Sean Beckwith: A round of Razzies for Aspen and Snowmass
September 11, 2018
There's a card game that I learned from my friends in Aspen that we still play more than a decade later. I'm not too sure where they learned it or who originated it. The game, S—head, is a mix of War and Presidents and A–holes. The goal of the game is to beat the card played before you until you run out of cards with rules for certain cards — wilds, see-through, clear and so forth. However, there is no winner; you're just trying no to be the loser because then you're the s—head and, by rule, have to deal the next game.
Basically, you're just striving to not be singled out for sucking, which is the basis of this column. If you didn't know, The Aspen Times recently finished the voting process for "Best of Aspen and Snowmass," a popularity contest to recognize the best businesses, friends, restaurants, columnists, architecture firms, etc. in the area as chosen by the people.
So, in the spirit of S—head and the antithesis of Best Of, here's my personal Worst of Aspen and Snowmass.
Sandy Park at Snowmass Ski Area is a blast for the first two-thirds with rollers and other features begging to be jibbed and jumped off, but it rapidly flattens out to a soul-sucking catwalk. More advanced snowboarders can make it but, if you forget about the slow stretch or can't gain the necessary speed, it's a nightmare that forces friends to wait at convergence near the top of the Two Creeks lift.
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I avoid the Hotel Jerome mostly due to the valets in cowboy hats (which earned them Worst-dressed Employee in Aspen) but you can add the J-Bar Burger to that list. Maybe it was like a comedy that was over-hyped or the charred-to-tastelessness patty or the cost ($18) before extras like a $2 slice of cheese or a $3 fried egg that turned me off. I didn't add anything, assuming that an $18 burger should be good on principle, and perhaps that was the mistake.
This is usually reserved for Santa-induced stress but not this year. The Fourth of July wins by hot shot. Not only did the depressingly dry weather cancel fireworks but a couple of 20-somethings shooting sulfur-infused rounds started the Lake Christine Fire the day before, which ended up nixing the drone show (but more importantly costing millions of dollars in damages, forcing evacuations and the loss of three homes). The fact that I'm complaining about a nonexistent drone show tells you everything you need to know about this year's Fourth of July.
The ever-revolving space that now houses the Silver City Saloon will forever be tainted. It's kind of similar to how Hunter Bar and Dollar Bar turned everyone who went there into germophobes. You can add all the saddle barstools and lighting you want but that won't stop the flashbacks. When you pile on an unrelenting country-music element, shoot me with your six-shooter.
In a battle to see who can enrage Aspenites and Snowmass residents more, Aspen City Council and Snowmass Town Council staged a slowdown showdown: Entrance to Aspen construction versus the move for marijuana shops in Snowmass. As a copy editor and designer for both The Aspen Times and Snowmass Sun, I know both issues intimately from the stories to the letters to the editor. Even though the Castle Creek construction and mobility lab are completely ridiculous, Snowmass Mayor Markey Butler's claim that weed stores are a "men versus women" issue is asinine. The reporter who writes The Aspen Times Weekly's "High Country" column on marijuana is Katie Shapiro, in case you needed concrete evidence that women do in fact smoke weed.
It's hard to find a fault in a pot shop. It's like finding fault in a candy store. You may not like black licorice but that doesn't mean all customers feel the same way. So instead of comparing flower with shatter with dabs with hookah with whatever, I'll go with the place that personally slighted my bank account. Green Dragon shouldn't be mad; it's on this list because it's one of the three shops in town I frequent (which technically makes it a top-three dispensary in town). They just so happened to jack up their prices on half ounces.
In the vein of personal slights/inconveniences, the Grog Shop forcing me to walk across town to Local's Corner after a trip to City Market because they know people don't price compare while on vacation is savvy business. It also is a way to lose out on the sale of countless six-packs of Coors tall boys, which they don't even carry.
Congratulations to all the winners of Worst of Aspen and Snowmass. As a result, you have to deal … with the backlash from my diminishing readers.
Sean Beckwith is a copy editor at The Aspen Times. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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