AspenSpin.com missed a huge story on Friday. Our tweet deck was blowing up all day, but we didn't re-tweet once. Excuse us for partaking in a super-sick POWDER DAY. 8 to 10" of fresh pow pow will always be our first choice...no matter what. The Wall Street Journal scooped us in our own town, Aspen, Colorado. ZG, Ute City, Fat City, The 81611, The Capital of Skiing. The WSJ published an article about Aspen entitled The Most Expensive Town in America. Click MOST EXPENSIVE to read it. Is this article a positive? Is this what Aspen is really famous for? Seriously ---what's your take?? Click ASPEN SPIN to share your own comments. Do we really want to "forge our own orbit"...as the article touts in the second line.
AspenSpin has spent the past 5 years studying social media so we've seen plenty of puff pieces. We know one when we see one. It's anybody's guess how this article in the WSJ came about and we've heard the old adage "any press is good press" ....but WTF is up at WSJ?? The Aspen Ski Co. has been known to fete certain journalists with first class accommodations, lift tickets, rentals, dinners etc to get good PR. That theory gets thrown out because the Ski Co. agenda was barely mentioned. The article focused mostly on real estate prices (it is the WSJ for cripe's sake) so there were several brilliant quotes from Aspen's esteemed Real Estate brokers. Those guys sure are smart. ACRA ...they're busy having meetings and blowing holes in the community plan....oh yeah, and taking a few boondoggles. The City of Aspen, naaaa probably not , their PR person now works at Ski.Co. and I don't think Mayor Mick would allow such a story to be planted under his watch. It a curious conundrum.
The numbers don't lie. There's no debate, Aspen is an extremely expensive place to live. To most of us that live here, it's worth the premium. What the article failed to mention when it quoted a Turkish Financial Services exec about buying a fractional interest, is that Aspen, Colorado is
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL TOWN in AMERICA.
The Russian Supermarket Czar who layed down $13 mil for a pad (cost to the build $15 mil...that's just an estimate) did so for a reason. Its gorgeous here, and the active lifestyle coupled with the vast cultural and social opportunities are unrivaled. The skiing and riding, the fishing, the biking and hiking were not even mentioned in the article. Author Nancy Keates cited the growth of AYPA as an indication of the excellent job prospects in Aspen. She did not mention the number of workers who get to ride their bike to work, or estimate the number of people with Master's Degrees who tend bar or check coats at night so they can shred the GNAR during the day.
Is that it? Aspen is for the elite only? That's the rap?? When A. Party was a kid, our neighbors used to drive a motor home full of Michiganders out to Aspen to ski for Christmas break. It didn't seem elitist back then... it just seemed really cool. Our friends got to ski in the Rocky Mountains in the deep POW, while we got Pine Knob or a 4 hour drive up I-75 to Boyne Country. Aspen wasn't a status symbol back then...but the passion for skiing and the beauty is what we all dreamed about. Aspen has always been a tourist destination, a "rich man's town", a place to ski...not work, a place to relax, not stress. It used to be a town that attracted guests because of its natural splendor, its mountains and forests, the POWDER and 300 days of sunshine every year. If you believe the Wall Street Journal, our slogan could be, Aspen; Where the rich people go.
Aspen is much more than "the most expensive town in America". The Wall Street Journal is selling us short. Aspen might be the richest town in America, but wealth is not always measured in terms of money. We measure our lifestyle in beauty, experiences and quality of life. Aspen is much more than just "Disney for adults" as the article claims. Aspen is a real town, with real History and a real community. Aspen will probably never be able to shed the reputation of "most expensive" and plenty of people still get off on that, but the real story of Aspen is much deeper and nuanced. We've been profiled...and put into a category that doesn't begin to tell the whole story. The WSJ simply glossed over the real story.
The 5 Best Reasons to Live in Aspen..
The Natural Beauty (no further explanation needed)
The POW POW (again, pretty obvious).
Small Town, BIG Time Culture. (Music, Art, Events, Community etc.)
Social Activities (Its always BIG fun in Aspen. 100 bars/restaurants within walking distance).
The Experiential Lifestyle (Just do it. ski it, hike it, bike it, fish it..etc.)
Share your thoughts. Click Aspen Spin.