Roger Marolt: Come on … tell ’em why you really live in Aspen
OK. We all agree we need a change. In order to attract more visitors here, we have to dispel the perception that Aspen is expensive.
Wait a second. Who am I trying to kid? This isn’t going to work. Aspen is expensive! I know that. You know that. Every farm implements dealer in Iowa knows that.
I guess if we all just agree to lower local prices we could change that though.
There’s just one small problem ” we can’t do it. Remember? It’s the Aspen theory of dirt. Owners of commercial real estate have to charge outlandish rents to
pay for their buildings. Employees demand higher wages to pay their rents and mortgages. Then, after subsidizing their landlords’ and employees’ real estate investments, business owners have to pay for their own housing too. To accomplish this, they raise the prices of everything around here until we’re all dirt poor.
We can go ahead and market Aspen as an affordable vacation spot anyway, but what are we going to do when the suckers show up ” sell them a bus pass to Glenwood?
But even that is beside the point. I can’t understand why we have such a difficult time marketing this place to begin with. None of us is here because of “Night and Day,” “Uncrowded by Design,” or “Four Mountains, Four Seasons Forever,”
much less because we thought it would be cheap. We all ended up here in spite of that stuff. Why don’t the marketers just line us up, take our pictures, and let us tell the world what attracted each one of us here?
Click. “Hi, my name is Brent. I find peace and tranquility here. The natural surroundings are absolutely breathtaking. Every day is picture-postcard perfect.”
Click. “Hi, I’m Marian. I came here because I enjoy all of the cerebral activities available. It’s a charming small town with all of the artistic, cultural and intellectual amenities of most large cities. There’s no place like it. What more could you ask for?”
Click. “I’m Melinda. My husband and I moved here with our three children for the quality of life. My husband works from his office in our house. He can stay in contact with all of his responsibilities in New York in the morning and go for a hike with me right outside our back door in the afternoon. The schools, the shopping, the dining, it’s all just too amazing to describe.”
And we can’t stop with these namby-pamby plugs that appeal only to a very small and sheltered portion of the population either. We have to be really honest for any chance at broad appeal. That’s what’s ultimately going to sell this place.
Click. “We’re Sheila and Roger Kannard. We basically moved here because we can afford it. One time we took a picture of our house and used it in our Christmas card. We had the maid and some other servants, who we don’t know the names of, build a snowman. We also used our Aspen address for RSVPs to our daughter’s wedding at Kennebunk. We thought that was a nice touch. You wouldn’t believe the parties we’re invited to now.”
Click. “Hi, I’m Toro. I like to think of myself as an independent sort. I had a hard time fitting in anywhere else, what with only one name and all. Let’s just say my mind is a little bit idiosyncratic. I was always very misunderstood. But, I got acceptance here. Heck, I got elected to political office here.”
Click. “My real name is Bunny … No, wait, that’s what they call me at Eric’s. My real name is Jill. Tee, hee, hee. I like to party! I want to turn my passion into a career. If I play my cards right I’ll meet Mr. Right or at least Mr. Right On. Hopefully he’ll be made of money like my other ex-husbands so I can marry him and eventually take him for all he’s worth too. I love this place!”
Click. “Never mind my name. Call me a grouchy old misanthrope if you like. What do I care? I came here because 15 million dollars gets me 90 acres of privacy within 15 minutes of my jet and I don’t have to ever set eyes on the likes of you. I consider that a small price to pay!”
Click. “I used to sell used cars. Folks called me Florida ‘cuz I always had a bumper crop of lemons until the Better Business Bureau shut me down. One day my shrink tells me that a change might do me good. So, just as soon as my parole ended, I headed up here. Didn’t take me no time to line up a job selling timeshares … uh … I mean fractional ownership units. Life’s good, ain’t it?”
Click. “Call me Jonsey. I came here because of the law enforcement. Ha ha. Get it? There is none. I like a place where the sheriff turns his back when I feel like lightin’ up. No more sneakin’ around or sleepless nights in the hole guardin’ mine, dude.”
I don’t care how crazy your motive is for being here, we have to let people know. No reason is too bizarre, but we have to be honest. No matter how nutty or weird you think you are, I guarantee that there are at least a few people who are just like you and would be attracted to Aspen for the same reason.
Click. “I like the skiing.”
Roger Marolt has no idea why you’re here. Let him know at email@example.com
Travel can lead to self-discovery, as well as a greater purpose. We may learn to improve our own community, enhance our creativity or simply broaden our horizons.