Break the chain of overregulation by Aspen government
Chain stores? In Aspen we ain’t talkin’ Target. Prada and Louis Vuitton — those are our chain stores. Ever wonder why we don’t have a Duane Reede on every corner? Could it possibly be because you have to make enough money to pay your rent?
The only exceptions I can think of are the ones where the retailer owns the real estate.
The vicious circle comes back to the price of real estate and the price of real estate is largely due, in my opinion, to our government-restricted building codes. Scarcity increases price is a simple economic principle.
Our choice is not “chain stores”; our choice is, do you want government-regulated buildings inhabited by government-subsidized retail? Remember how well that’s worked in the past? I whisper “Cooper Street Pier” from the wings.
What would happen, I wonder, if restrictions on retail beyond the commercial core were a little more loose? Could we infuse our “dark” neighborhoods with a little more life? Would it encourage less driving to the core if you could pick up a carton of milk on the nearest corner? What if our free electric car service brought the groceries to you instead of you to the groceries? What if our attempts at manipulating the Aspen economy were not quite so ham fisted as they have been? What if we took a good long calm look and made one over-arching rule in our government ordinances: “First, do no harm.”
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