The ‘global village’ of Aspen
Aspen has long been a popular resort destination for well-heeled international travelers, but in recent years the sound of foreign accents and different languages has intensified. Not only are more tourists flocking to Aspen from Europe, South America and Australia; workers are too.Alongside the influx of Latino immigrants from Mexico and Central America, Aspen is experiencing a more “official” immigration of foreign workers with visas and specific job assignments.The Aspen Skiing Co. and other large local employers continue to have trouble finding Americans to fill their front-line, seasonal jobs – lift operators, cashiers, waiters and the like. So, where Aspen was once filled during winter with college-age Americans who’d decided to ski-bum for a season, now the people taking dinner orders and loading chairlifts have crossed oceans and cut through government red tape to get here. There are hundreds of them.Who are these foreign workers? How did they hear about Aspen? And what did it take to get them into uniform and onto the payroll at local ski mountains, hotels, stores and restaurants?Following are four profiles of local workers from far-flung places. Each of them is from a different continent and each took a different route to Aspen. Taken together, the four tales paint a picture of Aspen’s increasingly multinational work force.
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