Aspen Pitkin County Airport

Mountain Edition - February 12th, 2015

Feb 12, 2015

Welcome to Mountain Edition.

Once again, Aspen will play host to the First Lady. Michelle Obama is expected to be in town this weekend.

An Aspen teenager arrested and taken down by police officers gets an attorney. Police suspect the teen had marijuana.

Aspen City Council supports an affordable housing project from a prolific landowner. But, a tree nearly derails the approval.

The new Airport Director in Aspen talks about plans to improve the experience of flying into the Upper Valley.

Your Evening News - February 10th, 2015

Feb 10, 2015

Hotel Jerome Sold for $69.1 Million to Auberge Board Member

The historic Hotel Jerome sold for $69.1 Million on Monday according to Pitkin County assessor records. The sale makes it one of the largest commercial real estate transactions for a single property in downtown Aspen in recent years.

The new owner is Houston businessman Dan Friedkin. He also bought an adjacent property for $3.35 Million that was once the Aspen Times office. Friedkin is the majority shareholder of Auberge Resorts Collection – the company that manages the Jerome, along with other high-end hotels.

The seller was Chicago-based Don Wilson, the managing partner of DRW Real Estate. He bought the 93-room hotel on Main Street out of foreclosure in 2009 for between $25 to $36 Million, according to conflicting media reports. DRW then invested over $20 Million on a major renovation of the 113,000 square foot building in 2012.

Tony DiLucia is the hotel’s general manager. He says he couldn’t more pleased to have Friedkin as the new owner.

“So, here is a guy that truly wants to be in the hospitality, hotel business. Again, it’s handing over stewardship. Don did his magic with his team and re-did this whole hotel which we are so grateful for. They are into the whole what this hotel means to our community.”

All operations and staff will remain the same at the Hotel Jerome.

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 Evening News - December 23rd, 2014

Dec 23, 2014

Bad Flu Hits the Valley

Health officials in the Roaring Fork Valley are warning people to be wary of the flu as a certain strain is being seen in the Valley and throughout the country. Also, flu season has arrived earlier and with a bigger punch than last year.

The strain of flu circulating is called “H3N2” and, for the most part, a flu shot doesn’t protect you from it. This year’s flu shot has defense against other strains. But, it is only slightly effective with H3N2.

Pitkin County Public Health Director Liz Stark says her office has seen a significant spike of cases in the last two weeks. But, so far, there have been no hospitalizations from flu.

“This particular strain of the flu is hitting the very young and the older population hardest this year. In other parts of the state and the country, the hospitalizations that have occurred, most of them are occurring in children less than six months of age or in people over age 65. So, at the first sign of those symptoms, it’s a good idea to go to your physician or health care clinic and get tested.”

She recommends washing hands vigilantly and staying home from work. Some anti-viral medicines like Tamiflu can minimize symptoms and decrease the duration of the flu.

Your Morning News - December 23rd, 2014

Dec 23, 2014

Pitkin County is Taking Proposals on Glassier Open Space

Pitkin County is asking for proposals with what to grow on a parcel of open space. The Open Space and Trails Department is considering people interested in leasing land for agricultural use at the Glassier Open Space. That’s near Emma in the Upper Roaring Fork Valley. Open Space and Trails Employees will be doing a site visit in January to show the land to potential farmers.

Valley Roundup - December 19th, 2014

Dec 19, 2014

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.

Mountain Edition - December 18th, 2014

Dec 18, 2014

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.

Mountain Edition - December 4th, 2014

Dec 4, 2014

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.

Valley Roundup - November 7th, 2014

Nov 7, 2014

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.  

New Director Named for the Aspen Airport

Nov 3, 2014

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.

Aspen Airfield Must Be Reconfigured To Fit New Jets

Oct 31, 2014
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.

Mountain Edition - September 11th, 2014

Sep 11, 2014

Good afternoon and welcome to Mountain Edition.

So far it looks like the Roaring Fork Valley is holding off a nasty virus that’s raising concerns in Denver. 

Bears are causing some problems, we hear what police in Basalt are doing about it.

One of the visible leftover structures from the recession in the Upper Valley may disappear later this year.

And more people are showing interest in farming Pitkin county open space land.

Climate change reports are frequent-- we check on one about water in the Valley.

We’ll get the details on how Aspen’s airport could get quieter and say “goodbye” to long time airport director Jim Elwood.

Investigation Expected into Aspen Airport Crash

Jul 23, 2014
Pitkin County Sheriff's Department

Pitkin County says the National Transportation Safety Board has given the Aspen Pitkin County Airport permission to move the wreckage of the Galaxy G 200 jet that crashed on landing at the airport, earlier today. Around 4:45pm, the jet skidded and spun upon landing. Three people were on board – two pilots and one passenger. There were no injuries. Airport officials towed the plane from the runway. The airport is expected to open for arrivals and departures around 9pm this evening. Travelers with questions about delays and rescheduling of flights should contact their airline.

Video: Airplane Crash Footage Released

Jan 21, 2014
Aspen Journalism - http://aspenjournalism.org/

Aspen Journalism has obtained five different video feeds from the January 5th crash of a private jet at the Aspen Airport. See below for more & video.

From Aspen Journalism:

"In response to a Colorado Open Records Act request from Aspen Journalism, the Aspen/Pitkin County airport has released video of the fatal jet crash that occurred on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014.

The video was captured by five different cameras normally used by airport officials to monitor activity on the ramps, or aprons, outside the general aviation and commercial aviation terminals."

Valley Roundup - January 17th, 2014

Jan 17, 2014

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

The NTSB released its initial report on the plane crash at Aspen’s airport earlier this month.  There are no conclusions as to what caused the crash but it includes new details and corrects some earlier speculation about wind speeds at the time of the wreck.  We’ll have a summary.

Also today, three Aspen journalists join us to discuss the news this week. Carolyn Sackariason, Andy Stone and Michael Miracle are here to talk about a noise trail this week and what it means for Aspen’s messy vitality. 

Aspen’s mayor embraces the high end of the community’s population.

And; working dogs or pampered pets?  The Krabloonik sledding operation faces off with public opinion and criminal charges of animal cruelty.

Its all just ahead on this week’s Valley Roundup.

Roger Adams - Aspen Public Radio

The National Transportation Safety Board has released a preliminary report on the Sunday January 5th, 2014 crash of a private jet at the Aspen Airport that killed one crew member and injured two others onboard.

The report dated Thursday January 16th, 2014 reviews aspects of the weather, communications and other information.

In the report lays no blame on the cause of the crash – be it nature, man or machine.