The Aspen difference |

The Aspen difference

Dear Editor:

As a neophyte Aspenite I thought I would share my recent experience of Aspen life, which I hope may remind residents of what a special place this is and perhaps encourage those yet to make the commitment to give Aspen the consideration it deserves.

My family is currently based in London but we have always wanted an American home to which we can return during vacations. Since 2007 we searched for a new home and considered many of the country’s great resorts. My family concluded that only Aspen had the all-year-round appeal and was a place that in the future we could live full time. Via an Internet inquiry on Sotheby’s website I was guided to Zack Feast, a young enthusiastic realtor and long-term resident of the valley.

As a professional fund manager I tried to balance my family’s desire to own a home as soon as possible, with a view that the property market was in a secular bear market. Zack displayed incredible patience, persistence and humour as we looked at homes and I found reasons to hold off. Finally in January we closed on a home in the West End and have spent as much time there as we can.

On a fabulous Aspen powder day in December, I managed to destroy one of my ACLs and consequentially required knee surgery. Everyone in Aspen I spoke to seemed to have had knee injuries and all of them recommended Dr. Purnell at Orthopaedic Associates. I am delighted with that decision, but be aware of his English sense of humour.

Last week I underwent surgery and my Aspen experience truly began. I traveled alone having completely underestimated the initial impact of the surgery. No problem for all involved. Within 24 hours my same-day surgery became an overnight stay. I had not considered how to get to and from the hospital. No problem – Zack’s wife, Trudy, just happened to be a surgical nurse at Aspen Valley Hospital. She picked me up, prepped me for surgery, checked on my progress, and finally drove me home. Every person in the hospital and in physical therapy has met me with professionalism but much more importantly with a human touch and a great sense of humour and a smile.

But the kindness did not stop on leaving hospital. Trudy ferried me to physical therapy while my pain medications made it impossible to drive. Her friends at the hospital came round to ensure I had everything I needed at home and called to check on my progress. I could not have dreamed of a better surgical experience or a more nurturing environment.

While all of this kindness is human and individual I think it is also reflective of the small close knit community that is Aspen. This is a town we came to for the skiing, stayed for the summers but love because of the people. What other resort can say that?

Thank you, Aspen!

Stephen Cain


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