Maybe Chittenden needs a real job
October 29, 2002
I was appalled by a recent column written in the Aspen Daily News by Stuart Chittenden which assaulted the “typical Aspen shopper,” and store owner Lily Garfield, whose description Mr. Chittenden quoted. Let me try to get things straight here.
In the news almost daily now is a cry for more locally-owned stores. Lily has somehow managed to run a successful, locally-owned retail business in Aspen for over 25 years, while other businesses barely make it here 25 days.
Further, Lily has personally worked in her store, serving and meeting clients during that timeframe, and has tried to understand and adapt to their needs, no doubt leading to her being able to stay in business for as long as she has.
I’m not sure of Mr. Chittenden’s background, but if there is anyone in this town who could describe the typical Aspen shopper, for better or worse, it would be Lily. Further, being another member of the increasingly rare breed of locally-owned store owners, I would agree with her description.
Mr. Chittenden has every right to dislike the “typical shopper,” but I ask him to keep in mind that the shopper described spends a fair amount of money in stores like Lily’s and mine, therefore creating jobs, tax revenue, etc., and enabling local stores to hopefully have a chance to survive and prosper.
I’m not anxious to see those shoppers leave or be insulted by such frivolous attacks. Like it or not, Aspen is a tourist resort, and it is silly to bite the hand that feeds us. Further, it is unfair and unnecessary to see a successful, local store owner criticized for her accurate assessments.
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I’ve noticed that the Cos Bar is advertising for employees; perhaps if Mr. Chittenden would like to get to know the typical shopper or local store owner better, and see that they are not so deserving of his contempt, he might want to apply for the job.