Is Aspen a victim of its own success?

Apsen
Apsen

For half a century, Aspen’s slopes have been the preferred winter getaway for the wealthy. But is Aspen’s mix of natural beauty, high culture and big money creating too much of a good thing? Aspen’s blue bloods certainly think so.

The resort town’s gentry includes notables such as David and Charles Koch, Sid and Ed Bass, Leonard Lauder, David Geffen, Mort Zuckerman and several members of the Pritzker family. But recently an avalanche of new money has brought unprecedented development, a fleet of private jets to the airport and even steeper housing prices, according to Bloomberg News.

Way back in 1987, Elizabeth Paepcke, wife of the industrialist Walter Paepcke who helped put Aspen’s arts scene on the map, wondered if Aspen was already on the decline, quipping “Are we going to kill the golden goose by feeding the animal until its liver becomes distended and we produce a pâté which is so rich that none of us can digest it anymore? What price glory?”

It seems many locales and longtime visitors are inclined to agree. “Aspen people hate new,” a woman at the Aspen Art Museum told Bloomberg News. [Bloomberg News]Christopher Cameron

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