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History of growth

Dear Editor:Aspen needs a sense of history. Thirty years ago, The New York Times wrote about John Denver and Aspen’s problems with growth.”There is one subject in town on which both growth and no-growth forces agree: It is John Denver, the folk singer and an Aspen resident. Everyone says they think he is a terribly nice, kind young man, but they wish be would stop talking and singing about Aspen. The no-growth people are mad at him because he constantly extols the virtues of Aspen. The growth forces are mad at him because lately he has been telling people: Aspen is nice, but don’t go there.” NYT, page 21, July 4, 1974.Many voters were on the same page with J.D. Growth was a dilemma for them, too. It was not kind to deny others the equal opportunity to move to this nice place. It was not Smart Growth for no-growth advocates to oppose tourism and real estate development, because they had no economic plan to replace them.The Times article warned that growth controls would turn Aspen into a very elite, upper-class resort and out of the lower classes’ reach. The no-growth advocates set out to save Aspen by calling the real estate and construction business people bad names.Where are the turkeys, greedheads, fast-buck artists and dirt-pimp developers of yesteryear? Today, they are now valuable members of the real estate industry that supports Aspen’s prosperous, second-home economy. Now, the town is working to put life back into its tourist business.John Denver solved his dilemma by moving into a gated community. Aspen followed suit by becoming an exclusive resort for the very wealthy.This New York Times article gives us a sense that a lot of Aspen’s history has been name-calling nonsense. Be Brave Comrades. KNCB MooreAspen

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