Demographer: Super-rich declining in Aspen

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A demographer says the super-rich are likely to have less impact on Aspen’s economy in the future and that tourists and retirees will play a bigger role.

Jim Westkott, the former senior demographer for Colorado, told local officials Wednesday the recession has changed his outlook for Aspen and other resort areas.

Westkott says construction of large second homes for wealthy part-time residents created jobs in construction, landscaping and cleaning.

He says he now expects fewer big, single-family homes to be built and spending by ski visitors to decline.

But Westkott predicts an increase in construction of moderate- and large-size attached homes and more summertime tourism.

He says some houses in the 10,000-square-foot range could even be converted into duplexes, co-ops or some type of assisted living facilities.