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.
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.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.