In 1989, Joanne Palmer left a publishing career in Manhattan and has missed her paycheck ever since. She is a mom, weekly columnist for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, and the owner of a property management company, The House Nanny. Her new book "Life in the 'Boat: How I fell on Warren Miller's skis, cheated on my hairdresser and fought off the Fat Fairy" is now available in local bookstores and online at booklocker.com or amazon.com.

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In 1989, Joanne Palmer left a publishing career in Manhattan and has missed her paycheck ever since. She is a mom, weekly columnist for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, and the owner of a property management company, The House Nanny. Her new book "Life in the 'Boat: How I fell on Warren Miller's skis, cheated on my hairdresser and fought off the Fat Fairy" is now available in local bookstores and online at booklocker.com or amazon.com.

Joanne Palmer: Aspen? Fahgettaboudit

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Joanne Palmer

Joanne Palmer's Life in the 'Boat column appears Wednesdays in the Steamboat Today. Email her at jpalmer@springsips.com

Find more columns by Palmer here.

For the first time in ski area history, Aspen is trying to be like Steamboat. Wow! Aspen finally has decided that it might be a good idea to be friendly to its visitors. Last week, Aspen announced an “Adopt a Tourist” promotion. City officials are asking residents to volunteer to play host for visiting tourists — not in person, but on Facebook. As of Feb. 6, six Aspen residents had signed up to play hosts for visitors. Here are some hypothetical chats between Aspen hosts and potential visitors.

Chat No. 1

Visitor: Hi, I’m interested in visiting Aspen in March. Can you tell me what the snow will be like then?

Aspen-ite: Good grief! Do you think we have a direct line to Mother Nature or a crystal ball? If it’s not snowing, you can pull up a bar stool at Little Nell’s and wait for a celebrity to walk by.

Visitor: Gee, I thought you guys were trying to be friendly.

Aspen-ite: Right. Roger that. Well, we usually get snow in March, but I’m not a psychic.

Visitor: OK, well if I do decide to come, do you have any family friendly restaurants you can recommend? I’m bringing my three children, Zoe, Zephyr and Zelda. My husband, Zeke, will be coming too.

Aspen-ite: Good grief! Leave the rug rats at home. I never go out to eat. My personal chef cooks for my wife (No. 5 and counting) and myself. And don’t ask me about the best ski runs, either. I hire my own ski instructor for the season, and Sven decides where we go.

Visitor: OK, thanks. I think we’ll go to Steamboat instead.

Chat No. 2

Visitor: Hey, any boarders in Aspen?

Aspen-ite: Yo bro’, whad up?

Visitor: Dude, can you tell me how the riding is in Aspen?

Aspen-ite: Dunno dude. I’m working three jobs so I haven’t had time to ride this season.

Visitor: Well, how’s the nightlife? Any cheap happy hour deals you can recommend?

Aspen-ite: Bro’, I live in affordable housing in Rifle and commute to my job in Aspen. I’m too tired to party at night, except after the X Games. That was way fun. Maybe you should check out the terrain parks in Steamboat instead.

Chat No. 3

Visitor: Hey y’all! I’m from Mississippi and have never been skiing before. Is Aspen a good place to learn?

Aspen-ite: Sure, love to have you.

Visitor: Well, I don’t know whether to learn at Ajax or Snowmass. What would you recommend, and how much will it cost?

Aspen-ite: If you have to ask the price, you can’t afford to come here. TTFN.

Chat No. 4

Visitor: Yohwee! I have always wanted to see the ranch where Kevin Costner and Christine Baumgartner got married. Can you tell me where it’s located?

Aspen-ite: Do you think this is Los Angeles, where we pass out those tacky “Maps of the Stars?”

Visitor: OK, well, where’s the best place to hang where I might see a celebrity?

Aspen-ite: Glenwood Rehab Center or an AA meeting in Basalt.

Visitor: Seriously?

Aspen-ite: Seriously, LOL.

Chat No. 5

Visitor: Hey, do you guys have any cool thrift shops there?

Aspen-ite: Can you explain what those are? Never heard of thrift shops before.

Visitor: Well, I don’t know what to pack so I thought I might buy some clothes there.

Aspen-ite: The dress code here is $3,000 jeans, Ugg boots and a long down coat. No fur, baby. No fur.

Visitor: Wow, spendy. I think I’ll go to Steamboat instead.

Chat No. 6

Visitor: Howdy. I live in Wyoming, and I’d like to be on ski patrol in Aspen next winter. How much can I expect to earn?

Aspen-ite: Earn? Get real, dude. And take a number. There are about 2,000 people in front of you who want to earn $9 an hour.

Visitor: Well, how much does it cost to rent something there?

Aspen-ite: More than you make. You better come with a truckload of money and plan on leaving most of it here. Adios, amigo.

Comments

seminative 4 years, 9 months ago

What a great way to start my day. Thanks for the laugh.

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freerider 4 years, 9 months ago

Chat #7 how do you make a small fortune in Steamboat ?? Answer ....bring a large one with you

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space 4 years, 9 months ago

I find the people in Aspen to be nice! Where have you been hanging out there?

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runnerbikerdriver44 4 years, 9 months ago

Space-I'm right there with you. I think it's sad people like Joanne sterotype Aspen. Clearly she's never been there, or she'd know there are several thrift stores in downtown Aspen. The locals there are very warm and friendly, but just like Steamboat, there are a few grumpy people who don't want to have to share the town. There are pleanty of happy hour specials, and hotels like The Sky are open to people coming and using their facilities. I think the place she should really meant to talk about was Vail. I find Vail to be more of the elitest town than Aspen. I think until you've gone and spent time there, not just taking a kid to a ski competition and staying at your hotel, you really couldn't know Aspen, Joanne.

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greenwash 4 years, 9 months ago

Agreed....SB Vs Aspen restaurants?Duh Aspen for sure.

SB Vs Aspen Service industry?Duh Aspen for sure.

SB vs Aspen nightlife ?Duh Aspen for sure.

SB vs Aspen living ? Duh SB for sure.

Ummm I love Steamboat Springs but We could really take a lesson from Aspen and Vail on how to run a resort.

Steamboat restaurants and hospitality industry are really weak. Its almost embarrassing how bad the food and service is here .

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telebikebird 4 years, 9 months ago

It's too bad to see our local paper taking a jab at another ski town; especially when it is not true. Aspen's locals are warm, inviting and friendly. If any amount of time is spent there this becomes evident.

I doubt that The Vail Daily, The Aspen Times, The Aspen Daily News ot The Summit Daily would publish something like this referring to Steamboat in a negative light.

It's embarassing that this was published in our local paper, in our "Friendly, Western Town"...

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space 4 years, 9 months ago

Amen runnerbikerdriver 44, greenwash, and telebikebird! I also love FAC up on top of the mountain during the summer, where the ski area lets you ride the gondola for free regardless if you had a season's pass or not. Great ideas in Aspen.

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Brian Kotowski 4 years, 9 months ago

Never been to Aspen, but I lived in Edwards for a couple years. Joanne's take on Aspen is spot on vis-a-vis Vail. SB may be able to pick up some pointers from other ski areas re: "how to run a resort", but God help us if we ever morph into the plastic-Disney-tinsel-glitter-Look-At-Me-dollhouse burg that Vail has mutated into.

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