Who’s got the room with a view? | AspenTimes.com

Who’s got the room with a view?

Janet Urquhart
Aspen, CO Colorado

Newspaper reporters are easily amused.

That’s why we’ll not only attend meetings so dull they should be banned by the Geneva Convention, but we’ll take copious notes so we can write about it later.

Which is why guests at the Hotel Jerome should keep their curtains closed, or at least make sure their activities aren’t noteworthy ” literally.

I’ve always thought the peaceful coexistence between The Aspen Times and its well-appointed, next-door neighbor, the Jerome, encapsulated the spirit of old Aspen ” where the haves and have-nots rub shoulders. Our building overlooks their courtyard, and only an alleyway and a tall fence separate the backside of our building from the hotel’s rear addition. They’re all spit and polish, and we’re just spit.

Occasionally, we interact.

A few years back, they killed the spindly aspen trees on our side of the alley fence when they installed a new generator back there. Of course, we left the rotting, leafless trees standing for more than a year. The Jerome guys finally came over, cut them down and hauled them away. I presume the dead trunks were marring the view from the guest rooms.

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On the other hand, one of their courtyard trees once fell on our building, puncturing the roof. The editor came in one morning and found a stout branch poking through his office ceiling. The branch was removed, but the hole is still there.

Whenever our office cat disappears for a worrisome length of time, the guys at the Jerome keep an eye out for Scoop in their underground parking garage. They’ve found him there before.

It wouldn’t surprise me, though, if folks at the Jerome have, over the years, silently wished the Times building would burn down, blow up or disappear into the hole beneath the building that once housed a printing press. Let’s just say the back of our building, which faces a wing of their rooms, resembles an Army supply shed circa the Korean War.

I wonder if they discount the rooms that face the Times.

In our building, on the other hand, the windows facing the Jerome are priceless ” first, because windows in the inner sanctum of the editorial department are hard to come by, and second, because the goings-on at the Jerome are often a welcome diversion from, you know, actually working.

One time, a hotel guest apparently called the cops to report “peeping Toms” late at night in our building. Aspen’s finest popped in through the backdoor, only to find people working next to windows that happen to look out at the Jerome. Case closed.

This week, the staff has kept itself entertained by keeping tabs on a couple across the way that comes up for air every couple of hours or so to smoke cigarettes in their plush Jerome robes, on the balcony across from our offices. They are not here to ski, we’ve surmised.

Fair is fair, though. Jerome guests can keep watch on our affairs and, on rare occasion, might catch a glimpse of something titillating. And we don’t have any shades or curtains to hide behind.

Instead, we keep the windows dirty. It’s part of our charm.