Wednesday, July 18, 2012


There’s a certain hustle and bustle that a lot of tourists from the big cities bring to Aspen, but that is not the pace at which Aspen operates. Aspen has a slower, more relaxed pace. As someone fortunate enough to live in Aspen year round, I enjoy seeing visitors adjust their attitudes upon arrival. It may take a day or two, but almost everyone adjusts to the understanding that there is more to life than an iPhone and a conference call. Almost without fail people begin to take note of their surroundings: The great outdoors. Art & culture. Life itself. In order to appreciate this, it requires a slower pace and more human connection. If “please” and “thank you” makes the world go around, the Earth orbits Aspen. There’s something special about Aspen. It takes a minute to pick up on it, but once you realize what it is, it’s hard to forget. It’s the size of a small town, and has the population of a small town, but Aspen is so much more than that. Aspen is the place where people duck into the grocery store to grab one item and instead spend 20 minutes catching up with their neighbor. Aspen is the place where people thank the bus driver as they alight. Aspen is the place where people wave at each other from across the street rather than walk on by. Aspen is the place where people from all walks of life volunteer for all causes. Aspen is a small yet strong community, within the larger community encompassing the Roaring Fork Valley. Aspen is special. People are more aware of their surroundings and more considerate of others here. People genuinely care about each other. There is a common sense of purpose – we all know, understand and respect why each of us have chosen to make Aspen our home, or at least a regular vacation destination for the family. It’s why Aspen is more than a town - it’s a village. A word of caution though - stay too long and you’ll be hooked. Ask most locals – “You come for the winter and you stay for the summer” is a common expression. “I only came for one ski season and I’ve been here [insert large number] years…” is a common story. Come visit Aspen. I’m sure your vacation here will end too soon. Don’t be surprised to find yourself making time to stop and smell the Colorado wildflowers along the way.

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