Shortsighted decision damns Paradise

Future Aspen historians will no doubt cite the impending closure of the Paradise Bakery in 2021 as one of the leading causes of the transformation of the city’s core from a small town to that of an ice cold — and ultimately dying shopping center — like so many in the nation.

Years ago Margaret and I would stop on summer evenings, standing behind between 10 and 50 parents and young children. The bakery was a magnet that brought hundreds to the area every day during the summer. All of the stores, including the Italian sweater seller, benefited from the traffic. Our closets are full of the sweaters we bought there often after stopping at Paradise.

The traffic and the business for the sweater seller will vanish after it closes. There will be no reason for young families to come past. With the closure of Boogies, the entire area will become much quieter.

This is the sort of short-sighted decision that dumb managers make all the time. The owners have chosen to take a short-term profit — but likely destroyed their franchise which was the Paradise corner. Their actions are no different than the actions of the Boeing managers who, in an effort to keep costs down and accelerate deliveries, sacrificed passenger safety with the 737 max. Their shortcuts have likely permanently destroyed the firm’s reputation and a significant portion of shareholder value. The leaders of GE did the same thing.

Loro Piana is an Italian firm owned by LVMH. Their goods are still made in Italy. The Italian economy and society is collapsing. They will be gone in the next recession — and the Hects will need a new tenant. Then they will discover the consequences of their shortsighted decision.

Philip Verleger