Eighth Pot Shop Opens in Aspen
Aspen’s newest marijuana shop, The Green Solution, is now the eighth pot shop operating in Aspen, the Aspen Daily News reported. The company is leasing the 1,475-square-foot upstairs space in Holtz Plaza, at the corner of Main and Mill streets. TGS is one of Colorado’s top cannabis purveyors in terms of the number of stores it operates within the state. Currently, the Denver-based chain has 20 recreational pot shops; the Aspen location was its 19th opening and the company opened a store in Glenwood Springs in November.
Former Councilman Sentenced to Jail
Former Aspen councilman and 17-year managing director of retail and rental operations for Aspen Skiing Co. Derek Johnson pleaded guilty to theft between $100,000 and $1 million — a class 3 felony, the Aspen Daily News reported. In addition to potential time in the Department of Corrections — class 3 felony theft can net between four and 12 years in prison, with five years of mandatory parole — Johnson will pay $250,000 in restitution.
Johnson, 52, served on Aspen City Council from 2009 to 2013. In 2013, he ran an unsuccessful campaign for mayor. And between June 2013 and January 2019, Johnson sold skis and snowboards that belonged to SkiCo on eBay. Police were able to obtain records from the online sales platform of nearly 6,000 sales.
City Reevaluating Short-Term Rental Proposal
The city of Aspen’s finance department is reevaluating a policy proposal intended to increase tax compliance and tracking of the short-term rental market after pushback from property management companies and condo-hotels, the Aspen Daily News reported. The proposed land use code amendment would require all short-term rentals to have a business license tied to their addresses. This is a significant change from existing policy, where any number of short-term rentals can be accounted for under one business license tied to a property management company.
Property management companies and representatives from condominium properties that are operated like hotels urged the council to reconsider the directive, saying the $150 annual fee for every unit under management would be a burden.
W Hotel Fractionals Carry Sales
The fractional-ownership component of the recently opened W Hotel drew $18.9 million in sales for the first three quarters of 2019, accounting for nearly one-third of Pitkin County’s fractional-sales totals through September, the Aspen Times reported.
The W Hotel’s opening in late August made a big splash because it marked the first opening of a luxury lodge in downtown Aspen in 25 years, with a prime location at the base of Aspen Mountain. Along with its 88 guest rooms, the lodge also includes the Sky Residences, comprised of six three-bedroom units and five two-bedroom units. They have been marketed in one-tenth intervals; 22 of them sold through September at an average price of $659,943.
Set on the bank of the Roaring Fork River yet conveniently located in town at the end of Durant Ave, this sophisticated townhome offers luxury and serenity to those looking for their Aspen dream home. Remodeled in 2013/17, the 4110 square foot, 4/5-bedroom residence is a blend of mountain chic modernism. From the state-of-the-art kitchen to the glass enclosed wine storage, the open floor plan lends itself well to entertaining and with access to the generous patio overlooking the river, this is indoor/outdoor living at its finest. Special amenities such as a thoughtfully built media room, custom office, elevator, underground garage, and cleverly created hidden storage for everything from ski boots to bicycles, this is the property that will end your search for a haven in Aspen! An easy walk to the gondola, restaurants, shopping, and all that Aspen has to offer.
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Several Restaurants Open or Redesign
Snowmass Village and its ski area have a handful of new restaurants opening this season, the Snowmass Sun reported. Opening in The Collective, a new community center, is mix6, a fresh, fast, nutritarian concept from Martin Oswald, who owns and operates Aspen’s Pyramid Bistro. Diners can look forward to a few other new and improved options with Aspen Skiing Co.’s restaurant rebrand which debuted mountain-Italian concept Sam’s atop Sam’s Knob, and the Westin Snowmass’ revitalized Double Black Noodle Bar menu.
Bedrooms: 3 | Baths – Full: 3
One cannot do any better than own one of The Residences of the Little Nell with it’s renowned 5 star service, stunning slope-side setting and designer-finished, spacious condominiums. Truly a Ski-in, ski-out property, this is the kind of place to bring the family and create the memories of a lifetime!
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Park’s Direction Comes into Focus
The Basalt River Park, still in its design phase, is starting to take shape, the Aspen Daily News reported. If approved by town council, the park will feature a great lawn, a bandshell and seating. It also includes a bus stop and shelter, public restrooms, a restaurant with a large patio overlooking the great lawn and a new home and gallery for Basalt nonprofit The Art Base, as well as a motion-activated, misting water feature made, a large hay bale-like structures for kids to climb on, a tall climbing tree, slacklines, a berm with a big slide and other integrated play features and willow “forts” in the existing wetlands.
Basalt Keeps Property Taxes the Same
Citizens in the town of Basalt elected to allow the town to keep property tax rates at their current level rather than forcing them to be lowered when they voted in favor of Ballot Issue 3A by a margin of 437-280, or 60.9 percent to 39.1 percent, according to November election results.
The passage of 3A — which was titled “set basalt general operating mill levy” — means that Basalt’s property tax mill levy rate will stay at 5.957 mills (roughly $5.96 per $1,000 of a property’s assessed value), rather than defaulting to a rate of 2.562 mills, which would have happened had 3A failed. The difference in the two rates equates to about $740,000 less in tax collections that the town would have received in 2020 with properties taxed at the lower rate.
Patina Bar and Grill Opens Under New Family Ownership
Patina Bar and Grille, Carbondale’s newest restaurant, is a family affair. Jeff and Jessica Hale took over the space next to Sopris Liquor and Wine in July, and brought in their son Hunter to run the kitchen, the Glenwood Springs Post Independent reported. Jessica said she wants Patina to fill the friendly, neighborhood food gap left by downtown restaurant Russets, which closed in 2013. For Hunter, it’s an opportunity to shine by leading his own kitchen, after working in restaurants from Aspen to Arizona.
Commissioners Put Moratorium Mine Applications
For the next six months, Garfield County will not accept applications for new or amended mining and gravel projects, the Glenwood Springs Post Independent reported. The stated purpose of the moratorium is to allow time for staff and planning commissioners to develop the 2030 comprehensive plan and make adjustments to the land-use code. The moratorium will also prevent RMR Industrials from seeking a change to its special use permit for the Mid-Continent limestone quarry north of Glenwood Springs. RMR is in the process of applying for a permit to expand operations from about 20 acres to 321 acres of active limestone extraction, an already controversial project. The Bureau of Land Management is preparing to begin an environmental review in 2020.
Aspen/Snowmass Named “Best in the West”
Five Colorado resorts are listed in the top 10 of Ski Magazine’s annual reader survey ranking Western North American resorts, with Aspen Snowmass checking in at No. 1. Six more are ranked in the top 30. Steamboat is ranked fourth, Telluride seventh, Beaver Creek eighth and Breckenridge ninth. Others ranked in the top 30 are Vail (11), Winter Park (14), Copper Mountain (15), Crested Butte (18), Keystone (27) and Arapahoe Basin (28).
Aspen Highlands Second Seating Now for 21 and Older
The 2 p.m. seating at the Cloud Nine restaurant on Aspen Highlands — which has gained a reputation for patrons spraying champagne and dancing on chairs — will be for those who are 21 and older only, beginning this winter season, the Aspen Daily News reported. The party scene has evolved over the long term and taken on a life of its own at the mid-mountain alpine bistro, which is otherwise known for European-inspired fine dining. The traditional Cloud Nine experience, open to any age, will still be available at the noon seating.
Airlines Cut Some Flights to Ease Congestion
The three airlines serving the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport will scale back their local operations slightly during the peak travel period around the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, the Aspen Daily News reported.
Total flights into Aspen by United, Delta and American will reach up to 38 flights per day from Dec. 19 through Jan. 5, the height of the winter tourism season. Each airline has dropped one nonstop flight from its list: United cut one of three San Francisco runs, Delta cut one of three Salt Lake City runs and American cut one of two Chicago runs. Last year during the two-week peak, the airport handled up to 41 flights per day. The decrease in daily seats will amount to around 205 seats, or 6.7 percent of capacity, compared with last year.
Solar Farm Gets Approval
A land-use application for an 18,000-panel solar farm — to be located on 35 acres of vacant property just south of Woody Creek — was unanimously approved by Pitkin County commissioners during a November meeting, the Aspen Daily News reported. Commissioners hailed the public-private project as a small but important step in the movement to promote green energy and reduce the region’s reliance on electricity generated by fossil fuels.
Prior to the vote, more than 20 residents young and old spoke for and against the project during the public-comment section of the meeting. Much of the opposition, residents of Woody Creek and Brush Creek, stressed their belief that the facility would be an eyesore.
Citizens Approve County Tax on Tobacco Products
Voters showed overwhelming support for a new tax on tobacco products at all retail outlets in unincorporated Pitkin County, the Aspen Daily News reported. Starting Jan. 1, the per-pack price of cigarettes in the county will increase by $3.20. The figure was designed to mirror the per-pack tax structure implemented by city of Aspen voters two years ago. The rate will increase by 10 cents per year until it reaches $4.