Get real about the problem |

Get real about the problem

Dear Editor:

It somehow never occurs to the hysterics at The Aspen Times to do anything other than portray people making business decisions as “The Evil Greedy Capitalist Enemy,” instead of acknowledging certain obvious “realities” about Aspen (“Landlords reaching a new low with rent spike,” Aug. 22).

First on the list of elephantine living room occupants is this: Aspen properties are obscenely expensive, and there’s a very real risk associated with purchasing them; particularly now, with all this torrid “we-versus-them” rhetoric that’s conjuring the ghost of Robespierre pushing his guillotine along Aspen’s gilded streets.

Recent City Council realignments have added to this ersatz-populist fervor, and Times journalists gleefully feed fuel to the flames, substituting high school ardor for intellect.

When the purchaser of an Aspen property ventures into these choppy waters, he has every reason to be concerned about his investments; perhaps even more so than he’s concerned about his adopted tenants in the martial arts studio, the tile store, or the mom and pop pet shop. Is he a heartless monster, or is he simply a shrewd businessman; and why are our Aspen Times scribes hardwired, always, to the former assumption?

It’s wrong for journalists at The Aspen Times to incite the torch-bobbing mob to “action,” while repeating completely ridiculous and unsupported rumors about the owners’ future ambitions. The author of this hit-piece has little more than tea-leaf-reading and bone-tossing to back up his speculations, and this constitutes ” for any sort of serious journalist ” “a new low” in professional conduct.

If the Times is going to sponsor such idle speculation, it should have the courage of its convictions and assign a face and name to its ruminations; run this as a column, whose author steps forward proudly, instead of an “editorial” whose author peeks from beneath a dust-ruffle.

The core of commercial Aspen may very well be beyond the reach of a tile store owner, and this is a sad reality, but it’s certainly not the result of a cabal of heartless schemers busily sticking pins into wax figurines for their amusement.

How many tile stores and martial arts dojos are there along Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills? I’m betting the number is zero. This is entirely an economic, cause and effect outcome, and it’s entirely predictable that small businesses will be forced to relocate to less expensive space outside the town’s commercial core.

If the tile store tenant relocates to the ABC, does this sound the death knell for Aspen, or does it help to mitigate downtown Aspen’s current work-truck congestion?

Let’s be real, shall we? This is not a conspiracy to hurt anyone ” least of all “local businesses.” It’s simple economics, cause and effect, and it’s not something that even Mick Ireland.

Not even at the behest of the Fairness Police at The Aspen Times.

Addison Gardner