January 2009

Mail Boxes Etc. in Aspen Closes

Mail Boxes Etc. in Aspen Closes
The Mail Boxes Etc. store next to Clark's Market in Aspen closed this week and is not expected to reopen.  The store rented mailboxes and offered shipping and copying services.  The closing of the store is ultimately the result of the death of Jim Oliver in February 2008.  There are rumors that another similar business will open in the vacant store, but nothing has been confirmed. 
Posted by rebecca on January 06, 2009 in
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New Snowmass Village Restaurants Open For Business

New Snowmass Village Restaurants Open For Business

Snowmass Village has completed Phase 2 of the $1 billion Base Village development.  Good news is that several new restaurants are now open for business.

Sam's Smokehouse, at the top of the Village Express Lift serves barbecue.

Sneaky's Tavern in the new Base Village offer American food in a pub atmosphere.

By the end of this ski season, the village will also boast Japanese-themed Buchi; Junk, a natural -foods eatery and the Liquid Sky nightclub and family-style diner.

www.aspensnowmass.com

 

Posted by gary on January 05, 2009 in
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Divas Ski Week in Aspen

Divas Ski Week in Aspen

More than just a ski-workshop, this camp uses the Birkman personality-assessment tool to help you explore your competitive drive and apply stress-coping strategies to your life on and off the hill.

Off hill sessions are led by professional life coaches and complement the on-hill instruction by Aspen's professional coaches.

Breakfasts at the five-star Little Nell Hotel and optional pre-opening rides up the gondola round out the perks.

January 11-14

$2,300

www.aspenteamdiva.com

 

Posted by gary on January 05, 2009 in
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Little Nell Hotel's Green Suite

Little Nell Hotel's Green Suite

Being green has its price. Aspen's Little Nell Hotel offers the Green Suite, a 2500 square foot hotel room featuring high tech eco-amenities like an in-room monitor that allows guests to keep an eye on their energy consumption, most of which is solar powered.

thelittlenell.com

 

 

Posted by gary on January 05, 2009 in
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Aspen Board of Realtors Observer - January 2009

Aspen Board of Realtors Observer - January 2009
Overview:ABOR contacted the planning departments of four up valley jurisdictions to find out what’s on the agenda for 2009. Below are ABOR Exclusives written from those conversations with an aim of giving members an understanding of what’s to come. 

Aspen: Lift One, Aspen Valley Hospital to kick off new year - ABOR EXCLUSIVE                  

 Five big items are front and center on Aspen’s agenda in 2009 are the Lift One Master Plan, the Community Vision for the Aspen Area, historic preservation and the Aspen Valley Hospital. At Lift One, Aspen City Council is expected to vote on a master plan for two lodges, improved mountain access and a host of other changes to the base of the Shadow Mountain side of Aspen Mountain. The proposal came out of a six-month process involving 27 citizens, including representatives from the four landowners (City of Aspen, Aspen Skiing Co., Centurion Partners, Chafin, Light & Wilhelm), residents from the surrounding neighborhood and citizens at large. The application has stalled in front of City Council, in part because of citizen protests over the size of the lodges and the fact that the plan calls for a new surface lift instead of a new chairlift down to Dean Street. So far, it appears there is one vote on City Council for the project, and one vote against and two undecided. Mayor Mick Ireland has indicated his preference to approve the master plan on the condition that the voters have a say with a referendum. Next meeting is Jan. 14. Aspen Valley Hospital is scheduled to go before Council on Jan. 12 for review of its proposed master facilities plan. The master plan has been in the works for several years. If approved, it will result in significant redevelopment of the hospital campus and expansion of facilities. The P&Z has recommended approval at the conceptual level. It’s a four-phase plan, although the first phase, improvements to the OB ward, was approved and completed a few years ago. Council will be review the full master facilities plan over three meetings in January, perhaps running into early February. Leslie Lamont, who is the lead planning consultant for Aspen Valley Hospital, told ABOR that the majority of the infrastructure and facilities improvements would occur in Phase 2.  “I think we have a pretty good design in place, of the facilities we need,” Lamont said. “This phase or the planning process lays out the entire plan at a conceptual level.” The Community Vision for the Aspen Area will continue its public meetings on Jan. 27, with two large-group sessions at the St. Regis and again on Jan. 31 at Aspen High School. The comments will be used to compile goals that will guide land use regulations and other municipal activities. Community comments have been compiled over the last several months with small group meetings. The upcoming meetings are large group meetings that last three hours. To participate in one of the large group meetings, log onto www.aspencommunityvision.com/page_40 to register. The Historic Preservation Task  Force, which has been meeting for nine months, is expected to continue its work beginning in January. The task force is reviewing the City’s historic preservation code and exploring different examples of how other communities preserve their historic buildings. It is expected to make recommendations to City Council later this winter or in early spring. Leslie Lamont, who is facilitating the meetings, told ABOR that the plan is to wrap up meetings by the end of February with recommendations to Council by March. Finally, the Council is expected to craft language that will give voters three options for improving Highway 82 between the roundabout and Main Street, the so-called Entrance to Aspen. The Council is not expected to debate much, except for the language used in a ballot referendum. Basalt 

Basalt: Moratorium, code amendments dominate first half of 2009 - ABOR EXCLUSIVE                    

 It’s all about the code. Growth management and affordable housing mitigation will be the primary topics of discussion for the Basalt Town Council in the coming months, Town Planner James Lindt told ABOR. The development process has been at a standstill for the better part of 2008, because Basalt Town Council imposed a moratorium on new land use applications while town staff and consultants work on revisions to the land use code. The growth management system, which will reportedly be modeled in part after Pitkin County’s system, will require developers to submit applications that will then be judged against other proposals. The plans that comply best with the town’s goals on issues such as open space mitigation, public access, affordable housing and environmental standards, will be awarded development rights. Those that fall short will be rejected, and will have to wait until the next allotment review before being reconsidered. The discussion on affordable housing mitigation is in a preliminary stage, following the release last month of a report on the state of housing in Basalt. The draft report outlines the existing housing inventory and provides examples of how other communities are facing the affordable housing challenge.  Snowmass Village: Comp plan, Related WestPac, Snowmass Chapel - ABOR EXCLUSIVE                     Snowmass Village Planning Director Chis Conrad told ABOR that revisions to the town’s comprehensive land use plan will likely be finished in the first half of 2009.  The comp plan is currently before the Planning & Zoning Commission. It is expected to go before Town Council in February, Conrad said. A moratorium currently bars new commercial development applications in West Village and Snowmass Center while the comp plan and related land use code amendments work their way through the process. Conrad said it would be lifted as soon as the comprehensive plan and the accompanying land use code amendments are adopted. Nevertheless, Related WestPac’s holdings at Base Village and Snowmass Center are expected to dominate much of the land use discussion in the first half of the year. At Base Village, the Council is expected to consider Related WestPac’s application to amend the approval for Building 8, which is slated to become a second Little Nell Hotel. The developer has asked the Town to allow some of the attic space in Building 8 to be incorporated into the luxury units on the top floor. The Town Council has shown a fair amount of skepticism about the proposal, so far. But funding for the Arrival Center is tied to Building 8’s construction, according to Conrad. Related WestPac has said it can’t fully complete Building 7, home to the Arrival Center, due to current economic conditions. But it has said if the Little Nell amendments are granted, it will be able to free up several million dollars to complete the transit center portion of the building, connecting skiers and snowboarders with the base area around the Tree House and Village Express lifts. At Snowmass Center, Related WestPac is expected to delay further amendments to its planned redevelopment of the town’s primary local-serving commercial area. Conrad told ABOR that the amendments, first proposed last fall, won’t come before Council  until at least June. Finally, final approval of the new Snowmass Chapel Sanctuary is expected early this year. The new building will seat 300 and be used for a variety of public events. It has gone through most of the approval process, and simply await final sketch approval by the Town Council, Conrad said. 

Pitkin County: AABC neighborhood master plan work - ABOR EXCLUSIVE                    

 Land use planning in Pitkin County will focus on creating, adopting and updating neighborhood master plans. The biggest of them all is the Aspen Airport Business Center (AABC), a neighborhood that has been developing at a fair clip for the last several years without a plan in place. Monthly meetings with stakeholders and the public at the firehouse have revealed competing visions for the future of the neighborhood, Cindy Houben, director of Community Development, told ABOR. Several of the principal property owners and tenants would like to see the zoning and use mix remain on its historic track — light industrial, office and residential with only a few retail/restaurant properties. But with a growing number residential presence in the area, there is also a strong argument for allowing, through zoning changes, the mix of uses to change to better serve the residential neighborhoods that have developed our there. Such a mix might include retail, entertainment and restaurants. Other themes coming out of discussions so far include transportation, lighting, pedestrian safety, and traffic flows. The county government is also looking at its property west of the AABC as a possible site for a new home for the county’s administrative offices, which would affect traffic and demand for services in the area. The Emma neighborhood master plan is likely to be adopted early in 2009, and work is scheduled to begin on updating the Woody Creek neighborhood master plan, Houben told ABOR. The Base of Buttermilk is expected to garner attention in May, the Aspen Skiing Co. and the owners at the Inn at Aspen are expected to submit a proposal for redevelopment, Houben said.
Posted by rebecca on January 05, 2009 in
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