Paul E. Anna: High Points |

Paul E. Anna: High Points

Paul E. Anna
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

Nobody has to tell us these are tough times.

Just one year ago I don’t think anyone would have been able to predict that the economic crunch would have such a profound impact on our community. We were, as the wisdom of February 2008 indicated, “immune.”

Today we are, like much of the nation, at the beginning of a very different age. I heard one analyst the other day suggest that if the economy were the Titanic then we have just hit the iceberg, the band is still playing on the decks, and we don’t even know how much water we have taken on. A pretty grim picture to be sure.

So, what do we do? Well, this is a pollyana-ish outlook, but I believe that now, more than ever, it is time to be nice.

“Um … EXCUSE ME!!!!?” I hear you saying. “My hotel is empty, there are no diners in my restaurant, my ski slopes are lonely, no one is buying the clothes, jewels, etc., that I have for sale, and you want me to be nice!!!!?

Yeah, be nice. This town relies on the people who come here to visit and spend money. They are fewer and further between this year than they have been in the past, and it is clear that for the foreseeable future there will be even fewer still. It is vital that those who come have the best possible time so that they will continue to come back as we either ease this metaphorical financial ship into a safe harbor or, God forbid, take in so much water that we sink into the icy abyss.

In this town we had gotten a little removed from the concept that as a resort we should pamper our guests. Things had been so good that the attitude had evolved to where we tolerated the visitors at best and, at worst, disdained them. Bet you’d love to see some more of them now.

Not only should you be nice to help the economy, but being nice helps the whole vibe. Nobody wants to come to a place where everyone is griping about where the money went or how bad things are. It always amazes me how contagious a smile can be. It not only works to brighten up others, it has a positive effect on your own mood as well.

So the advice from this corner as we all try and get through this together is to treat yourself well, smile a lot, treat your customers and our guests well and just BE NICE!

How hard can that be?

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