Dear Editor:When the community plan was assembled, Aspen residents who lived here called it home and today John Updike’s poem pretty well sums it up:The superrich make lousy neighbors -they buy a house and tear it downand build another, twice as big and leave.They’re never there; they own so manyother houses, each demands a visit.Entire neighborhoods called fashionable,bustling with servants and masters, such asLouisburg Square in Boston or Bel Air in L. A.,are districts now like Wall Street after darkor Tombstone once the silver boom went bust.The essence of the superrich is absence.They’re always demonstrating they can affordto be somewhere else. Don’t let them in.Their money is kind of poverty.(Autumn 1998 issue of The American Scholar)Less of us live here year round and those of us who do, have neighbors who are here two or three weeks a year and maybe not even that, but use their 8- to 10-bedroom houses as a bed and breakfast for friends or business associates which is why we don’t need to have small hotels any longer. Today it’s “timeshare,” more people, less money and restricted use of small apartments which does not build a community, civic or otherwise. Now timeshare is presently organized, I think, by real estate people but just wait until an algorithm does the work, then no human hands will be needed and home will be a concept of the past.A roundabout way to make a suggestion: Perhaps it’s time to think entertainment as a city function and maybe education too so Aspen could be a first in buying an independent bookstore and a historic movie house. All these timeshare people crammed into apartments are going to want to see movies and perhaps read books, eat healthy food and bask in the glow of yesteryear ambiance, bring their friends and have the real experience. Buying Explore and Isis would give them an experience better than virtual reality and we would be the first to provide it.Think about it.Maggie DeWolfAspen
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Gov. Jared Polis announced Wednesday that via executive order he has suspended collection of the 2.9% sales tax that businesses must typically return to the government. That means businesses affected by the executive order — bars, restaurants and food trucks — can hang onto an extra $2.90 per $100 in revenue.