Roses and thorns |

Roses and thorns

The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado

A rose: To personnel with Mountain Rescue Aspen, the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office and Aspen Skiing Co. as well as the dozens of local residents and visitors who showed up at Aspen Highlands and the Highland Bowl area to assist with the search for skier Jeff Walker earlier this week. Walker, whose last known whereabouts were recorded at the ski area when his pass was scanned on March 7, is still missing, and while the on-mountain search has been suspended, privately sponsored efforts to find him continue.

A rose (and a thorn): To spring-breakers and other out-of-towners visiting the Aspen area this week for fun on the slopes and in the bars. We are glad you are here and spending your money at our many fine establishments, so have a great time. But don’t act a fool by getting in pointless arguments with the peace-loving folks who are doing their best to serve you amid a crowded atmosphere. And remember to tip your bartender or food server well – Aspen’s cost of living is among the highest in the nation.

A thorn (and a rose): To the anonymous man who runs the website, which takes aim at Skico’s $117 walk-up lift-ticket rate. You correctly point out that the $117 price is exorbitant – no arguments here. But your additional claim that Skico doesn’t publish the rate on its website is false (someone navigating the site can find it provided they take a little time, but it’s not on Skico’s home page). The thorn is being awarded because you wouldn’t give an Aspen Times reporter your name for the story on your initiative. Remaining anonymous hurts your credibility and smacks of cowardice.

A thorn: To three members of the Aspen City Council – Derek Johnson, Steve Skadron and Torre – along with Mayor Mick Ireland, because of their penchant for holding executive sessions. Before Monday’s regular meeting at City Hall, fellow Councilman Adam Frisch communicated that he didn’t believe that a closed-door session (barring the public and the media) on the valuation of the Mountain House Lodge property was warranted and that a general policy discussion on whether the city should involve itself in the hotel business should happen first. We agree with Frisch, although we still aren’t sure whether the main reason he brought up the issue was to separate himself from the others (all four council members are running for mayor). Still, in a general sense, it’s bothersome that the mayor and council have been all too happy to go into executive sessions over the past few years. In the name of government transparency, sensitive discussions should be conducted in the open.

A rose: To the Aspen High School ski team, which capped off its 2012-13 season with three individual state titles recently at the state skiing championships at Winter Park. The Skiers also nearly brought home a second consecutive state team championship, falling just a few points short after the two alpine events (slalom and GS) and two nordic events (skate and classic) for girls and boys. Hats off to freshman Hailey Swirbul, who took two state titles in the nordic races, and also to her brother, Keegan Swirbul, who won the state championship in the boys nordic classic race.

A thorn: To local restaurants, bars and retail stores that in recent years have abandoned the once-common 10 percent locals discount. It would behoove you to bring it back, whether formally or informally. Please give us a reason to eat, drink and shop here – during busy times as well as offseasons. Otherwise, we’ll be forced to take our business downvalley, where prices are considerably more reasonable.