Writing Switch: Compromising positions in Aspen’s highest office
Benjamin Welch and Sean Beckwith
While a number of candidates clamor for two open City Council seats and the mayoral throne, we’ve decided our fastest path to power is through the vacant city manager position. Knocking on doors, talking to strangers and ghostwriting endorsement letters to the editor on the campaign trail isn’t our forte, though it might be fun rumbling with a violent old man accusing us of tresspassing. Regardless, we respectfully submit our respective resumes for consideration in getting that Steve Barwick tenure to rule — ahem, manage — the city from Aspen’s highest position for the next 20 years:
How should Aspen change the Lift 1A corridor?
SB: Well, if the city, Gorsuch and Aspen Skiing Co. want us to help pay for a new lift, hotel, park and ski museum, it should be like a Green Bay Packers situation where we own a share of the team. I’m not entirely sure how that works but I’m talking tax-back bonuses for Aspen residents who work in the hospitality industry in the form of a share of the revenue from rich people hotel rentals.
In addition to that, the people get some version of an owner’s box at both hotels. It would work similarly to the various cabins on the ski areas utilized by, in this case, only Aspen residents for smoking weed, drinking beers and grilling meat for on-mountain celebrations, between lap breaks and what not.
BW: Instead of circumsizing Norway to make room for more luxury hotel, we should cut into “conservation” land to make the Norway run look exactly like the homeland, and because of which my allegiance to the Minnesota Vikings is eternally bound. Like all Scandinavian men I’m tall, dark and handsome. And by “dark” I mean the brooding kind; I can hardly get a goggle tan.
We should vote to build a skyscraper hotel (not too big — about the size of the Statue of Liberty) with a garden on the roof and use all our 100 percent renewable energy to grow the world’s fastest vegetables, like an InstaPot. That’s what horticulture at 11,000 feet will get you.
In this valley, Airbnb is one lawsuit away from becoming the next Backpage. If you give the huddled masses hot beds that are too cheap, they’ll be hawking them at the front of the new Marolt Open Space straight shot.
What’s your solution to the traffic problem at the Entrance to Aspen?
BW: Instead of a light rail, we need a big, orange Hotwheels-style ramp that cars will shoot through. Those with the highest electric voltages will be able to make the jump while the gas-guzzlers drop into a virtual demonstration of driving a Tesla up Independance Pass.
Has anyone ever been to the Marolt Open Space? What is an Open Space? Can I just walk back there with a picnic basket and eat cheesecake? Can I go skeet shooting? What do Lil’ Jon and duck hunting have in common, anyway? If the straight shot helps save climate change by removing the pollution caused by stalling vehicles waiting to get through the S-curves for two hours every time there’s a snowstorm, my aim is true. As a utilitarian authoritarian, I believe relocating a few deer and squirrels to solve a 40-year quarrel and stave off armageddon is morally compatible.
SB: Clearly my opponent has been hanging out with Elon Musk and Joe Rogan. There’s no need to pave over beautiful open space that is a staple of people who work out in Aspen. What we really need is a wall, and we’ll make Vail pay for it. It doesn’t even have to be a concrete wall. It could be a barrier, or aluminum slates, whichever affects property values the least.
There will be checkpoints, and if you’re one of the many Latinos or downvalley residents who make this fine city run, you get free passage. If you’re just driving in from Red Mountain so you don’t have to take public transportation with Gucci and Silverpeak bags, sorry, that’s not an excuse. Let the people who commuted from Rifle, worked on their feet and cleaned unspeakable messes get first dibs on parking.
What would you do to solve employee housing issues?
SB: I believe in all “Purge”-related solutions. No, I’m not talking about killing anybody. I’m suggesting a free-for-all on a random offseason day where those looking for housing gain 24-hour squatter rights. Second-home owners who don’t live here full-time need to experience the dire scramble for housing that forces people to bounce between Burlingame and Club Commons like a pinball machine.
Pack your storage units and get ready to lick silverware because this is literally king of the hill. Prepare yourself for standing water while you shower and malfunctioning ranges because I’m coming for that waterfall shower and stainless steel kitchen.
BW: You know you can solve that bathtub issue with an $8 bottle of Drano, right? But don’t take my word for it, ask the Tajikistan plumber.
I’ll immediately appoint Cale Mitchell as my minister of housing and get to work creating Hobbiton — nevermind that Moria has already been dug with LeBron James’ underground basketball court.
Skippy Mesirow and five other “The Bachelor” contestants must face off in a competition where they live together in a two-bedroom Centennial apartment. Last man standing wins the council seat vacated by Ann Mullins once she’s mayor.
Under Sean’s watch we’d have people camping out in abandoned castles along No Problem Joe Trail looking for weapons “Fortnite”-style. With my plan, the only thing we have to fear is tommyknockers and the Smuggler Mine’s Fourth of July cannon triggering a cave-in.
What’s your evil scheme to maintain a totalitarian regime?
SB: My opponent acts like I haven’t been shoving Drano down that pipe like it was food for a baby hippopotamus. To solidify my future as all-encompassing leader of Aspen, I would adapt to change, whether it’s building skyscraper hotels to accomodate Ikon passholders or adjusting for climate change.
No more snow? That’s easy. Just follow Skico’s lead and turn every mountain into an amusement park. Clearly, Glenwood Caverns is ahead of the curve. If that’s not your bag, we’ll just turn Buttermilk into one of those indoor ski areas that you see in Saudi Arabia.
*Pounds fists on table* We will not acquiesce! *Pounds fists again* For together we are stronger! *Exits to some patriotic Bruce Springsteen song*
BW: As a nonconfrontational, conflict-adverse millenial, I’m prepared to lead Aspen into the next generation of poor email communication, inconvenient last-minute vacations and locals-only parking secrets.
Militarize the winter closure gate and roundabout with ski patrollers and HOA presidents and aggressively refuse any and all contractor trucks, cranes and Ikon passholders. Electric Lime scooters are permitted and will soon be the only mode of transportation thanks to a new mobility lab proposal, SHIFT in2 GEAR. Beer delivery trucks get to use the bus lanes exclusively.
Finally, banish all skiers from Highlands. Snowboarders deserve a safe space to glide down a powder field without the whole thing turning getting moguled out to s— right away. Instead of a singles lift line, there will be one just for dad boarders.
Baseball is for everyone; hipsters, gamblers, and drinkers, it doesn’t matter. It brings people together sans the hostility of most sporting events, maybe it’s the calming effect of the greenest possible green that is the field’s grass.