Remember the locals
Dear Editor:It still amazes me to see local city government and civic leaders spending time and money looking for the solution to the declining economy in the Aspen core area. So-called experts have been brought in and paid a considerable salary to find a solution and revitalize the “core.” Flash! Changing sidewalks, blocking streets, new parking garages, etc., “ain’t gonna change nuttin’.”Save the money spent on experts! The answer is right there in front of everyone who looks and sees. Simple and free! Make the Aspen core economically local friendly.Between the greedy commercial landlords and housing landlords cashing in over the past 10 to 15 years, they together have succeeded in eradicating the small-town charm we once had with local mom-and-pop businesses, forcing them out of business and forcing the locals to move to affordable housing downvalley. And with that, so goes the shopping and dining traffic.Who is around during the offseason? Locals! Yet not enough has/is being done to keep locals’ traffic, nor give them a reason to spend their money here. The greed goes on. (Like the oil companies and liquor distributors cashing in on us, claiming higher distribution expenses, because we are an extra hour or two down the road.)Or, maybe it is just the way our society is today – all that counts is winning and the one who dies with the most wins. No matter who is stepped on, what is destroyed, or what laws are broken getting there.Aspen has been catering to the glitz/high-end crowd for years now and look where it has taken the town. A Rocky Mountain High Rodeo Drive? (John must be turning in his grave !)The city is almost paranoid about removing all signs of winter trying to get the snow out of sight after each snowfall. One could almost see the day when a plastic dome is placed over the town. Shielding the tourist from all elements, keeping town clear of snow, a perfect and constant 76 degrees, with a window pane to look out to see a mountain. And V.R. machines for skiing, wandering cocktail waitresses and models walking around with the latest fashions from New York and Paris. Everyone talks about how great Aspen “used to be.” Yet no one seems to want to try to recapture at least some of that old charm.I guess we can wait for the coming implosion and start over. Or … do what is needed now – and that is for the city and civic leaders to sit down and take a good look at Aspen as it is today. Then decide what they want this town to be in the future. And last, find the guts to make the decisions needed to make it happen.Jim FosterGlenwood Springs
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