Aspen Skiing Company

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.

Good afternoon and Happy New Year. Welcome to Mountain Edition.

The City of Aspen is looking ahead to a warmer future and planning around a changed climate.

An Aspen non-profit is introducing children to the science behind our winter landscape.

And as the snow flies, extensive snow removal operations are underway at the Aspen airport.

It’s one of the busiest times of the year at Aspen restaurants. We’ll take you to one that’s working to keep up.

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.

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

It’s that time of year when ski resorts crank up snowmaking machines to bolster Mother Nature’s delivery. Some resorts depend on man-made snow more than others and it’s possible  the practice may be used more in the future. For Connecting the Drops, Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.