Business

Flickr/Libby Levi/opensource.com

This month, we’ve been examining what it takes to live and work in Aspen, and whether the middle class is being priced out. Today we focus on young entrepreneurs and the barriers they face when opening a business in Aspen. For some the high rents and seasonal business is worth it, while others were forced to move Downvalley to make it work, financially. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

Bo Gallagher, 24, switches on a large dryer in his silk-screening store, Zapazoo Inkworks. Unlike a clothes dryer, this machine has a wide conveyer belt.

Marci Krivonen

All this week, we’re taking a look at the challenges of working and living in Aspen. To some it appears that Aspen is steadily pricing out middle class residents and would be future residents.  In our first report we go to the downtown core where businesses face rising rents and increasingly slow off-seasons.  To survive many retailers must cater almost exclusively to high-dollar customers. For some stores, the struggle is worth it. Others have all but given up. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen has our story.

Downtown Business A Concern Ahead of Basalt Election

Mar 24, 2014
www.basalt.net

Basalt’s municipal election is about one week away and five candidates are vying for three open seats on the Town board. One of the biggest issues is business. While downtown stores struggle, the new urban Willits area is busy. Mike Scanlon is Basalt’s Town Manager.

Mountain Edition - March 6th, 2014

Mar 5, 2014

Today, we’ll bring you the latest with the investigation into the murder of Aspen native Nancy Pfister.

Republicans and Democrats are whittling down the contenders for state and local elections this fall.

Aspen’s first recreational pot shop starts selling buds… and we find out how much Carbondale has made on marijuana taxes.

And we hear from a Paralympic coach who arrived in Sochi this week. With the international tensions in nearby Ukraine, we’ll hear how safe athletes are feeling.

Get to Know Your Tree Salesman

Nov 29, 2013
Rob St. Mary

Based on historical evidence, evergreens livening up the Christmas celebrations date back to the 1400 or 1500s in Germany and Eastern Europe. Now, Joey Sissom hasn’t been selling Christmas trees in Aspen that long. But, he’s been doing it since 1978. While his tree lot has moved around a bit since he started 35 years ago, I caught him setting up in front of Clark’s Market in Aspen.

With over three-decades in the Christmas tree business, Sissom has a few things to share about what to consider if you are looking for the perfect "tannenbaum" for your celebrations.

Gordon Bronson and Michael Edinger, founders of Hub Aspen, a business incubator space they are hoping to launch in downtown Aspen.

www.hubaspen.com

Crystal Theatre says "Good Bye" to Film Tonight

Sep 17, 2013
Rob St. Mary

Tonight is the end of an era at the Crystal Theatre in Carbondale. The theater will go digital before the end of the month. But, before it does owners Bob and Kathy Ezra have one last show planned – a highlight reel of previews for films shown at the cinema. They spoke to Aspen Public Radio’s Rob St. Mary.

USA Pro Challenge

For two days this week, the upper Roaring Fork Valley played host to more than one hundred professional cyclists, their staffs and lots of fans. It was the third year the USA Pro Challenge brought this contingent through Aspen. As Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports, the race’s economic impact is good and bad, depending on whom you talk to.

Garmin International

More commercial truckers are navigating Independence Pass... even though they’re not supposed to. That’s according to the Colorado State Patrol. This summer, officers are doing more to bring those numbers down. And the effort comes as a worldwide GPS company is also trying to get the attention of more drivers.

When traveling east of Aspen on Highway 82, there are several signs warning drivers, saying:

“No trucks over thirty five feet in length can drive up and over Independence Pass.”

Export Roaring Fork Valley

Jun 19, 2013
Creative Commons

Small businesses in the Roaring Fork Valley should consider exporting their goods and services as a way to expand their customer base.  That is the message of a workshop organized by Colorado Senator Michael Bennet later today in Glenwood Springs.  Bennett’s office is bringing federal and state export representatives to help local business owners in the process of selling overseas.  Aspen Public Radio’s Roger Adams has more.

How does a new craft brewer stand apart from the pack? A few have hitched their brewery onto the local food bandwagon. Sourcing the ingredients that form beer’s DNA straight from the fields around them.

Carbondale Theatre Goes Digital With Community Help

May 23, 2013
Rob St. Mary

The movie going experience has been changing over the past several years as the 100 plus year old technology of film is being replaced with ones and zeroes. Aspen Public Radio’s Rob St. Mary looks at how a Carbondale theater is answering the digital call.

Boosting Business in Basalt

May 16, 2013
Roger Adams

The apparent early success of Whole Foods Market in Basalt is drawing new attention to the Willits development.  Already some businesses have relocated to Willits from downtown Basalt as the foot traffic there grows.  For some this presents a challenge to downtown where merchants are brainstorming ways to attract more visitors their way.  Aspen Public Radio’s Roger Adams explains.

Marci Krivonen

The Roaring Fork Valley is no Silicon Valley. But, it is home to a growing innovative computer tech company. The Basalt-basediOmounts designs and distributes sturdy stands to hold smart phones and tablets. The company does most of its business online and has furnished local lodges, like the Hotel Jerome, with its products.

Turns out, iOmounts isn’t the only business of its kind in Colorado. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/79604620@N00/11350061

A bill requiring rural electric cooperatives to use more renewable energy sources is

on its way to the State House. Senate Bill 252 narrowly passed the senate earlier this month, over objections by rural republicans and some cooperatives.

 

The legislation would increase the amount of renewables, like wind and solar, coops must use from the current 10 percent standard to 25 percent. If it passed, these electric groups would have to meet that mark by 2020. Lee Boughey of Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association says that's a difficult target.

Photo by Elise Thatcher

Part 3 of a 3 part series.

Pitkin County residents are making less money than ten years ago. That’s one of the findings in a recent economic sustainability report released by the Aspen Chamber Resort Association. One of the reasons could be that paychecks aren’t keeping up with inflation. Aspen Public Radio's Elise Thatcher reports.
 

Aspen’s Economic Challenges: Part #2 - Small Business

Apr 16, 2013
Photo by Marci Krivoen

Part 2 of a 3 part series.

It’s tough to open and run a business in Aspen these days. New business owners must navigate a web of regulations and fees. And, stores already in operation are battling a tough economy nationally, and within the resort itself. Retail sales are a good indicator of a resort’s economic health. And, while sales data show Aspen has largely recovered from the recession, the retail sector has seen no real sales growth for six years.  Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

Aspen’s Economic Challenges: Part #1 - Lodging

Apr 15, 2013
Roger Adams

Part 1 of a 3 part series.

Residents of Aspen often hear and say that they live in paradise; it is a town like no other.  And yet, the Aspen of this description is facing challenges in coming years. That’s the conclusion of a report issued last week by the Aspen Chamber Resort Association.    ACRA’s Economic Sustainability Report revisits issues considered by a similar study done ten years ago.

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