Economy

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.