I've never once been to Aspen without being treated to an inspired bout of jackassery. Sometimes it's just a simple cutoff-and-bird from a fur-coat-wearing SUV driver, other times it's a lengthy diatribe from a stranger on the errors of my "lifestyle choices" (living in Vail).
But Aspen's trying to change all that: Paul MacFarlane, an Aspenite who moved in two years ago from St. Louis, is trying to launch an "Adopt A Tourist" program. Initiatives include helping visitors with directions, offering recommendations, and generally putting on a happy face. Some businesses are even offering discounts for locals who take tourists out on the town.
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Of course, Aspen isn't simply doing this out of the goodness of their heart. In a slumping business year, they hope to try and reverse years of snobbery with a season's worth of good cheer.
If this sounds a little bit to you like shiny people deigning to help the great unwashed navigate their gilded streets so they can keep said streets gilded, get ready for the best part:
So far, six Aspen residents have signed up on a city Facebook page to play host for visitors. No tourists have signed on yet.
You hear that, Aspen? We don't need your charity! We'll stumble around lost on your mountain with a bucket of KFC under one arm and a cube of Natty Light under the other until we find the Little Nell our damn selves.