Aspen has changed, and so have its visitors

Regarding Sean Beckwith’s column, my first thought was that the writer was drunk at the time he produced his piece regarding tourists (“When the Aspen tourists wear out their welcome,” Jan. 3, The Aspen Times).

But since he brought up tourists …

I have been skiing in Aspen since 1980 and have been going there on and off with my wife and son since he turned 3 in 2002. Powder Pandas was great. Our son learned to ski at Buttermilk.

We are what you would call comfortable middle-class. I am a self-employed CPA, and my wife is a commercial designer. Fortunately we can afford to go to Aspen if we do not make any other big trips during the year. For us, it has been a huge budget item.

If you look past the glitter aspect, (which I think has hurt the town in the long run) Aspen in the past provided a number of places to stay and eat, which were both good and reasonable. Fortunately, the Mountain Chalet is still around, but all of the restaurants we frequented are gone except for the Hickory House. I do remember when there was a hardware store downtown, but it went the way of many other local businesses. Aspen seems to be no longer a town but just more of an overpriced venue for people who have more money than sense.

And with each year, Aspen seems like it is less and less about the skiing. And the people who visit the city seem to also be different.

Maybe the writer had a point. But maybe it is just the type of tourists that Aspen is attracting.

We are trying Park City this year. We may come back some day, but for now we are kind of over Aspen. (I may just be turning into an old fart!)

Keith Summar

Nashville, Tennessee