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Topic: Growth & Planning     Department: Letters

The death of the working class

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The most unfortunate legacy of the development over the last 50-plus years of "paradise resorts" for the wealthy like Aspen, Vail, Telluride and Jackson is primarily that the middle-class and working-class folks who perform the day-to-day work that keeps those resorts running have been shut out of affordable housing by the wealthy and by conservationists who arrived in these towns early and resist any kind of change ("Paradise at a Price," HCN, 6/10/13). Both want to close the entry door behind them. Instead of damaging the hillside scenery and waterways, as mining did over 100 years ago, this unfortunate set of circumstances is going to scar people, culture and air quality via multiple long-distance commuters. The children of these commuters will not grow up and go to school with the children of those their parents are working to serve. If Jackson is not willing to work to devise affordable housing within walking distance of amenities for families with jobs in Jackson, at a minimum Jackson homeowners should be taxed to fund all-weather commuter buses to bring folks safely across the pass. Maybe they should also consider bringing the children across the pass to attend their schools, since these families deserve to be part of the community in which they work.

John Thomas
Fort Collins, Colorado

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