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10/23/2007

Aspen�s High Prices Overcome Via Barter

In one of the most beautiful areas of the world�Aspen, Colorado�the prices are absurd! You don�t get nickeled-and-dimed but 100-dollared and 200-dollared. Recently in The Wall Street Journal, an article noted how the entire city is becoming �too swanky� with all of the high-end, world-famous clothing and jewelry stores.

This is the place of $50 oil changes, $30 an hour for baby-sitting, and lift-tickets cost $87...in comparison, a day of skiing at the finest resorts in Europe is never more than $60. As a result, the locals are finding that barter is increasingly important; trading one�s services is the way to keep costs down.

Aspenites are clever about stretching their money. They know the places to go for affordable fine dining (on bar menus) at area restaurants. And they earn tickets to high-dollar events - like the Food & Wine Classic or Jazz Aspen - by bartering (volunteering) their time.

When it comes time to get their house painted, pipes fixed or baby-sitting, and they don�t want to pay the inflated prices, many offer their services in exchange through the local informal bartering system. For the informed business owner in Aspen, there is a commercial trade exchange there...International Monetary Systems.

Living in the famous resort town calls for some imagination, but most Aspenites say it�s worth it.


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