Q: Last year I went to Central America for spring break and no one there asked me to

sign a “Costa Rica Pledge.” Over the holidays we skied Deer Valley and never did we encounter a “Wasatch Pledge.” I do not doubt that Aspen is a special place, but is it really so special that visitors have to be asked to sign an “Aspen Pledge” prior to arrival?

A: Yep. You can make fun of the pretension steaming out of Aspen’s heated sidewalks, although a lot of the affectation comes from the awareness and gratitude of what makes this place so extraordinary. The Aspen Chamber Resort Association (ACRA) is responsible for supporting the local business community and enhancing visitor experiences. Asking guests to acknowledge that they will not harass the wildlife, mistreat service industry professionals, get lost in the backcountry, or otherwise behave disrespectfully toward the land and people who maintain it is simply another way of saying, “Don’t kill my vibe, man.” Also, signing the voluntary pledge on the ACRA website requires a less-than-$20 donation to either the Independence Pass Foundation or Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteer. So, if you have strong feelings against open spaces and trails and the folks working to preserve it all, you may be happier somewhere less special.

Have an Aspen etiquette question for Meredith? Submit it to [email protected] and we’ll consider it for a future issue.

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