Business

Airbnb: How the Sharing Economy is Redefining the Marketplace and Our Sense of Community

Airbnb does business in 34,000 cities, has a valuation of over 10 billion dollars, and in a very short time has disrupted the world of hospitality and travel. Its co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky envisions the future city as a place where sharing is front and center — where people become micro-entrepreneurs, the local mom and pops will flourish once again, where space isn’t wasted, but shared, and more of almost everything is produced, except waste. But the journey from here to there won’t be all smooth sailing. What are the ups and downs of the sharing economy, as businesses like Airbnb confront critiques about regulation, economic development, and fairness? What role might businesses play in creating more shareable, more livable cities? How will the sharing economy, with its de-emphasis on ownership, be a tool for addressing urban inequality?

Brian Chesky, Jennifer Bradley

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.

http://ventureburn.com/

The future of rural broadband in the Rockies is being discussed this week in Vail. The Mountain Connect Rural Broadband Conference seeks to bring together stakeholders to talk about ways of improving service. Christopher Mitchell is with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance based in Minnesota. He is attending the conference. Mitchell spoke recently to Aspen Public Radio’s Rob St. Mary about how co-ops could help improve broadband service in the rural West.

A neighboring county is grappling with a huge mudslide, west of the Roaring Fork Valley.

It’s so dangerous a search for three missing residents has been called off and another slide could come down.

Construction begins in Carbondale for a decorative new roundabout on highway 133.

We’ll hear different opinions about a federal plan to beef up environmental protection for certain bodies of water.

Some Colorado companies are starting to use the state’s new logo but there have been hiccups for the branding effort.

Finally, we’ll hear from a state representative whose district covers Pitkin County about her busy time at the Statehouse.

That’s all coming up on Mountain Edition – right now.

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.

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.

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.

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

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