Livin’ the Aspen dream, if you will
“Livin’ the dream” actually used to mean you were living the dream. And for a while that was true in this valley. But lately it seems as though a local’s chance at a dream is as slim as literally winning a lottery.
Imagine a flying dream but you aren’t the one flying; imagine a vacation dream but it’s not your vacation; and then imagine the dream where your legs can’t keep you running. Now imagine you wake up and you live those dreams, literally.
We say “livin’ the dream” sarcastically now to show that we’re struggling but don’t have the time or energy to explain why. It’s discouraging to work so hard to make this valley what it is without any adequate housing, security, or compensation. It feels as though our dreams are being given out like 3D glasses at a movie theater to people that already brought their own.
Where’s our shot at dreams of a family and a home? And not a vacation home, just one home … a home. This valley boasts mental, physical and spiritual health, but all the toxic positivity in the world won’t cover up the fact that we have to work a minimum of two jobs to barely afford a rental and food, let alone the activities and lifestyle that draw us here.
You can’t boast the healthy lifestyle when we have one of the highest suicide rates in the country because we aren’t taken care of. This valley is taking its locals for granted and soon it won’t have any and it will continue to look more and more like Vail. This town is losing its culture and its vitality. Cause who needs restaurants when you can hire a private chef? Who needs music and entertainment when you can just outsource? Who needs culture when you can just put up an art gallery for the guy that believed in counterculture and locals’ rights and dreams? Like a cash-grab piece of history that’s on display, like an animal in a cage to entertain the very people that this man ran against and wrote about in his literature? Who needs culture when you have clout? Who needs a home when you have two? Who needs community when you have money?
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
But hey, long live the dream.
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Kudos to Laurine Lasselle for her well-written, well-researched article interpreting the data from the 2020 census (“2020 census data highlights relationship among resort communities, downvalley locales,” Aspen Journalism).