selections of varying quality and prices will be offered both at 14 taps at three different bar stations on the hill and by four roaming vendors, while an on-site wine cellar will also be available to purchase more expensive full bottles of wine.”This sounds like the VIP box at Coors Field, not the free concert series in Snowmass Village. It’s too big, too much, too ridiculous.In addition, this plan places all the responsibility and liability on the town, when it used to rest with each and every one of us, the spectators. The next time some bozo has too much to drink and punches out an innocent bystander, the town will have to lawyer up and defend itself against charges of overserving.And speaking of drinking too much, there’s this oddball notion of donating proceeds from alcohol sales to nonprofits. Nothing against the organizations themselves, but if there’s a profit being made on each $2 beer, then we’d rather have lower prices. It also seems to us that the unintended message is, “Drink more! It’s for a cause!”This community is duly proud of its nonprofits, but they have nothing to do with this concert series, let alone the town’s alcohol policy.This is all a bizarre overreaction to a perceived controversy. We’d rather not buy beer from the town, but if we must, then make it cheap and simple: Lower the price of a beer and let spectators write checks to nonprofits of their own choosing.
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