New crop of Aspen residents don’t count

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).

As a 2020 census enumerator, I am glad to know our efforts to “get it right” paid off. I can attest that the data truly reflects what we experienced in the field. As one who was personally responsible for covering large swaths of the West End, Cemetery Lane and the central Aspen core, I was truly shocked at the high percentage of second homes.

It is unfortunate that the 2020 census could not have been delayed a year as were the Olympics. I have no doubt we would have experienced a much different scenario. As many property managers in the area can concur, there was a huge influx of both new-home purchasers and second-home owners who decided during the pandemic to move here full time. Because April 1 was the official “census count day” or “look back date,” and because no one could move here until after mid-May at the earliest due to national lock downs, none of those new “in movers” could be counted here.

What a cruel April Fool’s Day joke! The federal dollars allotted for resident populations will go to all of the newcomers’ former locales. Aspen gets to experience all of the impact of its new residents but will receive none of the federal dollars for them.

Tracy Murtagh