Aspen Business

Your Morning News - February 5th, 2015

Feb 5, 2015

Calls Come for Increased Vaccination Rates

Pitkin County’s public health clinic is seeing a rise in the number of people requesting vaccinations for measles. The majority of calls are from parents checking on their children’s vaccine history and adults seeking vaccinations.

The local spike in interest comes after a measles outbreak started in California and spread to fourteen states. Pitkin County Public Health Director Liz Stark says she’s happy to see the uptick in interest.

“We are definitely being impacted by what’s going on in the country. And, the positive thing is that the calls we’re getting are from people interested in making sure they’re vaccinated and up to date on their vaccines.”

She thinks the Roaring Fork Valley is generally in favor of vaccines. Five percent of students in Aspen’s School District are not vaccinated.

“That means that only five percent of the children have opted out of vaccines for either religious or personal exemption. That’s really good compared to other communities around the country.”

But, Colorado as a whole has a low vaccination rate. The Denver Post reports, the state is dead last for vaccinating kindergartners for measles, mumps and rubella. The Roaring Fork School District with schools in Basalt, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs did not respond to a request for vaccination rates.

Your Evening News - February 4th, 2015

Feb 4, 2015

Retail Sales in Aspen Up 10% in 2014

The city sales tax report for 2014 is in. It appears the Aspen economy has more than rebounded.

People in Aspen shopped more, drank more, ate more and consumed pot more in 2014 than the previous year.

That’s according a recently-released sales tax consumption report, which shows economic activity within the city of Aspen last year is up 10 percent over 2013. That amounts to nearly $624 million in commerce.

Sports equipment, clothing and luxury goods were up significantly for the year. Combined, those categories generated around $153 million in sales. Restaurant and bars were up 11 percent, bringing in about $111 million dollars. And with recreational marijuana coming on the scene last March, sales in that category spiked dramatically. The liquor and marijuana category saw an increase of 25 percent, generating more than $13 million throughout 2014. All of those industries posted increases for the month of December as well. Another big gain last year was revenue generated by accommodations up thirteen percent. That amounts to more than one-hundred-seventy-three million dollars that flowed into the local economy.

The city sales tax report for 2014 is in. It appears the Aspen economy has more than rebounded. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason reports.

People in Aspen shopped more, drank more, ate more and consumed pot more in 2014 than the previous year.

That’s according a recently-released sales tax consumption report, which shows economic activity within the city of Aspen last year is up 10 percent over 2013. That amounts to nearly $624 million in commerce.

Your Evening News - January 20th, 2015

Jan 20, 2015

Mark Hunt to Take Aspen’s Questions at Public Forum

The man who controls the majority of buildings in downtown Aspen will speak publicly for the first time to the community on his future plans. Aspen Business Events is hosting a question-and-answer session with Mark Hunt. Along with investors, Hunt has amassed 15 buildings in the commercial core and has invested more than $100 million in real estate in the city. The event will take place on Thursday at 5pm at BB’s Kitchen. Two Hunt proposals for low-cost hotels go before the Aspen City Council on Monday.

Your Morning News - January 19th, 2015

Jan 19, 2015

First Aspen Council & Mayoral Candidates Announce

The first candidate for an open Aspen City Council seat has emerged.

Former Affordable Housing chief Tom McCabe has confirmed he plans to run for city council in May. McCabe retired as Director of the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority last October. McCabe says he would bring his expertise on how the city operates and likely focus on housing issues. He served one term on Aspen City Council in the early 2000s.

It is also likely Aspen's Mayoral race will have a challenger in the ballot. Former city councilman Torre told Aspen Public Radio this weekend that his intention is to run in the May election. He plans to formally announce his candidacy next month. It would be Torre's fifth attempt at the Mayor’s office.

Your Evening News - January 16th, 2015

Jan 16, 2015

Explore Booksellers Bought by Non-Profit Group

Aspen’s Explore Booksellers has a new owner. A corporation under the umbrella of the Public Interest Network purchased the historic building and book business for five million dollars. The sale closed earlier today.

The bookstore opened as usual on Friday, but with new owners. Previous owners Sam and Cheryl Wyly listed the property in June. Since then, efforts have formed around preserving the business – Aspen’s only bookstore.

The Public Interest Network stepped in and the sale was finalized Friday. Real estate broker Bob Ritchie represented the buyers.

“Right now they plan to operate it exactly how it’s been operated. They’ve rehired all of the same employees.”

Karen Setterfield is the real estate agent who worked with the sellers.

“I call it a win-win-win. It’s good for the buyer, the seller, it’s good for the community, it’s good for the bookstore and the property and it’s good for Pyramid Bistro, the tenant in the property.”

Ritchie says the new owners plan to bring to Explore interesting speakers and talks, and deepen ties with the Aspen Institute.

Valley Roundup - June 20th, 2014

Jun 20, 2014

Welcome to Valley Roundup, a review of the week’s top news stories in Aspen and beyond.  

There is a guilty plea today from William Styler in the murder of Aspen local Nancy Pfister.  He will be sentenced to 20 years.  Also all charges were dropped against Kathy Carpenter. We’ll hear the details from our Elise Thatcher.

Also joining us today are Carolyn Sackariason from the Aspen Daily News, Michael Miracle from Aspen Sojourner magazine and  Andy Stone from the Aspen Times. 

We’ll talk about the new real estate magnate in Aspen.  His name is Mark Hunt and he gave an exclusive interview to the Aspen Daily News this week.  Carolyn tells us about it.

Also the Pitkin County Commission responds to the big wedding and

On the Download we learn why Facebook has lost the hip.  Teens are exiting in large numbers.

Its all on this week’s Valley Roundup.

Good afternoon and welcome to Mountain Edition.

A judge has released hundreds of pages of court documents in the Nancy Pfister case. We’ll have a quick review.

The sheriffs are in town-- for a statewide conference. This is a chance for Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo to show off his work in Aspen.

Officials and local representatives are tackling how to get faster internet access in rural areas.

Aspen wants to get more people to build hotel rooms...

And, Garfield County may have to help pay for some improvements near Glenwood’s Grand Avenue Bridge.

An Aspen nonprofit is heralding the cancelation of a mega dam project in Chile.

And a hydropower plant in southwest Colorado is now officially up and running… we’ll hear what that means for the Aspen.

That’s all coming up on Mountain Edition... right now.

Aspen is not a cheap place to live, or even visit.  That’s especially true now that the summer season is picking up. During peak seasons, in the winter and summer, the cheapest hotel room in Aspen goes for about two-hundred-dollars a night. But the local government is trying to change that. Over the past month, Aspen City Council has been considering a new lodging incentive program that would encourage more hotel development. Dorothy Atkins has the story.

Valley Roundup - June 6th, 2014

Jun 6, 2014

Welcome to Valley Roundup, a review of the week’s top news stories in Aspen and beyond.  

Joining us today are Carolyn Sackariason from the Aspen Daily News and Michael Miracle from Aspen Sojourner magazine.

The judge in the Nancy Pfister murder case this week rescheduled a preliminary hearing for later in the month.  She also denied a motion to allow separate trials for the accused.

The building housing Aspen’s Explore Booksellers is on the market.  It unclear what that means for the bookstore

Also this week, a plan to open a small business incubator in Aspen.

And activist and artist Lee Mulcahy loses an appeal of his ban from Aspen Institute property.  He is also still banned from Skico properties and the Aspen Art Museum.

On the Download with Rob St. Mary we look at how best to increase and distribute broadband access in the mountains.

It’s all on this week’s Valley Roundup.

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