Aspen Skiing Company

Jury considers lawsuit against Skico in first day of trial

Jul 8, 2015

A trial involving a homeowner who is suing the Aspen Skiing Company got underway at the Pitkin County Courthouse Tuesday. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason reports.

  

  Andrew and Maralee Safir filed suit against the Skico after a mudslide violently crashed through their Buttermilk home in May of 2011. They claim it did $2 million in damage and that Skico is liable because it cut a water diversion ditch near a ski access road above their house, causing the slope to fail.

Aspen residents celebrate same sex marriage decision

Jun 29, 2015
Marci Krivonen

Friday’s Supreme Court ruling making same-sex marriage a right in all 50 states, was cause for celebration in Aspen. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen caught up with revelers at a party at the base of Aspen Mountain.

The feeling at Ajax Tavern Friday was one of relief. Kevin McManamon of the non profit AspenOUT helped organize the party.

"This is very impromptu. We didn’t know if it was going to be a celebration or a wake, we weren’t sure, but we’re very pleased it’s a celebration," he says.

Facebook/Jerry Young

The man who died after he fell out of his kayak on the Fryingpan River, was a part-time ski instructor for the Aspen Skiing Company. As Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports, Jerry Young was 63 years old.

It’s unclear where Young fell from his blue inflatable kayak but, he and a friend began their float at Seven Castles, just outside of downtown Basalt. Britt Queer and his girlfriend were on a restaurant patio along the Fryingpan when they saw the empty kayak and Young’s body.

aspensnowmass.com

The numbers are out for this past ski season [2014 - 2015]. More than 7 million people visited Colorado’s ski resorts. That’s down slightly from the record-setting season one year before.

Forest Service visitor center opens at Aspen Highlands

May 26, 2015
Marci Krivonen

The White River National Forest’s newest visitors center officially opens Tuesday. The Forest Service moved the center from Aspen to Highlands to make visits more convenient for the public, and to save money. 

On Friday visitor information specialist Mateo Sandete was putting finishing touches on interpretive signs. Visitors trickled in over Memorial Day weekend for a soft opening. Sandete says the new location is advantageous given the nearby Maroon Bells.

Forest Service visitor's center moves to Highlands

May 19, 2015
White River National Forest

There will be a new Forest Service visitors’ center at the base of Highlands starting next week. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason has more.

 

The new center will be in the Highlands ticket office. It’s aimed to better serve people going to the Maroon Bells —

Aspen Skiing Company is planning a makeover for the top of Aspen Mountain. Ski Co attracts summer visitors with mountaintop yoga, lunch and hiking, as well as concerts and other events. Now the company wants to do what it calls enhancements to the area, including making it more kid friendly.

“Phase 1 is going to consist of some Rocky Mountain flower gardens, picnic areas, new signage,” says Ski Co’s Assistant PR manager, Tucker Vest. “[As well as] kids play features such as hay bales, bean bag toss.”

Work has already started. In summers past there’s been a sharp contrast between the amenities of the Sundeck and uneven, bare ground nearby. Ski Co is planning a Phase 2 project, but what it will entail and when it is scheduled is not yet known.

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

The City of Aspen municipal election made history this week, with voters stripping some power away from their elected officials. And, two candidates vying for an open council seat are headed to a runoff election in June.

A prominent downtown Aspen landlord is eyeing more properties and has two more under contract to buy.

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

We saw the end of the 2014-15 ski season when Aspen Mountain closed last weekend but why was it a ghost town at the base?

The City of Aspen just bought more wind power so it can operate on 100 percent renewable energy.

Meanwhile, the switch for the largest solar array in the valley was flipped this week.

The town of Snowmass is investigating why high levels of fecal matter are testing positive in a stream near a high-profile hotel.

Aspen Skiing Company

  The lower part of Aspen Mountain was closed for a big chunk of Thursday. Aspen Skiing Company did avalanche control work early that morning morning, causing several unusually large slides in the “dumps” on Ajax. So much snow came down, Ski Co. says it took until mid afternoon to clear off the run leading to Kleenex Corner, as well as the intersection of Spar and Copper. Skiers and boarders had to download on the gondola for most of the day. This is possibly the first time that kind of closure has happened in decades.

Mountain Edition - March 19th, 2015

Mar 19, 2015

Welcome to Mountain Edition.

Elected leaders in Aspen choose a brewery - slash - small business incubator to fill the city-owned Old Power House.

Unstable snow on local ski slopes prompts the Aspen Skiing Company to temporarily close terrain.

A professional cross country ski racer is home from the World Championships. Aspen’s Simi Hamilton looks back on his season.

There won’t be a sentence for a fatal highway 133 crash for another month.

We hear from the head of Colorado’s largest oil and gas organization about why she’s leaving her post.

Colorado Avalanche Information Center

On Tuesday, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center released a more detailed review of what happened during a slide on New Year’s Day. Aspen Mountain Powders Tours had a tough day on the first day of 2015. The company, operated through Aspen Skiing Company, had a ski guide injured in an avalanche, and was one person away from injuring a client. 

January, February dry spells didn't keep skiers away

Mar 16, 2015
Jeremy Swanson/Aspen Snowmass

Despite a dearth of snowfall in January and part of last month, the Aspen Skiing Co. is reporting an uptick in business. 

The Aspen Skiing Company says it is pacing ahead of last season despite being open fewer days compared to 2013-14. While season pass holders skied less during the dry spells, international visitors made up for the loss. The company says it expects to finish the year strong.

Double pipe event at Buttermilk uses "recycled snow"

Mar 10, 2015
Marci Krivonen

Since late February, a team manning large machines has been sculpting snow at Buttermilk. They’re moving and shaping the powder into a terrain park feature only tried once before. Professional snowboarders competed on the Red Bull Double Pipe during its debut last year. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

The Double Pipe is what you might imagine: two half pipes side by side with additional features like rails and jumps sprinkled in to make the competition more creative.

aspensnowmass.com

The Aspen Skiing Company is getting involved in the legal fight for marriage equality. The company is one of hundreds of businesses urging the US Supreme Court to embrace same-sex marriage. 

White River National Forest

The White River National Forest has moved one step closer to approving several winter enhancements on public land at the Snowmass ski area.

The Aspen Skiing Company proposed the projects and the Forest Service began an environmental review in August. They include a replacement and realignment of the 35-year-old High Alpine chairlift, additional snowmaking on the Green Cabin run and trail and glade construction projects. The Skiing Company wants to provide gladed terrain for non-expert skiers.

Your Evening News - January 8th, 2015

Jan 8, 2015

Environment Foundation Awards Over $95,000

A non-profit connected to the Aspen Skiing Company and aimed at environmental causes is releasing over $31,000 in grants to local efforts.

A news release from the Environment Foundation says the money will be split between six groups working on youth education. Those receiving the grants include the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, Basalt Middle and High School and the Waldorf School of the Roaring Fork.

An additional $64,000 is being sent to seven additional organizations focused on energy efficiency, limiting the impacts of drilling on the Western Slope and maintenance and expansion of trials in the Roaring Fork Valley. In total, the Environment Foundation is donating more than $95,000 to 13 projects. The money was raised by Ski Co employees and was matched by various companies and area non-profits.

Your Morning News - January 7th, 2015

Jan 7, 2015

New Healthcare Enrollment Numbers

More than 3,000 people in Pitkin, Garfield, and Eagle counties have signed up for private health insurance since November 15th.

3,330 residents of the three counties signed up between November 15th and December 15th. That’s for health care coverage starting in 2015 according to the online health insurance marketplace, Connect for Health. Megan Burch is overseeing the effort to help residents in the Roaring Fork Valley and Eagle County sign up for health insurance.

“We’re really thrilled with the enrollment numbers to date, and they’re tracking very closely to our goals for this second enrollment period.”

The difference is Garfield County is about seven hundred people short of that overall goal. So Burch’s office is planning more outreach and events there to help residents sign up for health insurance.

Your Evening News - January 6th, 2015

Jan 6, 2015

Climate Report: Temperatures Rising in Aspen

A new report on climate change in the Aspen area shows an increase in temperature and a rise in the number of frost-free days. The report was compiled as part of an effort to prepare the resort town for a changed climate.

The Climate Resiliency Plan looks at Aspen’s climate history. It shows Aspen saw a one-degree Fahrenheit increase from 1940 to 1979, and since 1980 a 1.5 degree increase. The report also shows a steady increase in the number of frost-free days. James Arnott with the Aspen Global Change Institute authored the report.

“This is one of the pointers that gets us to thinking about recreational seasons, such as a shortening of the winter and a lengthening of the summertime season.”

The plan pinpoints where Aspen may be vulnerable to climate change in the ski industry, for example. The report is a first step in an effort to engage community members in building a plan that finds ways to adapt to warming in the future.

Your Morning News - January 5th, 2015

Jan 5, 2015

Avalanche Injures Aspen Mountain Guide

A skiing tour guide for Aspen Mountain Powder Tours will not be returning to work today. The employee injured his knee when he was caught in an avalanche just outside Aspen Mountain’s ski area boundaries on New Year’s Day. That was in a location where the cat skiing operation is allowed to operate. Jeff Hanle is spokesman for the Aspen Skiing Company which owns and operates the powder tours. Hanle says the company does not plan to release the employee’s name.

“We don’t ever release an injured person’s name. There’s HIPAA laws and rules that don’t allow us to do that in most cases. And in this case the employee did not want to be identified. So we’ll respect his decision.”

Hanle says he’s not aware of any similar accidents in previous years.  Aspen Mountain Powder Tours will operate as usual today. The area of the avalanche had been closed after the incident last Thursday, but could be in use this week or later in the season as avalanche conditions permit.

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