Aspen Pitkin County Airport

Welcome to Valley Roundup – a review of the top news stories in the valley in the past week.

This week, development can often seem like three-dimensional chess – we’ll get the latest on Mark Hunt’s lodging plans for Aspen.

A wider runway is on the horizon for the Aspen Pitkin County Airport. But, if citizens need to vote on it would it get approved?

Rifle remembers the life of Air Force Captain William DuBois as he is laid to rest.

Glenwood Springs will get a review of air quality near downtown.

Could an antique chair lift derail Aspen Mountain’s world cup racing plans?

How many weed shops are too many… one… six… sixteen?

And, I’ll have a conversation with a familiar name in the valley, and voice you hear often on this program, who is taking a leadership role in the Aspen Public Radio news room.

Joining me this week are Curtis Wackerle, Managing Editor of the Aspen Daily News and Randy Essex, Editor of the Glenwood Post Independent.

Good afternoon and welcome to Mountain Edition.

Schools in the Roaring Fork Valley get graded- some of the best and the worst in the state are here.

Basalt has its first menorah lighting to celebrate the beginning of Hanukkah.

Aspen’s new Airport Director takes the helm as County Commissioners decide how to widen the airfield.

New owners at Krabloonik aim for a kinder, friendlier era and they are receiving a “thumbs up”, so far, from a group whose aim is to make sure the sled dogs are well cared for.

Your Morning News - December 17th, 2014

Dec 17, 2014

Aspen Still Debating Mark Hunt Plans

Aspen planning officials could not come to an agreement last night about whether to recommend a possible new lodge. It's one of two similar lodges proposed by Chicago developer and Aspen transplant Mark Hunt.

The meeting was already a continuation of a discussion earlier this month. Last night, Hunt and planner Mitch Haas presented the proposal again: a three story lodge with rooms under 200 square feet, to fill Aspen’s affordable lodging gap. Called Base 1 it would Include a rooftop terrace and basement amenities like a bowling alley open to all. It would be located across from City Market and Hunt explains why he sees that as a good spot.

“We have our busiest retailer across the street. There’s a gym, there are offices, there are condominium buildings that actually operate like hotels. And yeah, there are residences there. But I think it’s a very eclectic part of Aspen.”

Of about a dozen public comments, the vast majority were in favor of the proposal. But concerns about design and requested exceptions led commissioners to hang up the towel for the evening. Stan Gibbs is Commission Vice Chair, and feels the building does not fit the commercial guidelines for the lot.

“There’s a lot of residential and affordable housing around there, and I think a big building has compatibility issues.”

Hunt and Haas did not comment afterwards, but were visibly frustrated during the meeting. Commissioners will take up the issue again at the beginning of January. A city planner at the meeting last night said the proposal would still be on track to go before City Council later next month. That’s when Council will also consider a similar lodge by Hunt, called Base 2.

Good afternoon and welcome to Mountain Edition.

Aspen City Council decides to take up lodging incentives again-- but much more cautiously.

Garfield County Commissioners suggest alternate routes for energy companies to reach leases on the contested Thompson Divide.

And the Glenwood Springs Police Department aims to crack down on people who don’t lock up their trash from bears.

The USA Pro Challenge announces Aspen will be included again in its route for 2015, only this time it won’t be the start.

Your Evening News - December 2nd, 2014

Dec 2, 2014

Glassier Open Space Comment Deadline Approaches

The deadline is looming to comment on a management plan for a new open space parcel in the mid-valley. The Glassier open space near Emma will be used for recreation and agriculture.

Unlike most Pitkin County-managed open space parcels, the Glassier land will give agricultural producers a chance to grow crops. About half of the 282-acre land is irrigated and at one time, was used for ranching.

Welcome to Valley Roundup, a review of the top news stories in the valley in the past week.

This week you went to the polls, we take a look at some of the key races – what they mean and what could be the path forward for development and the future of Snowmass’s Base Village.

In non-election news, the Aspen Airport has a new director and our panel will give him some advice.

Speaking of travel, this summer was the best for tourism in the history of the State of Colorado and this winter, into 2015, could top that. We’ll chat about the pluses and minuses of the busy seasons.

And on the Download, you’ve heard of tweeting and facebooking – we’ll introduce you to an Aspen bartender and entrepreneur who wants the term “soapboxing” to be just as ubiquitous.  

A former administrator at Denver International Airport is taking the reigns at the Aspen Airport. Pitkin County announced today John Kinney will begin his role as airport director next month.

Kinney brings 28 years of aviation management experience to the job. He was airport director in Scottsdale, Arizona and Long Beach, California. At DIA, he served as Deputy Manager of Aviation. Right now, he works in Los Angeles as the Director of Emergency Management for airports like LAX.

Marci Krivonen

Pitkin County held the first of two open houses on Thursday, introducing the public to future changes at the airport. The commercial jets that fly into Aspen now are being phased out so, the airport has to find a way to make the new, bigger jets fit. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen explains.

Marci Krivonen

As officials track down Frontier flight passengers connected with an Ebola case, state health workers say they're making sure Colorado is as prepared as possible to respond to the virus. 

Jim Elwood, outgoing Director of the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport.
Aspen-Pitkin County Airport

Aspen Airport Director Jim Elwood has moved on to new horizons. After leading Pitkin County’s airport for more than a decade, he’s taken the helm at Jackson Hole Airport. Elwood led the Aspen air hub through many challenges, including resolving runway extension problems and helping draft the first master plan in two decades. The Aspen-Pitkin County the airport is now conducting a national search to find a new Director. Elwood talks with Aspen Public Radio’s Roger Adams.

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