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Aspen

The City of Aspen is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous city of Pitkin County, Colorado, United States.[7][2] The United States Census Bureau estimates that the city population was 5,804 in 2005.[8] Founded as a mining camp in the Colorado Silver Boom and named because of the abundance of aspen trees in the area, the city is now a ski resort and a upscale tourist center.

Its per capita is among the highest in the nation. In the late 20th century the average home price reached approximately $6 million[9] and the city developed as an off-beat haven for celebrities, attracting such people as John Denver (who wrote several folk songs about the town, including "Aspenglow", and "Starwood in Aspen") and Hunter S. Thompson.

This historic character of the city has been challenged in recent decades by skyrocketing property values and the proliferation of second homes, increasingly shutting low- and middle-income workers out of the city and creating a large pool of commuters from nearby bedroom communities such as Basalt and Carbondale. At the same time, in stark contrast to its historic character, the city has emerged into international fame as a glitzy playground of the wealthy and famous. The downtown has been largely transformed into an upscale shopping district that includes high-end restaurants, salons, and boutiques. Aspen boasts a Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci, Fendi, Tod's and recently a Burberry boutique, 3 of which are the only locations in Colorado. The booming real estate market has forced the city to struggle between permitting growth and restricting it. The city today remains a mix of high-end luxury homes and condos intermixed with legacy residences and mobile home parks populated by an old guard of Aspen residents struggling to maintain the unique character of the city. Aspen has become a second and third home to many international jet setters.


The article above is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Aspen, Colorado".