Chain us up right | AspenTimes.com

Chain us up right

Dear Editor:First, I would like to express my heartbreak that Explore Booksellers is being sold. I know there was a group that was fighting to preserve it, and I am not abreast of the latest status of their efforts, but I imagine that it’s a simple numbers game: The dirt the building is on is worth more than the business, however successful it may be. I’m all for the healthy real estate market here in the valley, but when you loose a community resource such as a unique and wonderful bookstore, as well as THE ONLY vegan restaurant in town, one has to wonder if, perhaps, it’s gone a bit too far.Farther downvalley, I’ve read that City Market is planning on adding a Starbucks coffee shop to their store. Now if there’s one thing we DON’T need any more of, it’s Starbucks coffee shops. They are everywhere you go! Why do people line up all over the world for over-priced, too-strong coffee and stale pastries? Why!? Why would you put a cookie-cutter coffee shop somewhere when you could put something unique and wonderful there instead?There are numerous locally-owned coffee shops in the valley, and I treasure each of them. Basalt’s Canteen is close to home and a frequent stop for me. Ink! is the only place in Aspen where you can get real hot chocolate (made with MILK! Chocolate flavored hot water? No thanks!). Part of what makes our valley such a great place to visit is the local character of the towns. If you fill the towns up with all the same corporate stores that you see everywhere else, then you kill the unique flavor of the community. You can go to Starbucks anywhere, but you have to be in Aspen to go to Zéle Cafe.OK, so maybe it’s inevitable. The big chain stores are going to chase us down and infiltrate our happy little valley sooner or later. Developers, if you MUST bring chain stores here, then at least pick ones that are going to provide a product that is not currently available in our community. At my last check there was no shortage of coffee, but we could really use some affordable clothing stores! Express, The Limited and Anne Taylor would be at the top of my request list, though the boys should also get a vote.Maureen JacksonBasalt

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