Marci Krivonen

Tourism officials in Snowmass Village are pleased with visitation this summer. Growth was seen each month from June through September.

September is seeing the biggest hike in visitation. So far, overnight stays in hotels and lodges are pacing 41 percent higher than the same month last year.

Christine Newcomb sees it first-hand. She’s a server at Big Hoss Grill on the Snowmass Mall.

"We’ve been getting busier and busier every summer. It’s only gotten busier since I started working here four years ago."

Marci Krivonen

Elected leaders in Snowmass Village Monday (9/21) decided to put on hold a decision about whether to move forward a re-start of construction at the base of the ski resort. If a preliminary plan is approved, Base Village will move into its final design stage. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

Elise Thatcher

Starting a small business isn’t for the faint of heart. But it can be a key way for residents to make ends meet in the Roaring Fork Valley. Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher has this story of one longtime local who’s trying a new restaurant venture this summer in a unique place: a horse trailer.


Featured speakers: Dan Price, Kelly Evans

Dan Price is the CEO of Seattle-based Gravity Payments. He now earns his company's minimum wage, which he recently set at $70,000. In an age of super-salaries for top executives and growing income inequality, Price says his decision was values based, but that he also expects it to boost Gravity's bottom line. Could the Gravity story be on the front end of a culture shift?

Marci Krivonen

A program that helps newcomers to the Roaring Fork Valley integrate and settle is investing in a new Latin food restaurant in Basalt. The non-profit Valley Settlement Project is using cooking to help families become financially secure and connect with their community. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

It’s lunchtime on a Monday and the Cocina Del Valle in downtown Basalt is packed. Mario Alverde is the manager.

Town Hall Meeting on the “Keep Aspen Aspen” ballot referendum recorded on Wednesday March 25th, 2015 at the Belly Up Aspen.

The forum is moderated by Aspen Public Radio News Director Carolyn Sackariason and features supporters and opponents of the May 5th ballot measure that would force a public vote for development variances over a particular threshold.

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.

Your Morning News - February 13th, 2015

Feb 13, 2015

Less Snow Means Less Green for Businesses

Aspen saw its second driest January in nearly a hundred years. February so far has also been dry and warm. For businesses who make a lot of money on snow, it’s been a tough go of it.


“I’ve been in the snow removal business for 28 years, and really never seen this long a dry spell before,” says Will Vannice.


He owns Daly Properties in Basalt. He and his workers usually remove snow and ice for commercial properties, and business is down about 350 percent. Vannice says the company will probably make it through OK, as long as he keeps spending to a minimum. But it’s harder on the workers.


“We have 6 salaried positions here and they just cut 30% of their salary out until the first of April,” he says.


Further up valley, Glenn Loper is owner of Groundskeepers of Aspen. The company also does snow removal and landscaping.


“At this point we’re on an “on call” business for our employees, about fifteen or eighteen of them that are in limbo right now.”


Loper also has about a handful of salaried employees and they’re staying busy down in Carbondale. That’s because Groundskeepers is now operating Planted Earth nursery there. Like Will Vannice, Loper has to make sure he keeps an eye on spending this spring to make it through OK. And they’re both waiting out February before switching over to spring landscaping.  

“I was kind of excited the other day when I saw that the weather pattern had shifted and we’re possibly gonna get more snow now,” Loper says. is forecasting snow for this Sunday and Monday. Corey Gates, co-founder of the hyper-local forecasting website, says the rest of the month looks stormy.

He guesses that 28 inches of snow will fall by the end of the month.

Your Morning News - February 5th, 2015

Feb 5, 2015

Calls Come for Increased Vaccination Rates

Pitkin County’s public health clinic is seeing a rise in the number of people requesting vaccinations for measles. The majority of calls are from parents checking on their children’s vaccine history and adults seeking vaccinations.

The local spike in interest comes after a measles outbreak started in California and spread to fourteen states. Pitkin County Public Health Director Liz Stark says she’s happy to see the uptick in interest.

“We are definitely being impacted by what’s going on in the country. And, the positive thing is that the calls we’re getting are from people interested in making sure they’re vaccinated and up to date on their vaccines.”

She thinks the Roaring Fork Valley is generally in favor of vaccines. Five percent of students in Aspen’s School District are not vaccinated.

“That means that only five percent of the children have opted out of vaccines for either religious or personal exemption. That’s really good compared to other communities around the country.”

But, Colorado as a whole has a low vaccination rate. The Denver Post reports, the state is dead last for vaccinating kindergartners for measles, mumps and rubella. The Roaring Fork School District with schools in Basalt, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs did not respond to a request for vaccination rates.

The city sales tax report for 2014 is in. It appears the Aspen economy has more than rebounded. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason reports.

People in Aspen shopped more, drank more, ate more and consumed pot more in 2014 than the previous year.

That’s according a recently-released sales tax consumption report, which shows economic activity within the city of Aspen last year is up 10 percent over 2013. That amounts to nearly $624 million in commerce.