Getting the boot leaves sour taste
I would like to share with you my recent experience with the Aspen Booting Company at the City Market.
Last Monday, during our two-day visit of Aspen and after an afternoon of cross-country skiing with my son, we stopped at the City Market at about 4 p.m. to buy our dinner; grilled chicken, bread and some fruit. Both of us are fairly new in this country and we were taken by the beauty of your town, the mountains and the kindness of the locals.
Unfortunately, that favorable impression was disrupted by the fact that after some 90 minutes in and around the store, our van got booted. I was shocked and since I had seen no warning signs anywhere, I thought it was a mistake. That was when Teddy Williams from ABC appeared to inform me that it was for real and unless I pay him $150 in cash within 15 minutes, things much worse and more expensive would happen.
Feeling struck and punished for a crime I did not commit, I pointed out that I did not have the money and also, actually I was a customer making purchases at City Market. ABC blamed me for parking there for three hours which was not true.
Tears in my eyes, Teddy walked me to the store to meet the manager, who, so he said, could order to let me go. With a new sparkle of hope I met John Hailey. It was just for the worse. Neither my tears, nor my pointing out the absence of a warning sign did me any good. John remained tough, stating that indeed the store hires the ABC company to boot the vehicles of its very customers overstaying their time. For their own good. Looking at my purchase receipt he remarked that if instead of some $20 I would have spent a hundred or so, he might let me go, indicating that customers like me have no value to him and the store ” it was a case of get the cash right now, where ever, in this foreign town, and after hours. I was bailed out by a stranger; having to stay an extra day for the banks to re-open so that I can pay them back, we continue our lives and travel, feeling robbed and violated, without any justice available in the beautiful and rich town of Aspen.
I hope you will publish this to let the residents know what tourists experience and take home from your town and maybe to plant some seeds of change. We keep our fingers crossed that those will grow and prosper to improve what needs to be.
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