Survey says: Aspen is pretentious |

Survey says: Aspen is pretentious

Abigail Eagye

Aspen has been overrun with surveys of late, and when it comes to development, opinions are many. But a recent poll by historic preservationist Les Holst and his White Shirts might have yielded important insight into the Aspen community: It appears the town is full of pretentious snobs.”Everything is a matter of opinion,” said Mayor Helen Klanderud. “If that was their experience here, I’m very sorry to hear that. I hear many other comments on how friendly people are.”Holst and the White Shirts distributed the poll during the Food and Wine Magazine Classic in June. Among other questions, the group asked, “What do you like least about Aspen?”Answers were many and varied, but a surprising number had comments about Aspen’s attitude: SnobsThe handful of pretentious peopleRich snobsFakeness and social climbing – materialistic vs. conserving and preservingThe rich CaliforniansWatch out not to get pretentiousMany snobby, pretentious peopleToo much moneyThe pretentiousness and price [gouging]Sometimes too elitist now with Prada, etc.Pretentious peopleTraffic, rich people who feel entitled to special treatment”I think Aspen has always, in some people’s mind, had that image,” Klanderud said. “That’s not new.”On the opposite end of the spectrum, a number of respondents answered “nothing” to the question about what they liked least about Aspen, with many indicating that they “like it all.”Others apparently didn’t like anything about the town. Some responses to the question asking what people like the least about Aspen include:The town – the mountainsThe construction, the rude people, smells, noise, too bigNo late food places openExpensiveThat it’s not closer to HoustonAltitude adjustmentThe mayor is quick to point out that the survey garnered a lot of positive responses about town as well – even from those who claimed Aspen is pretentious.The same person who stated that Aspen is “sometimes too elitist now with Prada” also said that what makes Aspen special is the “lovely small town feel” and “wonderful weather.” She also said the town is “awesome and friendly.”Klanderud said that is the overwhelming impression she gets from visitors, but, she said, “You only have to run into one person you did not have a good experience with to leave a bad taste in your mouth.”Others said Aspen is full of friendly people and called the town “beautiful, restful,” “quaint,” a “heavenly place to live,” “serene, peaceful,” “charming,” “magical” and “virtually unspoiled.”Parking, traffic, construction and the expense of living (or just plain existing) in Aspen were also frequently listed, although other surveys have meted out similar views. Poor service at several area restaurants also made the poll.Abigail Eagye’s e-mail address is


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