Aspen Skiing Company

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. 

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. 

Aspen Skiing Company

The last ten days of the year is the busiest part of the ski season in Aspen. And smack in the middle of it, the Aspen Skiing Company was forced to close the fastest way to the top of Aspen Mountain. The Silver Queen Gondola was out of commission for three days, thanks to a broken bearing. Skiers had to take several lifts to the top, creating a kind of “Aspen unplugged” experience. That is, until the Ski Co had a private jet deliver the replacement part.  

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

Aspen Art Museum

If you’re heading up to ski at one of the Aspen Skiing Company mountains, take a look at your lift ticket. It was designed by a Los Angeles artist who transforms materials found in the street into paintings and collages. For the lift ticket designs, artist Mark Bradford used “merchant posters.” They’re bright and include messages like Rich BoySober Living and Artist of the Year. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen spoke with Heidi Zuckerman-Jacobson. She’s the director of the Aspen Art Museum, which partnered with the Ski Company on the project.

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