Smith: What are you saying? |

Smith: What are you saying?

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

Wait, did Mick Ireland, former Aspen mayor and former Pitkin County commissioner, call tourists morons in his column on Monday? Tourist + moron = touron?

Seriously? Interesting choice of branding given that: 1) per Aspen City Council’s most recent ordinances, Aspen still has a tourism-based economy, which makes these so-called tourons Aspen’s biggest customers, instrumental in keeping the lights on here; 2) Aspen’s chamber of commerce is titled Aspen Chamber Resort Association (hard to be a resort without tourists); 3) Mick helped Jim DeFrancia and Jeff Gorsuch in their effort to get the Lift 1A issue voted in, which may lead to a controversial resort; and 4) I’m pretty sure I’ve seen Mick wax poetic about the days of old when Aspen was committed to the mind, body, spirit vibe.

So, calling people tourons is hardly in alignment — and, indeed, is at cross purposes — with that mindful, spiritual, and aspirational philosophy. 

So, just to clarify, am I to understand that my 79-year-old, master’s-degree holding, ’60s-vintage feminist, died-in-the-wool-liberal mother and her three septuagenarian siblings who love coming here as tourists to visit us for her birthday every fall – smart, amazing people who hike and bike like people half their age — are morons? I’m just trying to understand how visitors to this town get categorized by this snarky hate speech (And, it is, by any definition, hate-filled speech) by a former city and county official and current member of the press and sitting APCHA hearing officer? 

Personally, I was hoping for more kindness and respect in 2023. But, maybe that’s just me.

Tiffany Smith