Air Quality Was Good in 2020
Aspen had better air in 2020 than both 2018 and 2019 in terms of number of healthy days, the Aspen Daily News reported. According to Aspen’s Air Quality Report 2020 report, there were only two days of unhealthy air in Aspen in 2020, largely due to smoke from the Grizzly Creek Fire and other wildfires in the region. Aspen had not experienced such high pollution days since the dust storms in 2009 and 2013.
Aspen Building Moving to Net Zero
Aspen City Council is on the fast track to adopting a new building code that focuses on not only energy efficiency but also net-zero waste in demolition of old buildings and onsite renewable sources for new structures, among other measures, the Aspen Times reported. The city’s building code gets updated every six years and is due for one this year or in early 2022.
Council agreed that further energy savings and greenhouse-gas reduction can come in the areas of net-zero construction, electrification, and embodied energy. Buildings are responsible for 58% of greenhouse gas emissions in Aspen.
Theatre Aspen Returns in Full Swing
The Hurst Theatre will light up this summer as Theatre Aspen is hosting a robust calendar filled with music, drama, satire, a gala and more, the Aspen Daily News reported. The 38th season, spanning June 30 to Aug. 31, will include two musicals, “Chicago” and “Rock of Ages,” the return of the organization’s developmental one-person show festival, Solo Flights, and multiple special events, as well as three Theatre Aspen Education productions. In addition to this summer’s performances, Theatre Aspen will also host its annual gala in July. Titled “Midsummer Masquerade,” Darren Criss — an Emmy, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award winning actor and singer — will headline the gala on July 25.
Mountain Chalet Snowmass Bought by Melvilles
A limited liability company controlled by Craig Melville acquired Snowmass Mountain Chalet for $10.5 million, the Aspen Times reported, bringing the property back into the family ownership that originally built it. The Melville family also sold their Mountain Chalet on Durant Avenue at the foot of Aspen Mountain for $68 million in late March to a partnership led by Zach Kupperman of Louisiana and Larry McGuire of Texas.
Melville said there are no immediate plans to overhaul the 64-room lodge in Snowmass, which his late father, Ralph, built in 1967 when the ski resort opened. The Melvilles also built the Mountain Chalet in Aspen; the original lodge debuted in 1954. He said the family had been eyeing the Snowmass chalet since 2017 to add to their collection that includes the Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs and Cristiana Guesthaus in Crested Butte.
Snowmass Announces Summer Lineup
Snowmass has announced its full summer of events, the Aspen Times reported. There will be live music four-days-a-week performances Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Tuesdays slated to begin in July in Base Village. Aaron King’s summer drop-in King Yoga Jam series debuts Saturday and Sunday at 9 a.m. on the lawn covering the skating rink. Movies Under the Stars returns with six films showing Saturday nights from late July through the month of August. And the popular Thursday concerts will run every Thursday evening at 6:30 p.m. from June 10 to Aug. 26, with a bonus concert slated for July 4.
Capitol Creek Brewing Co. Purchased by New Owners of Aspen Brewing Co.
The owner of Aspen Brewing Co. is now wading into Willits Town Center in Basalt, where it plans to finalize its purchase of Capitol Creek Brewing Co., the Aspen Times reported. High Country Brewing LLC is the name of the newly formed ownership group that’s an offshoot of Legacy Breweries, which in the fall acquired Aspen Brewing Co. Both acquisitions, for undisclosed amounts, include the breweries’ commercial leases, inventory, brand and label, equipment and other assets.
Final Plans Submitted for Willits
Architect Michael Lipkin, the founder of Willits development, submitted a land use application to the town of Basalt for as many as 119 free-market condominiums and as many as 36 affordable housing units, the Aspen Times reported. The plan review starts with Basalt’s Planning and Zoning Commission. The condos and affordable housing units are on the last 12 undeveloped acres on the site. In addition to the residences, Lipkin applied to complete a lake and adjacent landscaping that’s in the middle of the property. He also will complete a trail around the lake that integrates into a popular public trail network.
Two Rivers Road Getting Improvements
The town of Basalt is teaming with a development firm to undertake $1,277,731 in improvements to Two Rivers Road in front of the new Basalt River Park, the Aspen Times reported. The work will be performed between the intersection with Midland Avenue and Old Pond Park. It will include curb and gutter, parking spaces, sidewalks, landscaping and extensive utility work. The cost is being shared because the work will benefit both the town’s park along the Roaring Fork River and an adjacent residential and commercial development also called Basalt River Park.
Distillery Approved For Construction
Pitkin County commissioners approved a distillery and three employee housing units for the site of a former lumberyard near Basalt, the Aspen Times reported. The Emma Fields Distillery — which will include eight buildings — will be constructed on an eight-acre site located 3 miles south of Basalt on Highway 82. The property owner plans to use grain and other ingredients grown on the site and from other area farms to produce the distilled spirits. The site will not be open to the public once completed.
Take a Historic Home Tour, Audibly
Carbondale Historical Society members Kim McGee and John Williams created an audio-tour of historic homes using material compiled for the Carbondale Historic Preservation Committee. The “This I Remember” audio archive includes over 70 episodes featuring local voices from Carbondale’s past. Find these and more at carbondalehistory.org
CDOT Gives City $150,000 for Pedestrian Improvement
The Colorado Department of Transportation, as part of its larger Revitalizing Main Streets initiative, awarded the city of Glenwood Springs $149,999 toward constructing pedestrian passage along Devereaux Road on the western edge of Two River Park, the Aspen Daily News reported. The new pathway will provide safe pedestrian connectivity to the Traver Trail Ride Glenwood bus stop. The Revitalizing Main Streets grants help localities improve their roadways and community infrastructure, supporting strong economic activity and public safety. The program began last summer in an effort to mitigate the negative economic fallout from the COVID-19 crisis.
Woody Creek Tavern Patio Space to Stay Post-Covid
Additional patio space served the Woody Creek Tavern well amid the pandemic and its new owners intend to keep the extra space intact even as COVID-19 restrictions dissipate, the Aspen Daily News reported. Aspen restaurateurs Craig and Samantha Cordts-Pearce — who are also behind The Wild Fig, two downtown steakhouses and CP Burger — purchased the Woody Creek Tavern at the end of 2020. At a May Pitkin County Commissioners meeting, the board granted the new owners’ request to extend the additional patio space and waiting area to become permanent fixtures to the venerable bar and grill.
Multijurisdictional Fire Detection Pilot Program Underwayhe Aspen Fire Protection District announced a multi-jurisdictional partnership to provide early, automated wildfire detection by placing specialized cameras at specific vantage points, the Aspen Daily News reported. Together between AFPD, the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office, Pitkin County Telecommunication, Elk Mountain Technology and Pano AI, a wildfire technology company, coupled with private funding from Red Mountain resident Jerry Hosier, they will use Pano AI’s platform to detect initial signs of smoke and send out real-time fire images to first responders and emergency personnel. The cameras, stationed on Pitkin County communications towers, will rotate continuously, capturing 360-degree imagery that is processed in live time by the Pano AI engine, which uses advanced computer vision techniques to detect smoke and alert dispatch or appropriate agencies.