Meredith Carroll: The 13 types of visitors you’ll meet during summer in Aspen |

Meredith Carroll: The 13 types of visitors you’ll meet during summer in Aspen

Meredith C. Carroll
Muck Off

“I have a talent for spotting tourists in Aspen,” a woman downtown was overheard saying recently. “I mean, yes, we’re from Florida, but we come here every year, so we’re not really tourists ourselves. That’s how I’m able to discern that the people in town this summer are not the same as the usual crowd.”

No Ph.D. is required to spot a non-Aspenite, although an advanced degree comes in handy if, in a pinch, you’re pressed to identify exactly who’s buzzing around the Dancing Fountain these days. The current batch of tourists isn’t necessarily different from those who came before them — it’s that, for the most part, they’re just better.

1. The “I’m just better than you” people:

All people are created equal. That is, unless you don’t reside in Aspen but still visit during the high seasons. This group could live here, except instead they choose to divide their time between here and places that are equally if not a wee bit more expensive and exclusive. Also, not-from-Aspen people who are better than you are know that people from Aspen do things differently and, therefore, wrongly.

2. The “I know the laws in Aspen” people:

Ignorance of the law excuses no one. Just ask visitors who not only follow the law in Aspen but also feel emboldened to enforce it — like the woman staying in a home on the golf course off Cemetery Lane who recently screamed bloody murder at a 28-year resident and veteran dog owner who was walking her rescue puppy without a leash.

“There’s a leash law in Aspen!” the woman screeched, yanking her miniature purebred’s leash for effect.

“I have a leash,” the Aspenite replied calmly, holding it up. “It just broke and I’m a block away from my house, which is where I’m heading.”

“Well, get a better leash!” the woman growled. “And get out of here!”

3. The “I’m not familiar with your Aspen rules, hence I’m excused from them” people:

Not knowing in which direction the line at Carl’s starts is an indication to some visitors that they are, in fact, exempt from standing in line at all.

4. The “Don’t you know who I am?” people:

This includes — but is not limited to — people exempt from standing in lines; people who just arrived after a jaunt in St. Barth’s but before stopping off for their annual visit with dear friends in Martha’s Vineyard; people here just for the Aspen Institute; people from Texas; people who are close, personal friends of the sheriff; people who know a Kardashian; one of the actual Kardashians; or people who were once at an event at the Nell or the Caribou Club where a Kardashian or a member of the Crown family was also present.

5. The “Don’t you know who I know?” people:

See: The “Don’t you know who I am?” people.

6. The “I’m staying at the Nell” people:

Just in case anyone was wondering.

7. The “I’ll be at the Caribou Club later” people:

Awesome. Tell them we say “Hi.”

8. The “I expect cyclists to walk their bicycles across the street if they want me to stop my car for them, although when I’m riding my own bike, I will not disembark for any reason whatsoever and will make an obscene gesture if you don’t stop your car for me” people:


9. The “I’d make eye contact, say ‘hello’ or stop for a momentary, friendly chat when we pass on the street or a trail, except it would be in direct violation of my ‘Resting Bitch Face’ sworn pledge” people:

We understand.

10. The “Yes, I’m a tourist, but all other tourists besides me are worse” people:


11. The “I just came into town for a quick bite after seeing the Maroon Bells and oh my God how much is the New York strip steak at Cache Cache?” people:

That would be $75.

12. The “My car that’s worth more than the combined GDP of many medium-sized nations means I am not legally required to obey stop signs, yield to pedestrians in crosswalks or occupy just a single parking spot” people:


13. The “We usually go to Vail, but we thought we’d try Aspen this year, and, my goodness, Aspen is the best!” people:

We know. We’ve been waiting for you, and we love you, too.

More at