Meredith C. Carroll: Aspen True or False — Summer 2018 edition

Meredith C. Carroll
Muck Off
Meredith Carroll

Information moves quickly during the jam-packed Aspen summer season, a fact that can make fake news harder to decipher and easier to spread. Here’s a quick true-or-false quiz to see how easily you’re fooled by less-than-credible local stories:

1. According to the weekend’s Food & Wine numbers, at least nine Aspen locals actually paid for their passes.

FALSE. That would more than double last year’s total. Aspen’s legendary single-malt extravagance is only ever eclipsed by its signature frugality-and-resourcefulness cocktail.

2. Its new $21 million, 18,500-square-foot headquarters was unveiled in a public open house on an impeccably manicured lawn June 1. And yet less than a week later, the Aspen Police Department’s front yard was ripped back down to the rocks, dirt and roots as construction concludes in earnest.

TRUE. No one’s quite sure why they bothered to lay the sod in the first place, but depending on whom you ask, APD Grass Round 1 was either sold to another project or is lining the crater-size grave of the city’s ZGreen program.

3. The Cooper mall’s latest pop-up shop, Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop, threw itself a party Friday night celebrating all things Moon Dust and Psychic Vampire Repellent. However, eagle-eye attendees at the coveted party noticed “Aspen” misspelled on the exclusive invite.

TRUE. She may steam her vagina better than you, but Paltrow’s spelling deficiency rivals that of any of her bottomless barrel of trolls. (It’s admittedly a small and petty point and surely Paltrow never even saw the invite, but is it really any more niggling than charging $30 for something called Psychic Vampire Repellent?)

4. Aspen’s newest street, Botox Way, is located adjacent to Housewife Hill.

TRUE. And this comes as a surprise to whom, exactly?

5. It’s less expensive to fly from Denver to Iceland than it is from Denver to Aspen.

TRUE. Wait, so does this mean you fly commercial?

6. The Music Festival students trickling into town look extra sleek on their We-Cycle bikes.


7. A recent visitor from New York managed to squeeze in three Aspen CrossFit classes between hiking up Aspen Mountain and the Ute Trail — but didn’t even tell anyone.


8. Once again the Heritage Fire people threw their signature annual event the weekend before Food & Wine.

FALSE. Wait, they really do keep scheduling it on the same weekend as Food & Wine on purpose, don’t they? Huh.

9. Aspen has a movie theater named after a Sunni jihadist group.

FALSE. Aspen’s Isis Theatre is named for an ancient Egyptian goddess. (You know, we hope.)

10. A new, affordable restaurant opened up this month in the former Little Annie’s space. In its first few days in business, Clark’s Oyster Bar, which is required by deed restriction to provide menu items “priced not more expensively, on a relative basis, when compared to other sit-down restaurants in Aspen, Colorado, than the current menu prices,” has already proven it will honor the same type of wallet-friendly deals its predecessor offered for decades.

TRUE and FALSE. While Clark’s Oyster Bar did, indeed, open, not even on Planet Aspen could it be considered an economical dining option — on a relative or any other basis — than any other restaurant in town. Still, successfully operating an Aspen eatery is notoriously tough, so Clark’s at least deserves a round of golf claps for going nouveau-Aspen gonzo and turning its nose up at the affordable mandate by out-pricing the Jimmy’s Bodega $22 crab cake by $6, and even charging $1 more for steak tartare than the Little Nell.

11. On May 4, the city of Aspen unveiled a new, suspiciously same-but-different logo that took over six months and $51K to create. On June 6, a member of the city’s Finance Department emailed out the monthly sales tax report via an attachment on letterhead adorned with the old logo.

TRUE. Because it costs extra to make the people cutting the checks actually grasp where the money’s going.

12. During a public meeting last week, Aspen City Manager Steve Barwick strongly urged local kids who babysit during the summer to file 1099s with the IRS by next year’s tax deadline.

FALSE. However, Barwick did say anyone setting up a lemonade stand should contact the city manager’s office. Because those $51K aspen-leaf logos won’t pay for themselves.

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