Resort sister’s stunted growth

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Tim Cafe and Mitchey Greig

Between sightseeing and socialising in Queenstown’s American sister city of Aspen, Philip Chandler bumped into people with links with both resorts. He asked them how the resorts match up and checked the pulse of the sister city relationship

Renowned as a hide-out for the world’s rich and famous, the small Colorado town of Aspen, in the United States, is Queenstown’s original sister city.

Wanting to get some comparisons between the two, Mountain Scene asked some Queenstowners in Aspen during a visit last month.

For ski coach and 2010 Winter Olympian Tim Cafe, who’s had seven winters there, the main difference is the resort’s attitudes towards growth.

“Looking at Queenstown, it seems like the goal is to grow it into a city, whereas it just seems like Aspen has the goal of limiting growth and keeping it more of a mountain-town feel.”

Another 2010 Winter Olympian, Mitchey Greig, who’s come and gone between the resorts in recent years, is impressed by the ease of getting around Aspen.

Not only are there free buses, even as far as Snowmass, 14 kilometres away, she says, but you can bike for free for up to half an hour thanks to the WE-cycle bike-sharing system.

“Having your mountains in the town, as well, and not needing to drive up and down the mountains, creates quite a culture.

“You don’t notice as many cars around.”

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NEXT WEEK: A chat with Aspen’s (newly-ex) mayor