Aspen hospitality is on us |

Aspen hospitality is on us

“What are the fundamental values of Aspen?” I deeply ponder.

First of all, Aspen is a resort community. Our economy depends on tourism. I am intentionally invitational to visitors. The first nine years I lived in Aspen I worked in ski shops. I loved the customers because, with very few exceptions, they were here to have fun. I felt my job was to enable them to enjoy their time here. The good vibes and smiles fueled me during the frenzied periods. After I left Sabbatini Sport (who remembers?), I occasionally ran into some of the old customers. One time someone told me they stopped in Sabbs when they needed nothing, just to be around us crazy guys. “And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make” —Paul McCartney, “The End”

As an elected official I feel my comportment should befit the town I represent. Oftentimes I have to balance issues at the council table and in public. The attitude I adopt must be harmonious with the overall character of Aspen. That requires me to reflect on the character of this mountain community and conduct myself accordingly.

There is a drawbridge element in town. “I have mine, everyone else keep out, don’t change anything” is the mantra. This is exclusionary and uninviting. Our challenge is to be as welcoming as possible while still retaining our identity. This is the balance we are all tasked with finding.

We have made it through another Christmas season. There was always light at the end of the tunnel. Local businesses and employees can give a sigh of relief. The past couple of weeks are make-it-or-break-it for many businesses. Room rates are at what the market will bear, the highest of the year. The guest experience of those that have headed home was dependent on how they were greeted and treated.

How did we do? Did you help our guest enjoy themselves?

Ward Hauenstein