President of Iceland visits during AREDAY

Jul 7, 2016
Photo by Ryer Gardenswartz

The President of Iceland visited Snowmass during the annual AREDAY Summit earlier this summer to discuss how his country was able to make an economic turnaround with renewable energy and to showcase how important other, bigger economies are in improving the planet.

Summit County TV 10

The town of Basalt has gotten a lot of attention in the Roaring Fork Valley for considering sharing sales taxes with a developer. At least two other mountain communities in Colorado have done something similar. But, there’s a key difference.

Mountain Home Photo

  A variety of numbers show booming business in Aspen, whether it’s hotel reservations, an increase in commercial flights, or the price of renting retail space downtown. Another metric is home sales.

Elise Thatcher

The price of renting commercial space in Aspen is some of the highest rates the resort has seen in years, and there have been questions about whether it’s affecting business owners renting office space.

  Aspen is bustling much more than in mid December last year. But that’s not true for Snowmass Village. Occupancy rates in Aspen on Tuesday were at or near 46%, compared to 23% the same day last year.

Stay Aspen Snowmass

  Aspen and Snowmass Village had a record-setting amount of hotel reservations this fall. But winter bookings are still lackluster. This fall hit a high water mark with overnight bookings, following on a busy summer. A long stretch of good weather plus last-minute reservations in October played a big role.

A group that advocates for young people wants to create a mentorship program they say would grow Aspen’s economy.

As summer winds to a close, the Aspen Skiing Company is looking ahead to winter. They’re counting on international visitors from typical players like Australia and Brazil, but also new countries. Ski-Co Director of Worldwide Sales Kristi Kavanaugh says international visits make up 30 percent of the company’s annual revenue, and the community benefits. She spoke with Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen.

Kristi Kavanaugh is Managing Director of Worldwide Sales for the Aspen Skiing Company. Last year was the Skiing Company’s best year ever for international visitation.

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.


Elise Thatcher

The Roaring Fork Valley broke records for visitors last summer. So far Aspen and Snowmass Village are on track to be even busier, and more expensive, this summer. Resort tracker DestiMetrics says overnight bookings across the West are up about 8.5% compared to last year. Aspen and Snowmass Village are seeing about the same numbers.

The numbers are out for this past ski season [2014 - 2015]. More than 7 million people visited Colorado’s ski resorts. That’s down slightly from the record-setting season one year before.

Jon Fredericks/LANDWEST

The Roaring Fork Valley Regional Planning Commission will review a proposed housing development in El Jebel today. It’s a project that could bring needed affordable homes to an area seeing barely any inventory and skyrocketing prices. Aspen Public Radio's Elise Thatcher continues our series on the housing shortage today with an exploration of new proposed developments, and some already in the works.

Joleen Cohen

Finding decent housing in Aspen and parts of the Roaring Fork Valley has always been difficult. But the increasing shortage in rentals, especially in the Mid-Valley, is having a significant impact on residents. In the first in our series about housing in the Valley, Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher has this story.


Elected officials in Basalt heard results Tuesday from a study done on affordable housing. A Denver-based research group looked over wages, housing costs and job growth and delivered mostly negative findings. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

Suzanne Wheeler-DelPiccolo is principal of Basalt Elementary School. She says finding affordable housing is a constant challenge for her staff of teachers.

"When you hire new people, as a principal, I’ve helped people look for apartments and find places to live because it’s that challenging," she says.

Tracy Olson/Flickr

   Has Aspen become too expensive for middle class residents? We’ve examined what it takes for retail shops to survive downtown. as business owners are facing challenges like rising rents and increasingly slow off-seasons.  Next, we talk with locals to find out how they're balancing life in the Upper Valley. For many, living in a different town is one of the solutions.

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.

Elise Thatcher

There’s a wine shortage… and it could get worse. So predicts a recent report by banking giant Morgan Stanley. The report blames bad weather and other factors for a looming shortage of fine wines. What is not clear is if the forecast is right. At least one financial writer calls the report a ploy to boost certain investments. Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher talks with Aspen sommelier Tim Baldwin, Assistant Food and Beverage Director at The Little Nell in Aspen. First, she asked him what his take is on the wine shortage.

Elise Thatcher

There were about 4400 more jobs last November than previously thought. That’s according to the latest numbers from Colorado’s Department of Labor and Employment. Chief Economist Alexandra Hall says the update doesn’t increase the overall average number of jobs during the fourth quarter of 2012. But the update does show Colorado's job numbers appear to be accurately reflecting the state's economy.