Ireland’s description of Aspen disappoints | AspenTimes.com

Ireland’s description of Aspen disappoints

My husband and I were surprised to read in last Saturday’s Steamboat Today that Pitkin County Commissioner Mick Ireland (in a statement read by Pitkin County Commissioner Patti Clapper to an international conference, Mountain Resort Planning and Development in an Era of Globalization) wrote a paper describing Aspen:

“A downtown core that once offered three bookstores, two hardware stores and two drug stores now has none of the above. Offices dedicated to real estate sales showrooms and high-end luxury goods outlets now proliferate where local service businesses once stood.”

As second-homeowners (part of the problem, according to the conference) who live in Old Snowmass half of the year, we were aware that Aspen Drug and Eddie Bauer had closed, but had no idea that Aspen was losing so many stores. We love to shop at Explore Book Store, Carl’s Pharmacy, and the True Value Hardware Store in the Miners Building (but rarely brave the construction, traffic, and parking regulations just to go shopping in Aspen); please verify that they still are in business. Mr. Ireland’s statement makes it sound as though Aspen is turning into a ghost town like Ashcroft or Independence, with half-empty mansions of second-homeowners, posh real estate offices to sell the mansions, and glitzy stores of fancy clothes for charity balls to subsidize the workers who can’t afford to live there.

Mr. Ireland’s incorrect assertion does a disservice to the community and is especially disappointing coming from a Pitkin County Commissioner.

Ellen Janka

Snowmass