Eye of the beholder
The story about the family that rented the entire Hotel Jerome for a long weekend party is an instant Aspen classic. The best part was all the controversy it generated. I thoroughly enjoyed the letters to the editor and colorful newspaper columns taking sides in this “issue.”
Everyone needs to take a deep breath in this town and chill out. The newspapers described the family as “obscenely” wealthy. Many of the locals concurred. This is emblematic of a confused line of thought by some who live in Aspen, that we live in a town of “haves and have-nots.” Here is a dirty little secret: In reality, Aspen is a town of “haves and have-mores.”
The vast majority of us are high school graduates and college-educated, well traveled and sophisticated. Just because most of us aren’t billionaires does not mean we are destitute. In fact, it is quite likely that the poor homeless guy, whom we inconsiderately shipped off to North Dakota in the winter, would say that the critical letter writers who have roofs over their heads, three square meals a day and affordable housing units are “obscenely wealthy.”
Moreover, if you want to criticize someone for spending money frivolously, look in the mirror and explain to the guy staring back why you spend a couple of grand on a lift ticket every year to slide down snow when that money could feed an entire village of starving children in Darfur. Clearly, obscene wealth, just like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.
Our favorite Aspen drunks easily could have staggered into 50 other bars in town this past weekend. The fact that the only thing they could find to complain about was their inability to buy a beer at the Jerome, or about the slow-to-improve ski conditions, is proof positive about how fortunate we all are to live in Aspen, Colo.
And on a final note, I walked past the J-Bar the night after the investment bankers left town. It was mostly empty.
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Sick of not being able to find a parking place on Lone Pine Road because people are storing their cars and trailers? That’s about to change.