Snowmass Village summertime business sees growth

Sep 24, 2015
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."

Snowmass Mall businesses: restart Base Village...soon!

Sep 21, 2015
Marci Krivonen

Elected leaders in Snowmass Village Monday (9/21) decided to put on hold a decision about whether to move forward a re-start of construction at the base of the ski resort. If a preliminary plan is approved, Base Village will move into its final design stage. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

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.


The $70,000 Minimum Wage

Jul 2, 2015

Featured speakers: Dan Price, Kelly Evans

Dan Price is the CEO of Seattle-based Gravity Payments. He now earns his company's minimum wage, which he recently set at $70,000. In an age of super-salaries for top executives and growing income inequality, Price says his decision was values based, but that he also expects it to boost Gravity's bottom line. Could the Gravity story be on the front end of a culture shift?

Marci Krivonen

A program that helps newcomers to the Roaring Fork Valley integrate and settle is investing in a new Latin food restaurant in Basalt. The non-profit Valley Settlement Project is using cooking to help families become financially secure and connect with their community. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

It’s lunchtime on a Monday and the Cocina Del Valle in downtown Basalt is packed. Mario Alverde is the manager.

Town Hall Meeting on the “Keep Aspen Aspen” ballot referendum recorded on Wednesday March 25th, 2015 at the Belly Up Aspen.

The forum is moderated by Aspen Public Radio News Director Carolyn Sackariason and features supporters and opponents of the May 5th ballot measure that would force a public vote for development variances over a particular threshold.

January, February dry spells didn't keep skiers away

Mar 16, 2015
Jeremy Swanson/Aspen Snowmass

Despite a dearth of snowfall in January and part of last month, the Aspen Skiing Co. is reporting an uptick in business. 

The Aspen Skiing Company says it is pacing ahead of last season despite being open fewer days compared to 2013-14. While season pass holders skied less during the dry spells, international visitors made up for the loss. The company says it expects to finish the year strong.

Your Morning News - February 13th, 2015

Feb 13, 2015

Less Snow Means Less Green for Businesses

Aspen saw its second driest January in nearly a hundred years. February so far has also been dry and warm. For businesses who make a lot of money on snow, it’s been a tough go of it.


“I’ve been in the snow removal business for 28 years, and really never seen this long a dry spell before,” says Will Vannice.


He owns Daly Properties in Basalt. He and his workers usually remove snow and ice for commercial properties, and business is down about 350 percent. Vannice says the company will probably make it through OK, as long as he keeps spending to a minimum. But it’s harder on the workers.


“We have 6 salaried positions here and they just cut 30% of their salary out until the first of April,” he says.


Further up valley, Glenn Loper is owner of Groundskeepers of Aspen. The company also does snow removal and landscaping.


“At this point we’re on an “on call” business for our employees, about fifteen or eighteen of them that are in limbo right now.”


Loper also has about a handful of salaried employees and they’re staying busy down in Carbondale. That’s because Groundskeepers is now operating Planted Earth nursery there. Like Will Vannice, Loper has to make sure he keeps an eye on spending this spring to make it through OK. And they’re both waiting out February before switching over to spring landscaping.  

“I was kind of excited the other day when I saw that the weather pattern had shifted and we’re possibly gonna get more snow now,” Loper says. is forecasting snow for this Sunday and Monday. Corey Gates, co-founder of the hyper-local forecasting website, says the rest of the month looks stormy.

He guesses that 28 inches of snow will fall by the end of the month.

Your Morning News - February 5th, 2015

Feb 5, 2015

Calls Come for Increased Vaccination Rates

Pitkin County’s public health clinic is seeing a rise in the number of people requesting vaccinations for measles. The majority of calls are from parents checking on their children’s vaccine history and adults seeking vaccinations.

The local spike in interest comes after a measles outbreak started in California and spread to fourteen states. Pitkin County Public Health Director Liz Stark says she’s happy to see the uptick in interest.

“We are definitely being impacted by what’s going on in the country. And, the positive thing is that the calls we’re getting are from people interested in making sure they’re vaccinated and up to date on their vaccines.”

She thinks the Roaring Fork Valley is generally in favor of vaccines. Five percent of students in Aspen’s School District are not vaccinated.

“That means that only five percent of the children have opted out of vaccines for either religious or personal exemption. That’s really good compared to other communities around the country.”

But, Colorado as a whole has a low vaccination rate. The Denver Post reports, the state is dead last for vaccinating kindergartners for measles, mumps and rubella. The Roaring Fork School District with schools in Basalt, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs did not respond to a request for vaccination rates.

The city sales tax report for 2014 is in. It appears the Aspen economy has more than rebounded. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason reports.

People in Aspen shopped more, drank more, ate more and consumed pot more in 2014 than the previous year.

That’s according a recently-released sales tax consumption report, which shows economic activity within the city of Aspen last year is up 10 percent over 2013. That amounts to nearly $624 million in commerce.

Valley Roundup - October 24th, 2014

Oct 24, 2014

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

This week - Development is booming up and down the valley. A new hot springs in Glenwood Springs, a new hotel in Basalt and a big new bus depot in Aspen are just some of the upcoming projects. 

There is a demonstrated need for more psychiatric care in the Valley.  Officials say too many drunks and people with mental health problems wind up in jail or the ER.

Also this week newspaper endorsements and their effect on voters.

And, remembering Willard Clapper.

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.

The "Bud Is Back" For Basalt Tea Company

Aug 12, 2014
Marci Krivonen

The Bud is back. Basalt’s successful international tea company is once again called Two Leaves and a Bud. A couple years ago the company shortened its name to Two Leaves Tea Company.  They heard from many customers about that and, last month the bud returned. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen explains.

Tea company founder Richard Rosenfeld takes the blame for shortening the company’s name. He thought the original name - Two Leaves and a Bud - was too long. It didn’t take long for customers to respond.

Glenwood Springs Brewer Serves Up "Wild" Creations

Jul 9, 2014
Marci Krivonen

As the craft beer movement grows in the United States, breweries are working to set themselves apart and offer something different. Many are experimenting with new kinds of beer, offering up so-called “sour” and “wild” varieties. A new brewery in Glenwood Springs is specializing in this avant-garde beer. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen toured Casey Brewing and Blending and filed this report.

Casey Brewing and Blending sits on a steep hill above the Roaring Fork River. Inside a warehouse space, lots of used oak wine barrels are stacked high.

Afternoon of Conversation

Jun 30, 2014

Afternoon of Conversation

* PepsiCo Chairperson and CEO Indra Nooyi in conversation with David Bradley

* Former Vice President Al Gore with David Gergen

* Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in conversation with Andrea Mitchell

* The Race Card Project with NPR’s Michele Norris and Guests

* Gen. David Petraeus (Ret., US Army) in conversation with Bob Schieffer

Airbnb: How the Sharing Economy is Redefining the Marketplace and Our Sense of Community

Airbnb does business in 34,000 cities, has a valuation of over 10 billion dollars, and in a very short time has disrupted the world of hospitality and travel. Its co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky envisions the future city as a place where sharing is front and center — where people become micro-entrepreneurs, the local mom and pops will flourish once again, where space isn’t wasted, but shared, and more of almost everything is produced, except waste. But the journey from here to there won’t be all smooth sailing. What are the ups and downs of the sharing economy, as businesses like Airbnb confront critiques about regulation, economic development, and fairness? What role might businesses play in creating more shareable, more livable cities? How will the sharing economy, with its de-emphasis on ownership, be a tool for addressing urban inequality?

Brian Chesky, Jennifer Bradley

Marci Krivonen

Summer in Aspen not only means warm weather and crowds, it also means businesses are hiring. The resort has a seasonal economy and, some companies are reviewing their drug and alcohol policies now that marijuana is legal in Colorado. It's causing some confusion for employers and raising questions for human resources departments. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

Since marijuana became legal for adults in Colorado, Alicia Miller has been getting a lot of questions from employees at Aspen Valley Hospital.

The future of rural broadband in the Rockies is being discussed this week in Vail. The Mountain Connect Rural Broadband Conference seeks to bring together stakeholders to talk about ways of improving service. Christopher Mitchell is with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance based in Minnesota. He is attending the conference. Mitchell spoke recently to Aspen Public Radio’s Rob St. Mary about how co-ops could help improve broadband service in the rural West.

Mountain Edition - May 29th, 2014

May 29, 2014

A neighboring county is grappling with a huge mudslide, west of the Roaring Fork Valley.

It’s so dangerous a search for three missing residents has been called off and another slide could come down.

Construction begins in Carbondale for a decorative new roundabout on highway 133.

We’ll hear different opinions about a federal plan to beef up environmental protection for certain bodies of water.

Some Colorado companies are starting to use the state’s new logo but there have been hiccups for the branding effort.

Finally, we’ll hear from a state representative whose district covers Pitkin County about her busy time at the Statehouse.

That’s all coming up on Mountain Edition – right now.

Flickr/Libby Levi/

This month, we’ve been examining what it takes to live and work in Aspen, and whether the middle class is being priced out. Today we focus on young entrepreneurs and the barriers they face when opening a business in Aspen. For some the high rents and seasonal business is worth it, while others were forced to move Downvalley to make it work, financially. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

Bo Gallagher, 24, switches on a large dryer in his silk-screening store, Zapazoo Inkworks. Unlike a clothes dryer, this machine has a wide conveyer belt.