Elise Thatcher

A new hotel in Willits Town Center already has more applicants than job openings. Hotel management held a job fair Tuesday, screening people who want to work there. Called the "Element by Westin Basalt-Aspen," the establishment is expected to open in early December.

Marci Krivonen

Tourism officials in Snowmass Village are pleased with visitation this summer. Growth was seen each month from June through September.

September is seeing the biggest hike in visitation. So far, overnight stays in hotels and lodges are pacing 41 percent higher than the same month last year.

Christine Newcomb sees it first-hand. She’s a server at Big Hoss Grill on the Snowmass Mall.

"We’ve been getting busier and busier every summer. It’s only gotten busier since I started working here four years ago."

Elise Thatcher

The popular Hanging Lake trail will be closed this Saturday. The Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers will be working on improvements at the heavily used destination. They’ll tackle some of the areas that are suffering from overuse.

Elise Thatcher

  Starting today, there’s roadwork on Highway 82, either on Main Street in Aspen or between the roundabout and the airport. It’s a paving project during Aspen’s busiest month for car traffic at the entrance to the resort community. This July there’s an average of 27,000 cars coming in or out of town each day

Creative Commons/Flickr/Ed Schipul

A new study in Aspen and Snowmass Village will attempt to quantify just how large the “vacation rental by owner” sector is. 

More visitors to Aspen and Snowmass are using websites like Airbnb and VRBO to book overnight stays. It’s unknown, though, how big this sector is compared to traditional hotels and lodges. The tourism agencies Stay Aspen Snowmass and Destimetrics are trying to find out. Bill Tomcich is with Stay Aspen Snowmass.

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.

GrassRoots TV

Last night, Aspen City Council approved a second affordable lodge proposal by prolific land owner Mark Hunt. Councilmembers gave the go-ahead for what’s called Base 2. It would replace a Conoco gas station on Main Street, and off-site parking has been a point of contention.

Facebook/Marble Distilling Company

In the spring, Carbondale will welcome its first new hotel property in several years. The Marble Distilling Company plans to open a distillery and luxury hotel on Main Street. The owners think it will attract a new demographic and keep visitors in town longer. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen explains.

Connie Baker is Co-owner of Marble Distilling Company. She’s guiding me through the 7000 square foot building that’s still under construction.

Valley Roundup - November 7th, 2014

Nov 7, 2014

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.