Tourism

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

This week you went to the polls, we take a look at some of the key races – what they mean and what could be the path forward for development and the future of Snowmass’s Base Village.

In non-election news, the Aspen Airport has a new director and our panel will give him some advice.

Speaking of travel, this summer was the best for tourism in the history of the State of Colorado and this winter, into 2015, could top that. We’ll chat about the pluses and minuses of the busy seasons.

And on the Download, you’ve heard of tweeting and facebooking – we’ll introduce you to an Aspen bartender and entrepreneur who wants the term “soapboxing” to be just as ubiquitous.  

Marci Krivonen

As the fight to keep natural gas drilling out of an area known as the Thompson Divide continues, two Roaring Fork Valley residents who operate lodging near the Divide flew over the contested area last week with Ecoflight. They say energy development would hurt their business. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen went on the flyover and filed this report.

The clouds are clearing as our Cessna 210 leaves the ground. It’s a smooth takeoff and right away, snowcapped peaks come into view.

Good afternoon and welcome to Mountain Edition.

The Roaring Fork Valley is awash with fall colors this week.

Basalt puts together a commission to decide on a way to revitalize old town.

Health insurance rates are going down next year for some residents in the Glenwood Springs area. And that’s partly because some doctors and hospitals have agreed to get paid less.

U.S. Senate candidates in Colorado battle it out for the women’s vote in the November election.

And we look at the 35th annual Aspen Film Fest, opening this weekend.

Marci Krivonen

As the entire Roaring Fork Valley takes a huge breath after a busy summer, we’re exploring why Colorado’s mountain resorts get so congested. It’s thanks in part, to an aggressive marketing effort that’s been growing since the 1940s. In his book “Vacationland: Tourism and Environment in the Colorado High Country,” University of Denver History Professor William Philpott says the effort to repackage Colorado as a tourist destination followed World War II. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen spoke with him.

Kaylan Robinson/Wanderlust

You may have noticed traffic jams and crowded streets in Aspen this summer. These are all anecdotes indicating the resort experienced a busy summer. But, the data proves it too. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

You may have experienced headaches on your drive into Aspen this summer...as eastbound traffic piled up on Highway 82. Turns out, the number of cars heading in and out of town in June, July and August was up three-and-a-half percent over last year.

Marci Krivonen

Aspen and Snowmass Village have played host before to the USA Pro Challenge but, for the first time this year, the race will travel through Basalt and Carbondale. Cyclists begin “stage two” of the race in Aspen just after 10 o’clock Tuesday morning. As Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports, Downvalley communities are rolling out the red carpet.

Aspen is not a cheap place to live, or even visit.  That’s especially true now that the summer season is picking up. During peak seasons, in the winter and summer, the cheapest hotel room in Aspen goes for about two-hundred-dollars a night. But the local government is trying to change that. Over the past month, Aspen City Council has been considering a new lodging incentive program that would encourage more hotel development. Dorothy Atkins has the story.

The government shutdown trudges on but Pitkin County is working to alleviate the pain by increasing access to a local attraction on federal land.

A proposal for funding public education has been called historic by Colorado’s governor. But, the ballot measure could stretch wallets.

The Aspen Skiing Company hopes to catch the eye of up and coming skiers from certain Asian countries.

And, changes may be in store if the USA Pro Challenge bike race returns to the upper Roaring Fork Valley next year. We talk with an economist who says big sporting events may not mean more money for the towns hosting them.

Finally, we get an update on local athletes training for the upcoming Winter Olympics in Russia.

File Photo

For tourists streaming in this week for prime leaf viewing season, the Federal government shutdown may be altering their plans. The Forest Service closed the gates to vehicle traffic to the Maroon Bells on Tuesday. So, now, the Aspen Skiing Company is offering free gondola rides this weekend on Aspen Mountain.