Just how vibrant? | AspenTimes.com

Just how vibrant?

Dear Editor:We are a couple of visitors who have been spending a two-week vacation in Snowmass. We were here two years ago and we liked it so much we came back! We’ll be flying out on Friday, Feb. 4, and we probably won’t have heard the result of the vote on Base Village before we go, but we’ll make a point of checking after we get back.We had no really strong views on the proposal, but an incident this week made us think that there were some issues that need thinking about. We really like the idea of an improved skiing infrastructure, but we noticed that part of the reason for the changes was the need to modernize the facilities, including such things as more restaurants and bars, with the aim of creating a more vibrant nightlife and attracting more visitors, presumably like us. Well, early on Wednesday morning we were involved in an incident of intimidation and abuse in the corridor of the condo we are renting, which resulted in the police being called and at least one arrest being made. The case has yet to come to court, but it seemed to us that the root cause seemed to be excess alcohol following the end of the X Games, and those involved were said to be out-of-state employees of the X Games.This we accept was an isolated incident, and we cannot praise highly enough the response of the Snowmass police and the condo management, who took swift, effective and proportionate action, and we are grateful to them. Two things struck us, however. The first is the extent to which the X Games management vet their employees and associates, checking on previous violations, in this and other states, particularly involving alcohol abuse. Do they make it clear that any problems requiring police intervention will mean no further employment or involvement at future games? Secondly, and more generally, will the “more vibrant nightlife” envisaged with the new Base Village lead to an increase in such incidents and adversely affect the family-oriented atmosphere which Snowmass positively seeks to create, and which the new children’s center is intended to reinforce. Many European skiing resorts suffer from just this sort of alcohol/nightlife problem, and it would be a shame if an American resort which currently offers a welcome and safe environment, were to change for the worse.This is not to say we will never come back to Snowmass, as we have had very positive experiences; but it does make us wonder.Suzanne Phillips and Alex GallowayKenilworthUnited Kingdom

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