Letter: What are Aspen’s priorities?
Is more tourism what the community really wants?
Skier visits are flat since the 1997-98 ski season and yet our hotel occupancy is reaching historically high levels, without taking into account the gray market of Airbnb and VRBO rentals. And still, our community is spending roughly $2.7 million each year marketing the resort, primarily targeting the offseasons to further increase occupancy throughout the year.
How much is enough? And as a community, do we want to be resort-dependent in the future?
An alternative vision is nurturing local business creation that is independent of the resort, that doesn’t rely on more and more tourist visits. Rather than import dollars to support local businesses through tourism, we foster businesses that export their product and don’t require a physical impact on the community to support local jobs.
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