City Approves New Parking Fees
Aspen City Council agreed to make an hour or two of parking more expensive during peak hours in the high season, further embracing a dynamic pricing model, the Aspen Daily News reported. The changes, to take effect June 1, also include a free-parking allowance of 15 minutes, while making the parking garage free after 3 p.m. for local employees.
The new changes shift the city away from a graduated rate structure where the hourly price increases from $3 for the first hour to $7.50 for the fourth hour, per the high-season rate structure (off-season pricing is lower). This has encouraged some people to game the system by paying for parking one hour at a time and staying at the lower rate.
WE-Cycle to Offer Free Rides this Summer
Going into its sixth season, WE-cycle is the first bike share program to be free system-wide to all users, for rides of 30 minutes or less, the Aspen Daily News reported. WE-cycle debuted in Aspen with just over a dozen stations, 90 bikes and 10,000 rides in its first year. It has grown steadily since then and expanded to the midvalley in 2016. Last season, WE-cycle boasted 20 stations in Aspen, 23 in the midvalley, 190 bikes between the two zones and just over 43,000 rides in total.
Launching to the public in summer 2013, it was the first automated bike share network in North America outside of a metropolitan area. It was among the first North American systems to integrate its passes with a bus service provider, as it has done with RFTA for many years. And, it became the first North American network three seasons ago to allow users to check out a bike using their smartphones, and it was among the first in the industry to use smaller “satellite stations” to bring service to more neighborhoods.
Mark Hunt Eyes Boomerang Lodge
The site of the old Boomerang Lodge is under contract again for purchase, this time involving a buyer who is well-known in Aspen’s real estate arena, the Aspen Times reported. Mark Hunt, the Chicago developer whose bullish approach to Aspen commercial properties accounted for more than $100 million in transactions in the early- to mid-2010s, has the 500 W. Hopkins Ave. property under contract with an unknown closing date.
Austrian immigrant Charles Paterson opened the Boomerang Lodge in 1956 and sold it and a neighboring parcel in 2005. The property has been through a series of potential development scenarios over the past 13 years, most recently when a group called ME Aspen Ventures One LLC eyed it for a 36,000-square-foot building comprising free-market condos, rental suites and lodge units. ME Aspen Ventures One, which had the property under contract for purchase, walked out from the deal in January after realizing its redevelopment plan would not fly with Aspen City Council.