Joanne Palmer: Aspen? Fahgettaboudit
February 10, 2010
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.
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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.
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.