Let Snowmass flash its dollar-sign eyes

This summer was a study in excess. Too many people. Too much development. Too much smoke. We didn’t start the fire, but we’re putting it out with gasoline.

As long as the pandemic rages around the world, Americans will find us and places like us. Europe won’t let U.S. citizens in but Aspen will. We’re the logical alternative.

We can’t handle it. The goose is drowning in golden eggs. It has to stop until balance is reached. Towns around the Rockies experiencing the same decay of lifestyle are coming to the conclusion that the nest is full. Enough is enough.

Telluride and Crested Butte have proffered the idea of not using marketing dollars to attract more tourists. A Snowmass Village council member brought up the idea. There is no reason to spend those dollars to attract more when we can’t handle what we already have. We’re in crisis mode and moving to an as yet undefined level above that.

The residents of Snowmass Village chose this place because it wasn’t Aspen. “Slowmass” was quiet and that was fine. Business people didn’t get wealthy but they survived, and they stayed because they loved the place. Slowmass is gone. Replaced by an understaffed, overcrowded by design traffic jam.

We don’t need more guests; we need more employees. We don’t need more events; we need more housing. We never needed more grotesque high rises. We stand on the brink. Throw another egg at the goose. Hit it in the head. Kill it!

The new paradigm requires new ideas. Concerned citizens must get involved and ask the questions. Do we need more ski terrain? Do we need more events? What is more important: Quality of life or our bank accounts? Where is the balance between the two?

Should we decide to turn off the spigot to marketing ourselves, I have an idea to keep Snowmass high in the minds of guests. When Basalt lost City Market to Willits, it brilliantly drew its town boundary down the ditch lines of Highway 82 to the new market. Carefully avoiding the subdivisions along the highway, thereby absolving itself of any responsibility for providing services to the inhabitants, it captured the taxes from the market without any pain to the town.

I propose that Snowmass Village do the same over Owl Creek. Why? To annex the airport. Instead of flying into Aspen, our guests will fly into Snowmass. When the pilot announces that “we’ll be landing in Snowmass on time,” passengers will look out the window at our wonderful mountain. Snowmass will always be in the forefront of any visitor’s mind.

As a bonus it will be easy to change Sardy Field’s famous airport code. Instead of ASE, the new code could be A$$. Using dollar signs eases the profane nature of the code and defines our mission. They’ll love us to death for our honesty.

For sure, they’ll never forget us.

Johnny Boyd

Snowmass Village