city of aspen

Elise Thatcher

Memorial benches have been a long tradition in Aspen. But about a dozen that have been living in Galena Plaza now need a new home. The benches honor members of the community, whether they’re long time locals, part timers, or have otherwise spent time in Aspen. Thirteen benches need new homes because they’ll uprooted for a construction project on Galena Plaza.

Elise Thatcher

Workers in Aspen are cutting down 25 trees on city property today. A subcontractor started removing them, partly to make room for a redevelopment. The spruce trees are planted on top of the city’s parking garage, which is leaking and needs repair, and have to be removed in order for that work to happen. Jason Jones is with Aspen Tree Service, and says there isn’t enough room for the 30-year-old trees to keep growing. 

Creative Commons/Flickr/Nicholas Wang

More families in the Roaring Fork Valley need access to affordable early childhood education. That was the message from a panel discussion in Aspen Tuesday. Aspen’s mayor joined four others from the non profit and business sectors on stage at the Wheeler. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

Your Morning News - January 15th, 2015

Jan 15, 2015

Fishing Tournament Canceled

Unseasonably warm temperatures have canceled an ice fishing tournament near Rifle. The Rifle Chamber of Commerce announced yesterday the Mountain Air Mechanical Ice Fishing Tournament will not be held this weekend.

The tournament was to be held at Rifle Gap State Park. But, ice conditions weren’t conducive due to the weather. The Post Independent reports this is the third time in 17 years warm weather has canceled the competition.

El Capitan Climbers Successful

An Estes Park man and his partner have successfully completed a free climb of the Dawn Wall on El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. The Denver Post reports Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson finished the 3,000 vertical foot ascent yesterday.

The effort took the men 19 days. Every night was spent in suspended tents on the granite rock face. The pair’s effort makes history as the first-ever free ascent of Dawn Wall.

Your Evening News - January 14th, 2015

Jan 14, 2015

Aspen May Have to Build More Government Office Space

The City of Aspen is trying to decide where to put its workers. There’s not enough existing space for them including the police department. Tomorrow, the City is holding the last in a series of open houses on the issue.

Workers are severely cramped, plus Aspen is losing lots of office space due to rental agreements. City employee Jack Wheeler is overseeing how to solve the problem. He says there isn’t enough office space for the City to rent in Aspen. So, building is the only viable option.

“We went through several different iterations, we presented them to Council, Council and the public pointed at two distinct options. Both options that we’re pursuing include police facility at 540 Main.”

That’s city property next to the Pitkin County Plaza Building.

The difference in the plans lies in whether to renovate and expand city hall or effectively create a new city hall near the Pitkin County library by renovating and expanding existing city buildings there.

Either wouldn’t be in place until sometime 2018. So, Wheeler is also juggling an interim plan.

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 Morning News - December 16th, 2014

Dec 16, 2014

Aspen Planners Consider Mark Hunt Proposal on Lodging

Planning officials in Aspen are considering whether to allow certain exceptions for one of the development projects Mark Hunt is involved with. The Chicago businessman has purchased more than a dozen properties in town in recent years.

The project would be built on Main Street, where a Conoco gas station is now. Aspen’s planning and zoning commission is reviewing a laundry list of exceptions that Hunt is asking for. Aspen Senior planner Sara Adams says one is canceling what’s called impact fees.

“So that comes to a total of about $91,400, roughly, in impact fees.”

Hunt is also requesting a height increase, more than doubling the amount of floor space, eliminating the required two to three affordable housing units while leasing more than twenty parking spaces in the Rio Grande Parking Plaza rather than building more parking for guests.

The proposed building would be three stories tall with a gable roof and a rooftop deck. The rooms would be on the smaller side. Hunt has said the effort is to boost the affordable lodging in Aspen. Again, city planner Sara Adams

“First floor is retail, restaurant, lodge lobby. Second and third floor are all lodge rooms. You know a hundred and seventy to a hundred and eighty square feet, average size, bunk beds.”

In the basement there would be amenities like a bar and a Turkish steam bath. The proposal is goes before the Planning and Zoning Commission tonight. Members will decide what recommendations to make to City Council which will consider the proposal. Another Hunt development that’s very similar will be considered in January.

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

This week the White River National Forest released an oil and gas plan. But, does that settle the matter on drilling in the Thompson Divide?

The City of Aspen continues to refine a new lodging incentives ordinance. At the same time, the council is asking the city management to give them better information.

The State of Colorado is not messing around when it comes to regulations and medical pot shops.

Could Aspen’s Little Annie’s return from the grave… again?

Your Evening News - December 11th, 2014

Dec 11, 2014

Aspen Seeks Input on New Bike/Pedestrian Plan

The City of Aspen is updating its Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan and seeking public input. When the plan was conceived 20 years ago, several new trails were the result.

The original plan led to improvements like trail connections and new trails such as the East of Aspen trail and the Ute Avenue Trail. A lot has changed since the original master plan was drawn up, says City of Aspen Senior Project Manager Tyler Christoff. He says it’s time for a revision.

Welcome to Valley Roundup, a look at the week’s news with various writers and editors in the valley.

This week the Aspen City Council decided on a new plan to increase the number of lodging beds in town. But, is anyone happy with the plan?

It looks like the economy has recovered as there is very little vacancy in the commercial core of Aspen.

Does Pitkin County need bigger bike lanes? We might just get them.

A local service man, Captain William H. DuBois is being remembered.

Glenwood Springs wants to get tough on unlocked trash.

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