August 2010

Aspen Music Festival's New Broadcast Partnerships

Aspen Music Festival's New Broadcast Partnerships

The Aspen Music Festival and School (AMFS) has formed several major new broadcast partnerships that will bring the AMFS to millions of new listeners. Partners include the top tier of the classical broadcast universe and bring the AMFS into New York, Boston, Denver and throughout the world via the popular radio show Performance Today and the European Broadcast Union. The Aspen Music Festival and School is the United States' premier classical music festival, presenting more than 350 musical events during its e ight-week summer season in Aspen. The institution draws top classical musicians from around the world. More than 25% of events are free and seating on the David Karetsky Music Lawn and in the Music Garden is always free. The Festival runs through August 22.

Photo by Gary Feldman

Posted by gary on August 10, 2010 in
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Pitkin County Real Estate Transactions, July, 2010

Pitkin County Real Estate Transactions, July, 2010
  • Seller: Roger H. Hunt
  • Buyer: 501 West Hallam LLC, Vail, Colo.
  • Property: City of Aspen lot H, block 29
  • Price: $3,500,000

  • Seller: Residences at Little Nell Development LLC
  • Buyer: Robert Marakovits, Potomac, Md.
  • Property: Residences at The Little Nell condo unit F212, one-eighth interest
  • Price: $1,300,000

  • Seller: Residences at Little Nell Development LLC
  • Buyer: Anthony J. Zagorski, Houston, Texas
  • Property: Residences at The Little Nell condo unit F212, one-eighth interest
  • Price: $1,200,000

  • Seller: Starwood 94 LLC
  • Buyer: Silagi Trust, Thousand Oaks, Calif.
  • Property: Starwood 16, lot R94
  • Price: $5,500,000

  • Seller: Roaring Fork Club LLC
  • Buyer: James P. Loucks, Houston, Texas
  • Property: Club Suites at Roaring Fork Club, condo unit D, Pyramid Suite, one-sixth interest
  • Price: $175,000

  • Seller: Duer Wagner III Inc., Wagner Duer III
  • Buyer: Daniel Becnel, Kathryn Becnel, La Place, La.
  • Property: lot 36B condo Silver King Place
  • Price: $2,600,000

  • Seller: John W. Adams, Raybourn Smiser III
  • Buyer: Crouch Crestwood LLC, Golden, Colo.
  • Property: Crestwood condo unit 105, building D
  • Price: $925,000

  • Seller: Aspen/Pitkin County Housing Authority
  • Buyer: Abigail Cunningham, Yannick B. Rioux, Snowmass Village
  • Property: Villas at Elk Run condo unit 7202
  • Price: $281,584

  • Seller: Birkeland Roaring Fork Club LLC
  • Buyer: Muriel F. Cody trustee, Article VIII Trust, Houston, Texas
  • Property: Roaring Fork Club PUD lot 6A, block 1
  • Price: $590,000

  • Seller: Grand Aspen Lodging LLC
  • Buyer: Teamdate Pty Ltd., Noolwich, Australia
  • Property: Hyatt Grand Aspen condo unit 42, fixed week 5 and floating weeks
  • Price: $288,750

  • Seller: Amber Alexander
  • Buyer: William L. Knapp Jr. Trust, Redstone, Colo.
  • Property: Redstone lot 79
  • Price: $190,000

  • Seller: Residences at Little Nell Development LLC
  • Buyer: Damir Fazlic, Amra Fazlic, Washington, D.C.
  • Property: Residences at The Little Nell condo unit F303, one-eighth interest
  • Price: $1,250,000

  • Seller: Mullins Trust
  • Buyer: Raptor Petroleum LLC, Spring, Texas
  • Property: Ridgerun III lot 46
  • Price: $5,950,000

  • Seller: Sinclair Meadows Holding Co. LLC
  • Buyer: Dolmar Development Inc., Carbondale, Colo.
  • Property: Sinclair Meadows lot 2
  • Price: $700,000

  • Seller: Mark Lampe, Rachel MacCarthy Lampe
  • Buyer: Theodore Davenport, Katherine Krehbiel, John H. Krehbiel III, Basalt, Colo.
  • Property: Columbines at Elk Run filing 2, condo unit 401
  • Price: $390,000

  • Seller: Stacey Weiss
  • Buyer: Carolyn Britven, Thomas Britven, Houston, Texas
  • Property: H/B condo unit 1
  • Price: $1, 384,000

  • Seller: Ritz Carlton Development Co. Inc.
  • Buyer: Pedicles LLC, Orlando, Fla.
  • Property: Aspen Highlands condo unit 8212, residence interest 8
  • Price: $116,600

  • Seller: Robert Woltin
  • Buyer: Elaine Dine trustee, Elaine Dine Trust, Santa Barbara, Calif.
  • Property: Aspen West condo unit 1
  • Price: $1,765,000

  • Seller: Viviane Thomas Trimble per rep, Gwendolyn Thomas Davillez per rep, Estate of Yvonne Thomas
  • Buyer: Red Mountain Willoughby Associates LLC, Aspen
  • Property: Section 7-township 10-range 84, NW4NW4, part of mine: Brown Placer 15047
  • Price: $486,000

  • Seller: Yvonne Thomas Real Estate Partners LLLP
  • Buyer: Red Mountain Willoughby Associates LLC, Aspen
  • Property: Section 7-township 10-range 84, NW4NW4, part of mine: Brown Placer 15047
  • Price: $13,014,000

  • Seller: Sandra K. Hribernik trustee, Sandra K. Hribernik Trust
  • Buyer: Hayden Butrus Altitude Retreat LLC, Earth City, Mo.
  • Property: Sanctuary at Snowmass condo unit 142, interval interest F
  • Price: $215,000

  • Seller: William M. Redding, Jennifer W. Redding
  • Buyer: Helmster LLC, Jamesville, N.Y.
  • Property: Basalt River Lofts condo unit D
  • Price: $325,000

  • Seller: Capitol One, Chevy Chase Bank
  • Buyer: Richard Burcham, Flower Mound, Texas
  • Property: Section 15-township 9-range 86, S2NE4 W2SE4 NE4SW4
  • Price: $1,242,500

  • Seller: Jani Jennifer Poindexter trustee, Jani Jennifers Trust
  • Buyer: Jona Holdings Inc., Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Property: Aspen Square condo unit 26
  • Price: $1,700,000

  • Seller: Aspen/Pitkin County Housing Authority
  • Buyer: Paul F. Kienast, Aspen
  • Property: Williams Ranch lot 24
  • Price: $118,006

  • Seller: Jon Jay Seal
  • Buyer: Mirta Betancourt, Pinecrest, Fla.
  • Property: Club Suites at Roaring Fork Club, condo unit D, one-sixth interest
  • Price: $125,000

  • Seller: Pitkin Zero LLC
  • Buyer: Trigar Investments LP, Houston, Texas
  • Property: Lot 10, Section 18-township 10-range 84 part of
  • Price: $250,000

  • Seller: Aspen/Pitkin County Housing Authority
  • Buyer: Corey J. Leland, Aspen
  • Property: $154,467
  • Price: Seventh & Main condo unit 205

  • Seller: 674 Johnson Drive LLC
  • Buyer: Aspen Beare LLC, Houston, Texas
  • Property: Starwood lot 10, R68
  • Price: $10,000,000

  • Seller: Ryan D. Borchert, Robert Borchert
  • Buyer: Rebecca Stirling, Hood River, Ore.
  • Property: Willows conso unit H5
  • Price: $280,000

  • Seller: Karen Weprin Family LLC
  • Buyer: Mima Ltd., Aspen
  • Property: Top of the Village condo unit 501, Aspen Leaf building
  • Price: $1,300,000

  • Seller: Waterstone Bank
  • Buyer: William M. Fitzgerald, Alison S. Fitzgerald, Kenilworth, Ill.
  • Property: Hayden Lodge condo unit 2204
  • Price: $1,533,528.61

  • Seller: Whitney Trust, Kurt A. Whitney trustee, Jacqueline Whitney trustee
  • Buyer: Philip E. Hoversten, Louise B. Hoversten, Vail
  • Property: Spring Street condo unit 2
  • Price: $1,170,000

  • Seller: Grand Aspen Lodging LLC
  • Buyer: Deborah Willett, Matthew Willett, Nicholas Willett, Cronulla Sydney, Australia
  • Property: Hyatt Grand Aspen condo unit 40, fixed week 5 and floating weeks
  • Price: $250,000

  • Seller: Grand Aspen Lodging LLC
  • Buyer: Ian Miller, Gillian Miller, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
  • Property: Hyatt Grand Aspen condo unit 40, fixed week 10 and floating weeks
  • Price: $250,000

  • Seller: Arlene Hazelrigg trustee, Arlene Haszelrigg Trust
  • Buyer: Lei Holdings Inc., Miami, Fla.
  • Property: Hyatt Grand Aspen condo unit 50, fixed week 7 and floating weeks
  • Price: $301,000

  • Seller: Chad Weuve
  • Buyer: Peter A. Voorhees, Aspen
  • Property: Obermeyer Place condo unit 109, parking garage, upper level garage
  • Price: $175,000

  • Seller: Little Star Foundation
  • Buyer: John Burgess, Elizabeth Burgess, London, United Kingdom
  • Property: Stillwater Ranch lot 5, Silver Lining Ranch SPA
  • Price: $10,500,000

  • Seller: Galen Bright
  • Buyer: WWSP3G LLC, Aspen
  • Property: South Point condo unit 3G
  • Price: $997,000

  • Seller: Sinclair Meadows Holding Co. LLC
  • Buyer: Paul B. Roderer, Dayton, Ohio
  • Property: Sinclair Meadows lot 12
  • Price: $635,000

Posted by gary on August 09, 2010 in
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Significant Aspen Real Estate Closings - July 26 through August 3, 2010

Significant Aspen Real Estate Closings - July 26 through August 3, 2010

Stillwater Ranch, Lot 5

Aspen

$10,500,000

Woodrun I, Lot 30

Snowmass Village

$2,500,000

Hayden Lodge Condo, Unit 2204

Snowmass Village

$1,533,528

Top of the World, Aspen Leaf, Unit 501

Snowmass Village

$1,300,000

Spring Street Condo, Unit 2

Aspen

$1,170,000

South Point Condo, Unit 3G

Aspen

$997,000

Photo by Gary Feldman

Posted by gary on August 09, 2010 in
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Rio Grande Trail Improvments

Rio Grande Trail Improvments

The Pitkin County Open Space and Trails board will put out to bid the paving of a 2.5-mile section of the Rio Grande Trail in the Woody Creek area, between Pitkin Iron and the W/J Ranch. The cost estimate for the section is $920,000 to $1.2 million and the county intends to complete the work this fall.

Posted by gary on August 06, 2010 in
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Aspen Board of Realtors Observer - July 2010

Aspen Board of Realtors Observer - July 2010
ABOR ObserverAugust 2010 Top stories —Art Museum may replace WeinerstubA settlement proposal that would end a lawsuit between the owners of the Weinerstub building and the city of Aspen may result in a new art museum at the site.

The designs for the new museum incorporate a wooden screen façade that is set out 10 feet from the actual walls of the building. The three-story building includes one floor underground and two above ground. It’s signature feature is a third-floor roof deck and sculpture garden.
 Because the proposed museum is part of a legal settlement, it will not go through the normal land use review process. Art museum officials are hoping the City Council will approve the deal at their first meeting this month, August 2.
 
The agreement allows either party to terminate the deal if the resulting land use proposal goes before the voters. Residents opposed to the art museum plan already have suggested they will try and take the proposal to the ballot box if it passes council. Government officials, subcontractor indicted in deathsA Pitkin County grand jury indicted three people in connection with the carbon monoxide poisoning deaths of a Denver family, two adults and two children, staying in an East of Aspen rental over the Thanksgiving holiday in 2008.

The owner of  the company that installed the boiler and pipes at the residence, and a retired government employee who was charged with inspecting the work were indicted on four felony charges of criminally negligent homicide, and four counts of reckless endangerment, a misdemeanor.
 A second government employee, a building plan examiner and field inspector for Pitkin County, was indicted on the misdemeanor counts; he does not face felony charges. The city and county and governments are helping the two employees cover the cost of their defense.  All three defendants are scheduled to make their first appearance Aug. 16 in Pitkin County District Court.  Frontier, Delta ending service to Aspen Neither Frontier and Delta Airlines will be flying to Aspen this winter, making it the first since 1994-95 where just one airline serves the resort.  Frontier’s new owner, Republic Airways, is discontinuing the use of the Bombardier Q400s used to reach mountainous resort areas like Aspen. Delta, meanwhile, has struggled to make money with its daily service to Atlanta and Salt Lake City. United will be the only airline, with a dozen flights daily to Denver and a handful each day to Los Angeles and San Francisco. The number of available seats in and out of Sardy Field this winter is expected to decline to 140,000, down from 196,000 last year.  Aspen —CU, City seek assurances over Given InstituteAspen City Council may ask voters if they want to spend up to $17 million to purchase the Given Institute rather than see it demolished and replaced with a single family home.  A memorandum of understanding states that the University of Colorado, which owns the Given, will hold off on demolition and sale until Aspen citizens have a chance to vote on the funding question. If voters agree, the university will sell the property to the city. But if voters turn down the proposal, the city agrees not to impede demolition of the building and sale of the land.

The Given Institute was built in 1972 with funds donated by Irene Heinz Given on two acres overlooking Hallam Lake that were donated by Elizabeth Paepcke.   Hydroelectric plant proposal with fedsWith $3.3 million invested so far in the Castle Creek hydroelectric project, city of Aspen officials hoping to secure permission by early next year to construct the main power facility.

The city is seeking a “conduit exemption” from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which would allow it to bypass a more complex federal licensing process. FERC requires assurances from state agencies that the proposal won’t adversely affect the environment before it grants such an exemption. The Colorado Division of Wildlife has requested that the city obtain a study to determine minimum baseline water levels in Castle Creek necessary to protect fish and other aquatic life.
 The turbine and “energy center” will eventually be built on Power Plant Road, next to Castle Creek.

Silver Lining Ranch conversion OK’dCity Council agreed last month to allow former professional tennis player Andrea Jaeger to convert the Silver Lining Ranch property on Ute Ave. from a nonprofit into a single-family home in order to facilitate it’s sale.

Jaeger has been trying to sell the land for years, but has run into resistance from all sides. The city has been reluctant to approve the conversion from nonprofit to residential use, but area residents sued to keep the property from being sold to a local Jewish organization, which wanted to use it for a worship center and school.
 Jaeger says Aspen is too expensive for her to operate the nonprofit Silver Lining Foundation, which helps children with cancer. The land on Ute Ave. was donated to the foundation in the early 1990s by the late Fabi Benedict. Commercial vacancy rate near 11 percentHigh vacancy rates and the down economy have given commercial tenants leverage to negotiate rents in advance of the coming winter.

The commercial vacancy rate in downtown Aspen currently stands at about 9.2 percent, the highest it’s been in years. Roughly 2 percent of Aspen’s 1.39 million commercial square feet is also available for sublease, resulting in an effective vacancy rate 11.1 percent.

At the beginning of 2008, just 1 percent of restaurant, retail and office spaces in the downtown core were available for rental. As recently as last January, the vacancy rate was 6.7 percent.  Commercial real estate brokers report considerable activity, with retailers and other businesses generally seeking out smaller spaces than typical of past years. Johnny McGuire’s building subject of lawsuitThe owners of Buckhorn Arms LLC — the same folks who own Domino’s Pizza and Johnny McGuire’s deli — were counting on the redevelopment potential of the building they occupy at Original and Cooper in 2000.

But when they sought in 2008 to develop a new building with 14 free market condos, they learned that their property was subject to a deed restriction capping floor area ratio at 1:1, no matter their zoning status.  Buckhorn Arms filed a lawsuit last month alleging that the previous owners — the Simon P. Kelly Trust and the Nora D. Kelly Trust — misrepresented what kind of development was allowed on the property and failed to attach the condition to the deed.

DeGraff denied liquor licenseThe Aspen Liquor License Authority denied Scott DeGraff a liquor license for his new downtown restaurant, citing a past civil judgment in Illinois and more recent claims from local contractors that the restaurateur owes them millions.

DeGraff will appeal the 3-2 decision to Aspen City Council, said attorney Alan Feldman. Feldman said the liquor board should not consider business disputes that have yet to be litigated when deciding whether to grant a liquor license application.

DeGraff is being sued in Pitkin County District Court by Base Village developer Related WestPac, two contractors and several subcontractors for work done on the restaurateur’s former business locations and his West End home. All told, the claims amount to nearly $4 million.
 Aspen Valley Hospital expansion OK’dAspen Valley Hospital officials were given the go-ahead from City Council for the second phase of the hospital’s expansion, which includes 12,000 square feet of new office space, 22 units of affordable housing and a new service road. The multi-phase project will eventually triple the size of the facility.

The approval requires a number of conditions be met, including a deed restriction that bars future condominiumization of the office spaces; limits on parking while the project is under way; location of four additional units of affordable housing offsite from the campus; and a long-term traffic monitoring program.
 Also in Aspen …Electricity costs: A review of the first full year of tiered electric rates reveals that consumption has dropped and revenues have increased. Small commercial accounts which are the hardest hit by tiered rates, have been especially responsive, reducing consumption by 10 percent.Dancing Bear: A German bank filed for foreclosure on the Dancing Bear fractional ownership project, claiming an outstanding debt of nearly $49 million, according to documents filed at the Pitkin County public trustee’s office. A foreclosure auction is set for late November.Steaks and beer: Local chef and Aspen Cooking School founder Rob Seideman plans to re-open the basement space at Hopkins and Monarch that was once home to the Steak Pit Restaurant and the Double Dog Tavern with two new businesses – the Pitkin County Steakhouse and the Pitkin County Tavern.Turn left here:  An attempt to keep motorists from cutting through the West End by banning left turns off Power Plant Road to Cemetery Lane was abandoned just 17 days after it began. City officials and police say drivers skirted the rule by making illegal U-turns on Cemetery Lane, endangering pedestrians and bicycle riders in the process.  Snowmass Village —Viceroy to continue operating through foreclosureJim DeFrancia and Jim Pavisha, who are overseeing management of Base Village under receivership, said the Viceroy condominium hotel will continue operating under its current management, although its revenues remain limited because approximately one-third of the units are tied up in litigation from buyers who are seeking to get out of their contracts and therefore cannot be rented. DeFrancia and Pavisha also promised the Snowmass Town Council that Base Village Building 8, a partially built structure next to the arrival center that was once slated to become the Snowmass Little Nell, will be improved from an aesthetic standpoint before the winter season begins.  Planning is also under way for a pathway for pedestrians between the Viceroy and the main Base Village plaza, which are currently separated by Wood Road.

Hypo, the German bank that holds most of the debt related to Base Village initiated foreclosure proceedings against Base Village developer Related WestPac earlier in the year, and more recently filed lawsuits against the partnership seeking more than $200 million. RETT exemption allowed for Sinclair MeadowsLocal developers Jim and Andrew Light received an exemption from paying a significant amount in real estate transfer taxes by taking advantage of a loophole in the Snowmass Village code that exempts foreclosure sales. The Lights formed Sinclair Meadows Holding Co. LLC to buy the note on 17 free-market lots in the Sinclair Meadows subdivision that was foreclosed on by Alpine Bank in mid-April.

Snowmass’ 1 percent real estate transfer tax is assessed on most real estate transactions in the town. But the Snowmass’ town code states that “transfers pursuant to judicial or public trustee foreclosure of a mortgage lien or deed of trust” are exempt from RETT.
  Basalt —Whole Foods revisions on fast trackThe Basalt Town Council agreed to “fast-track” the review of the Whole Foods Market building in Willits Town Center, but made no promises about the outcome.

Mike Staheli, project manager at Willits Town Center for Cordes & Co., a court-appointed receiver that is managing the project, said Bank of America officials authorized him to seek amendments to the original approval of the Whole Foods building from Basalt town government. The approval needs to be tweaked because the grocery chain wants a smaller space than originally contemplated, 25,000 square feet instead of 44,000 square feet. Negotiations are also expected on affordable housing and road improvements that were part of the original approval. It’s likely that the town will require the market to be built in a certain amount of time, and if it’s not the amended approvals would be voided and it would revert to existing conditions of approval.

The Town Council is scheduled to hold hearings on Aug. 10 and 24. The current lease with Whole Foods requires that the land-use approvals be amended by Sept. 2. If not, the specialty food store can back out.
 Temporary agreement over shooting rangeTown and state officials hammered out a proposal that they hope will resolve the ongoing controversy over the noise from a shooting range on the outskirts of Basalt.

Basalt Town Council members agreed to drop a request to close the shooting range on Sundays. In return, top officials from the northwest region of the Colorado Division of Wildlife, which owns the range, will consider shortening its hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The facility would remain open seven days a week.

As a long-term solution, the two jurisdictions want to team up to fund construction of sound-reducing sheds for use by target shooters firing pistols and rifles. If the sheds effectively reduce noise, the hours of operation could be expanded.
 Café Bernard celebrates 20 years in businessCafe Bernard in Basalt, where French chef Bernard Moffroid and his wife Cathy, a baker, have fed locals and visitors since 1990, celebrated its 20th anniversary last month.

The couple has been a fixture in the town and at the restaurant for as long as it been in business. Cathy is in the kitchen just about every morning. She bakes the breads used in the restaurant and cooks breakfast. Bernard takes over at night, makind dinner for patrons. Their team includes employees who have worked at Café Bernard for 20 years and another for 19.
 The restaurant's slogan is “Cafe Bernard — Where cowboys eat croissants.” Also in Basalt …No more days off: The town government is ending mandatory furloughs for employees. The cost-cutting measure, which required everyone take one unpaid day off each month, is being suspended because of sagging morale rather than improvement in the town budget, according to Town Manager Bill Kane. The town has cut five employees, frozen salaries and pared benefits. Fatbelly in Basalt: The Basalt Bistro space will likely be filled with a new burger joint – Fatbelly Burgers. The space will feature the bar and sit down restaurant service, in contrast to the grab-and-go take out of the same name on Main Street in Carbondale. The new restaurant will feature Jacober Bros. beef and local vegetables in season. Sales dip: Sales tax revenues in Basalt were down 6.5 percent through the first half of the year. Shops in the general retail category and sporting goods retail posted higher sales in recent months compared to the same period in 2009. Restaurants with bars also performed well. But grocers and specialty food sellers are off 8.1 percent, and building material sales are down 28 percent, resulting in the $107,000 drop in revenues.  Pitkin County —Pitkin County Airport runway OK for extensionPitkin County approved a 1,000-foot runway extension at the county airport, concluding a review process that has been under way for more than three years.

Pilots and air safety officials say a longer runway will improve safety, and allow carriers to fill more seats on hot summer days.

Before the project can proceed, the city of Aspen and Buttermilk Metropolitan District need to reach an agreement to provide water to 77 nearby homes that currently rely on wells that will be capped as part of the project.
 The runway could be completed as soon as the fall of 2011. Open Space & Trails considers land exchange policyThe Pitkin Open Space & Trails Board is working on a new policy to govern how it reviews federal land exchanges.  The work comes in response to a failed attempt by Leslie and Abigail Wexner to gain the county’s endorsement of a proposed land swap. The Wexners want to take ownership of 1,268 acres of federal property in Pitkin County in exchange for 530-acres of ranchland they own in Garfield County.  The Wexner offer also included a conservation easement over the BLM land in Pitkin County, a $1 million donation to manage the Garfield County property and an agreement to extinguish of about two-fifths of their development rights.  The parcel that the Wexners covet is managed by the Bureau of Land Management, and splits sections of their 3,944-acre estate on the north flanks of Mount Sopris. If the exchange goes through, it will unify the two pieces of land.  The couple withdrew from discussions with the county last spring after it became clear the commissioners were opposed to the deal. A trade involving federal lands requires an act of Congress, but endorsements from local elected officials is considered essential for that passage.  Pitkin County backs Thompson Divide effortPitkin County is the first of five area counties to formally endorse the “Thompson Divide Withdrawal and Protection Act,” which calls for elimination of 81 oil and gas leases on federal land in Pitkin, Garfield, Gunnison, Delta and Mesa counties.

The Thompson Divide area encompasses 221,500 acres, with 80,000 acres located in Pitkin County. The area is comprised of undeveloped land west of the Crystal River and Carbondale, and north of McClure Pass.

Garfield County has jurisdiction over 43,000 acres the group is trying to protect, but the Garfield County commissioners on Monday voted 2-1 against sending a letter to Rep. Salazar endorsing the proposed legislation. Tresi Houpt voted in favor of the endorsement, John Martin and Mike Sampson against. Also in Pitkin County …For The Forest: Collaboration between Aspen area nonprofit For The Forest and local and federal agencies to mitigate some effects of the mountain pine beetle epidemic received hearty praise from Sen. Mark Udall last month. The nonprofit has worked with county and city land managers to reduce the lodgepole pine die-off on Smuggler Mountain and with the U.S. Forest Service on trail safety and forest health in the Hunter Creek valley.June unemployment: Pitkin County’s unemployment rate stood at 7.5 percent in June, up one-tenth of a percent from June 2009.  Garfield County recorded 8.8 percent unemployment in June, and Eagle County came in at 9.1 percent.  Unemployment statewide was 8 percent and 9.5 percent.  Photo by Taylor Feldman
Posted by gary on August 03, 2010 in
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Pitkin County Contracts To Buy 742 Acre Droste Property - Wapiti Ridge Mountain Park

Pitkin County Contracts To Buy 742 Acre Droste Property - Wapiti Ridge Mountain Park

Pitkin County has entered a contract to purchase the 742-acre Droste property for $18 million. The purchase of the open space property, which spans the ridgeline between Aspen and Snowmass Village, ties together more than 1,500 acres of open space lands between Aspen and Cozy Point and another 662 acres that have been set aside in conservation easements.

The Town of Snowmass Village has committed $2,000,000 to the purchase.

The City of Aspen has committed $1,000,000.

Pitkin County's open Space & Trails Fund is expected to pay $10,000,000.

A grant from Great Outdoors Colorado is expected to garber $3,500,000.

Private funding is expected to make up the difference.

The land has been embroiled in litigation for years.

Posted by gary on August 03, 2010 in
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Airfares To and From Aspen and Eagle/Vail Likely To Rise

Airfares To and From Aspen and Eagle/Vail Likely To Rise

With the news last week that Delta and Frontier will cease service from Aspen resulting in a loss of approximately 56,000 seats, it is expected that competition for flights into Eagle Valley Regional Airport will increase and with it, the prospect of higher fares to Eagle and the potential of visitors going to Aspen taking seats from potential Vail visitors.

Anticipating this, I made several reservations from Eagle Valley Regional Airport this morning and found the airfares higher than expected.  If you are planning a visit to Aspen/Snowmass and will be flying, make your reservations early.

Posted by gary on August 02, 2010 in
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