Aspen Skiing Company

Mountain Edition - January 1st, 2015

Jan 1, 2015

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.

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.

Your Morning News - December 9th, 2014

Dec 9, 2014

Lodging Discussion Continues at Aspen City Council

Aspen City Council has decided to move forward with considering changes to the city’s lodging regulations. The agreement took place last night, during Council’s last regular meeting of the year. Like a similar meeting last week, council members decided to continue looking at some affordable housing or fee flexibility for small lodges. Again, controversial changes for square footage, building height, or free market residency, were left by the wayside.

Your Evening News - December 8th, 2014

Dec 8, 2014

Eagle, Pitkin Counties See Fewer Assistance Fraud Cases

Officials say they are already seeing success in stopping residents from taking advantage of social services in Eagle and Pitkin Counties. This comes after a new focus on reviewing public assistance cases. In January, Eagle County dedicated two employees to review cases where residents are getting certain benefits. It’s modeled off of programs elsewhere, like Garfield County and the Front Range. The workers review every qualifying case in Pitkin and Eagle Counties. Rita Woods is Fiscal and Operations Director with Health & Human Services. She says most people on assistance do need it.

“But it’s our job just to insure that taxpayer confidence, in our fiscal fiduciary, that we’re checking to make sure the right people are receiving the right benefit at the right time.”

Her office points to a recent fraud case as evidence of the program’s success. An Eagle resident has pleaded guilty to using food and medical assistance even though she didn’t qualify.

aspensnowmass.com

One of the ways the Aspen Skiing Company says it sets itself apart from its competitors is through its arts program. Since 2005, the Company has been collaborating with the Aspen Art Museum for a program called “Art in Unexpected Places.” Part of the program features artwork on lift tickets. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen jumped aboard the Silver Queen Gondola on Aspen Mountain to talk with Ski Co. CEO Mike Kaplan.

Your Evening News - November 26th, 2014

Nov 26, 2014

CDOT Extends Glenwood Bridge Comment Period 

If you have an opinion about the new Grand Avenue Bridge, now there’s another month to let officials know. The Colorado Department of Transportation has extended the comment period for the Glenwood Springs project.

CDOT has gotten a lot of feedback already about the proposal...specifically the Environmental Assessment released at the beginning of the month. Spokeswoman Tracy Truelove says at a recent public hearing, some people were asking for more time to consider the bridge replacement.

Your Morning News - November 26th, 2014

Nov 26, 2014

Ski Co and the 2015 Season

With the lifts already cranking on Aspen Mountain and a scheduled opening day Thursday at Snowmass, the Aspen Skiing Company is positive about the season ahead.

The Aspen Skiing Company is opening new terrain and new family amenities on three of its four mountains. Buttermilk may see the most change with a reconfigured base area, a remodeled Inn at Aspen and a new children’s center called “Hideout.” Mike Kaplan is President and CEO of the Skiing Company.

Valley Roundup - November 21st, 2014

Nov 21, 2014

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

Guest host this week is Loren Jenkins.

This week ski season starts and there’s excitement around that, but there’s also excitement and concern, depending on whom you ask, about a developer buying up over a dozen buildings in Aspen. Meanwhile, Aspen city hall could be on the move soon. The state has taken its first shot at a unified water plan on diversions and other projects as Glenwood Springs continues to figure out how to mend fences over a new proposed bridge.

Aspen Mountain Opens Early

Nov 18, 2014

Skiers and riders will get their fix a little early thanks to mother nature. The Aspen Skiing Company announced today it’s opening Aspen Mountain Saturday, five days earlier than planned.

A snowstorm that blanketed the Roaring Fork Valley over the weekend brought more than 21 inches to Aspen Mountain. The Aspen Skiing Company says it will open Saturday with the most vertical feet in the country and top-to-bottom skiing and riding over 120 acres of terrain.

Elise Thatcher

If it feels busier in your town in the Roaring Fork Valley, that’s because in general this summer has been particularly bustling. Statistics from the National Forest Service to Chamber of Commerce organizations up and down the valley say there are more tourists, and business is up compared to years past.

Marci Krivonen

Summer in Aspen not only means warm weather and crowds, it also means businesses are hiring. The resort has a seasonal economy and, some companies are reviewing their drug and alcohol policies now that marijuana is legal in Colorado. It's causing some confusion for employers and raising questions for human resources departments. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

Since marijuana became legal for adults in Colorado, Alicia Miller has been getting a lot of questions from employees at Aspen Valley Hospital.

CBS

There’s a lot of concern over avalanche danger in Colorado’s backcountry right now. That includes the Aspen area. But skiers and boarders also have to keep this in mind: avalanches can occur inside ski areas… and if they do, the resort isn’t necessarily at fault. That’s a new ruling by the Colorado Appeals Court. 

Aspen Sends Four Athletes To The Olympics in Sochi

Jan 29, 2014
Marci Krivonen

Aspen’s sending four athletes to the Olympics in Sochi, Russia and the community gathered Wednesday, to send them off. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen was at the event at the Gondola Plaza. She filed this report.

"Welcome to our 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic send-off for our local Olympians!"

Chris Klug, a three-time Olympian, hosted the ceremony. A sizable crowd gathered under light snow while Klug introduced the four Olympic athletes.

"We extend sincere congratulations to Jeremy Abbott, Simi Hamilton, Noah Hoffman and Torin Yater-Wallace," he said.

Elise Thatcher

For the first time in seven years, snowboarding phenom Shaun White did not take home the X Games gold for Super Pipe. The Flying Tomato decided to save his legs for the Olympics in a matter of weeks… and Danny Davis took home the gold. That was the last event for this winter’s X Games… and early signs are that it may have been successful

Editor's note: Below is a transcript of reporter Elise Thatcher's story.

[Sound of snowboarder landing on the ice in the SuperPipe, during men’s finals.]

Mountain Edition - January 16th, 2014

Jan 16, 2014

The first purchases of recreational marijuana in the Roaring Fork Valley happened this week. People lined up outside the Doctor’s Garden in Carbondale on Wednesday.

While weed becomes legal for adults 21 and older, parents are worried about the effects retail pot might have on teenagers, if it gets into their hands.

A trial in Aspen this week leads to an acquittal for a brew pub in Aspen. The Aspen Brewing Company was cited for noise violations.

Rainbow flags along Aspen’s streets mark Gay Ski Week in Aspen. This year, there are more participants than ever before. And, a group ceremony for civil unions will wrap up festivities.

As ski equipment improves and people are skiing faster, ski resorts are working harder to educate people. Aspen-Snowmass is focusing on ski safety.

Finally, the U-S cross country team is doing well this season. And, some think there’s a chance the team could medal. That hasn’t happened for more than 30 years.

If you’ve skied one of the four Aspen Skiing Company’s mountains, you’ve probably seen the common safety warnings. Signs range from “slow” to “no straightlining.” Now, Ski Co is part of a month-long effort by the National Ski Areas Association to drill that message home. 

 

When you get off the Elk Camp Gondola at Snowmass, there’s a tent with tantalizing free cider, stickers and Clif bars… that is if you can first pass a quiz about safety.  Tackling that issue  on the slopes is a multifaceted affair. Level one is, well, skiing more slowly. 

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