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Elise Thatcher

Athletes: Let the X Games Begin!

The X Games have officially begun, with the Women’s Ski SuperPipe Final Wednesday night at Buttermilk. When it comes to new events, there will be a Special Olympics giant slalom race, as well as a gaming center where people attending the event can compete for prizes and their own X Games Medals. This weekend will also have a wider array of events for disabled athletes than in the past. Overall at least three Aspen-area hometown favorites will be gunning for gold. Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher was at a press conference with the athletes yesterday, and files this report.
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Your Evening News - January 1st, 2015

Jan 1, 2015

I-70 Closures Start Tonight

The Colorado Department of Transportation will begin a series of closures on Interstate 70 starting tonight. The agency will close the road in both directions at Idaho Springs from 9pm to 6am for the next four nights.

The closure may slow travelers either leaving the Roaring Fork Valley or heading this direction. Motorists will use the on and off ramps in both directions at Exit 240 to detour around the closure. CDOT is completing abutment work and initial girder setting for a new bridge over the Interstate.

The work was originally scheduled for last week, but winter storms postponed it. The agency is looking to take advantage of favorable weather this week to do the work. A CDOT official says the main goal of the closure is to ensure traffic is flowing freely during peak travel times. There may be some traffic delays.

Your Morning News - January 1st, 2015

Jan 1, 2015

Except Airport Delays

For lodging, tonight is the last of the busiest seven days of the year for Aspen and Snowmass bookings. That means people flying out of the Upper Valley could see long lines starting tomorrow.

Once the New Year’s Eve celebrations are over, travelers hit the road or the airport to return home. Bill Tomcich is President of Stay Aspen Snowmass, the resort’s main booking company. He says New Year’s Day through January 5th will be a mass exodus.

“You can actually check in as soon as four hours before your scheduled departure, you can go out to the airport and check your bags, and then come back into town for lunch and don’t worry about cutting it close for your flight if there’s a large line.”

Travelers catching the first flights of the day are recommended to arrive when the airport opens at 5am. The last seven days have had several flights canceled or rerouted because of winter weather. Tomcich says airlines have been better equipped this year to make up for those hiccups, by adding ground transportation and diverting more often to Grand Junction instead of Denver.

Marci Krivonen

It’s one of the busiest times of the year in Aspen. Restaurants in the downtown core fill up early and stay busy until closing. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen visited the bustling kitchen at Cache Cache this week, where the staff was furiously chopping, sauteing and grilling food. Chris Lanter is the Executive Chef and co-owner of the restaurant that caters to all kinds, including celebrities.

Your Evening News - December 31st, 2014

Dec 31, 2014

New Year’s Fireworks

It is New Year’s Eve. That means fireworks in Aspen. There will be two shows – 8pm and Midnight. The City of Aspen is reminding pet owners that if your dog is afraid of loud noise that you keep them indoors during the fireworks. The displays will light up the sky above Aspen Mountain for about 15 minutes both times this evening.

Today on CrossCurrents, David Swersky and Jeff Edelson from Mountain Rescue-Aspen on the history of the organization and the new building opening this weekend.

About Mountain Rescue-Aspen:

Mountain Rescue-Aspen was incorporated in 1965 as a non-profit organization and is one of the oldest search and rescue teams in the state. We are accredited through the Rocky Mountain Region of the Mountain Rescue Association and work as a volunteer arm of the Pitkin County Sheriff’s office; providing search and rescue services for Pitkin County and mutual aid for other counties in Colorado.

Our dedicated 50-member team annually donates thousands upon thousands of person-hours serving Pitkin County’s community and visitors. These hours represent time away from families to attend meetings and trainings; educate the public with our annual community avalanche seminar; teach children what to do if they are lost through the national “Hug-A-Tree” program, and of course, engage in search and rescue missions.

Unlike other emergency response agencies such as Police or Ambulance, or even Volunteer Fire, there is no tax base or public budget for Mountain Rescue. We are 100% unpaid volunteers who raise the funding we need each year through the solicitation of public donations and applications for local and state grants.

Your Morning News - December 31st, 2014

Dec 31, 2014

Patrols Set to Nab Overindulgent Partiers

The Colorado Department of Transportation says the annual statewide New Year’s enforcement is underway. CDOT, the Colorado State Patrol and almost 100 local law enforcement agencies are working together to keep those who had too many off the roads. Checkpoints and patrols will continue now through Monday January fifth in an effort to nab drunk drivers. CDOT advises New Year’s partiers to have a designated driver, take public transportation or a cab to keep off the roads following a night of drinking. Last year, just over 500 people were arrested for impaired driving during the New Year’s action.

Elise Thatcher

On any given day, there’s a stream of people hiking up the Aspen Skiing Company’s ski resorts, usually before making turns down. The physically demanding activity is part of a growing trend of uphilling, or hiking up ski areas instead of riding chairlifts. And it could expand further, as one of Aspen's elected leaders envisions an industry uphilling. Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher hiked up the Tiehack section of Buttermilk, and files this story.

Your Evening News - December 30th, 2014

Dec 30, 2014

Ski Co to Open Idaho Resort

The Aspen Skiing Company is expanding its operations to Idaho. The ski operator closed on a property in Ketchum and plans to build a new hotel, modeled after an existing one in Aspen.

The Ski Co will develop a new Limelight Hotel close to Sun Valley’s River Run base of the ski area Bald Mountain. The Limelight in Aspen features large guest rooms, an expansive lounge, a lobby restaurant, and adventure programming for guests.

In a statement, the Ski Co’s Vice President for Hospitality Don Schuster says the company feels the timing is right to grow the “Limelight brand” and that downtown Ketchum is an ideal location.

The hotel in Idaho will include more than 100 hotel rooms and eleven free market residential units. The Skiing Company purchased the Limelight hotel in Aspen in 2010 from the Paas/Woolery families.

Marci Krivonen

The Aspen Airport is in the middle of one of its busiest and snowiest stretches. A fleet of huge snow blowers and plow trucks clear snow from the runway long before the sun comes up. As Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen discovered, it’s a job that requires attention to detail and patience.

The temperatures are in the single digits as light snow falls onto the runway at the Aspen Pitkin County Airport. A fleet of large trucks zip back and forth, clearing snow and leaving a cloud of it behind.

Your Morning News - December 30th, 2014

Dec 30, 2014

BLM Seems Basalt Mountain Input

The Bureau of Land Management is taking public comment on a plan to reduce fuels for wildfire from the base of Basalt Mountain.

The BLM would target more than 1,000 acres north of El Jebel, near Spring Park Reservoir. Most of it would be treated with prescribed fire. The idea is to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires from entering private property from public lands.

The BLM will hold an open house on the proposal on January 12th at the Eagle County Community Center. Comments will be collected until mid-February.

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