The soul of Aspen |

The soul of Aspen

I first got a glimpse of the soul of Aspen on a snowy night in late December 1974 when I was 16. I had arrived alone, a day before our ski week after a long bus ride from Denver and a long train ride from Chicago. Smell of snow and woodsmoke. I wandered through town and eventually found a $7 bunk bed. In the morning I found 8 inches on Aspen Mountain, and I have never been the same.

A lot of things have changed in the 46 years since, but it’s still my mountain, and it’s still our town. You can say Aspen has lost a lot of its soul over the years, and you would be right. But the mountain is still there for all of us.

I’ve heard that two of the four county commissioners who will decide the fate of our latest mountain improvement (Aspen Skiing Co’s proposed Pandora’s expansion on Aspen Mountain) no longer ski! What!?! Skiing is not just a diversion for the tourists here; it is our bread and butter.

We have to keep improving our infrastructure on the mountain. We have to keep making it interesting for ourselves and our guests. This is not growth! This is improving our core product we offer to the world. We absolutely must work to solve the many growth related issues we face as a community and valley. Keeping our “flagship” mountain stuck in the ’90s is not solving our growth problems.

Please sharpen your pencils and make the zoning adjustments that will keep our ski town getting better and continue to work for all of us who call this valley home.

Dan Johns


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