Food Trucks Coming to Aspen
Food trucks are now able to apply to bring their tasty crafts to Aspen City Hall for the summer season, after the city of Aspen opened up applications for two operators to set up outside of Rio Grande Place for the summer, the Aspen Daily News reported. The city is hoping that the food truck service will bring some diversity and affordable menu options to that end of Aspen; the site was formerly home to Taster’s Pizza, which was vacated when the city built its new offices next door. The trucks will hopefully operate between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. at least four days a week through September.
Yellow Brick Opens Up to National Child Care Bidding
The city of Aspen uploaded its Request for Proposal to a national solicitation website after the municipality did not receive any local responses for childcare providers to fill three available classrooms at the Yellow Brick Building, the Aspen Daily News reported. There are vacancies now that Aspen Mountain Tots and Playgroup Aspen are leaving after being unable to come to an agreement on lease negotiations with the city of Aspen—a sticking point being operational five days a week instead of four. Their departure leaves several hundred childcare spots open, and an initial RFP sent out regionally did not yield any returns.
CP Restaurant Group Acquires the Red Onion
Aspen restaurateurs Samantha and Craig Cordts-Pearce are adding a sixth local restaurant to their mini epicurean empire — the celebrated and historic Red Onion, the Aspen Times reported. The Red Onion has been defunct since December 2020 when the operators of the bar and restaurant permanently closed in the midst of COVID-19 restriction, and building owner Mark Hunt extended that closure while making structural improvements. The Cordts-Pearces said they hope to have it reopened by the holidays, but it depends on labor and supply availability. The couple also owns CP Burger, The Monarch, The Wild Fig, Steakhouse No. 316 and the Woody Creek Tavern.
World Cup Racing to Return to Aspen
The U.S. Ski & Snowboard announced that World Cup Alpine skiing is returning to Aspen Mountain in March with men’s super-G and downhill racing, the Aspen Times reported. Aspen was formerly a regular stop on the circuit. As recently as November 2015, Aspen hosted the women’s technical racers and the World Cup Finals were held on Aspen in 2017. The last men’s races on Aspen Mountain, outside of the 2017 finals, were a pair of slaloms in November 2001.
Aspen to Limit Demolition Permits to Six
Aspen City Council agreed to limit the number of homes that can be demolished within city limits in a year to six, the Aspen Times reported. The new policy, which was agreed on by the majority of council during a work session, is in response to the unprecedented pace of residential development in town and the impacts it creates on the community. The limitation will be part of an ordinance council should pass later this summer.
There is a recent trend showing a significant increase in demolition projects — 15 were issued last year and an average of 6.5 were given each year for the past eight. Under the new rule, land use applications would be accepted on a first come, first served basis, and entered into the queue once determined complete.
Rodeo Grounds May Get Larger in Area Renovation
The Roaring Fork Valley Horse Council recommended to Snowmass Town Council that it focus on the size and layout of the arena and the rodeo grounds during planning as the town looks to update the entire Rodeo Grounds area, the Aspen Times reported. They emphasized the importance of safety, accommodating all of the existing amenities at the rodeo and fostering a connection between spectators and the competitors who represent the town’s Western heritage.
The current rodeo grounds, including the vending area, spectator areas, stands, loading areas, pens, arena, ticketing and other facilities, cover about 82,000 square feet, which does not include parking. The proposed plans for the new rodeo grounds includes all of those amenities and covers just over 90,000 square feet.
Basalt Center Circle Under Final Review
Final review has started on a project that could add workforce housing within 14 months and a grocery store within 24 months of groundbreaking at one of the most visible sites in Basalt, the Aspen Times reported. The development team headed by Tim Belinski and Andrew Light is seeking approval for a 43,000-square-foot building that would feature a 9,000-square-foot grocery store, liquor store and food hall on the ground floor and 67 residential units on the upper two floors. The project is located at the gateway to downtown Basalt in a partially vacant building formerly occupied by Clark’s Market. After Basalt Planning & Zoning finishes its review, it will head to town council for approval.
Red Hill Users OK with Seasonal Closures
The majority of respondents to a survey about the Red Hill trail system supported some sort of restrictions during muddy times of year in order to preserve the network, the Aspen Times reported. Fall is actually the most popular season for people to hike, run or bike the main trails, but early spring is one of the most popular times for trail use, and it’s also when Red Hill is most impacted by people using the trails too soon when they are the muddiest during the snow melt. That results in trail damage and excessive widening of trails as people try to cut around muddy sections. Up to 70,000 users access the system annually, many of which are repeat visitors.
Independence Run & Hike Opens in New Location
Carbondale’s popular outdoor store Independence Run & Hike reopened with double the space at 901 Highway 133 next to City Market, the Sopris Sun reported. The new store will carry more outdoor brands, stand-up paddleboards, sleeping bags, camping stoves, tents, and more casual and outdoor clothing. The popular footwear section will also expand with the addition of new running, hiking, and casual footwear brands. The shop opened in 2006 and has become well-known for its five-step fitting process.
Voters Turn Down Annexation
Nearly 16 acres in West Glenwood, aka 480 Donegan, will no longer be brought into Glenwood Springs city limits after residents voted to repeal the City Council’s November annex decision, the Glenwood Springs Post Independent reported. The special election ballot including the referendum was brought to the city by a group of residents dissatisfied with the proposed development’s public engagement process, safety implications and potential density.
After months of concessions by the developers, R2 Partners, and conversations among council members, the public and the property owners, council voted 4-3, or about 57% in favor, Nov. 4 to annex the property. In a stark reversal, about 60% of nearly 2,400 Glenwood Springs residents voted to repeal the council’s decision.
Aspen Valley Land Trust Aims to Double Conservation
The Aspen Valley Land Trust released a 10-year strategic plan that identifies doubling the nonprofit’s land conservation properties over the next 10 years, the Aspen Daily News reported. This equates to approximately 50,000 additional acres to conserve by 2032. Over the past 20 years, AVLT has conserved nearly 40,000 acres. To preserve the land, the organization will work to protect landscapes, using data and science-driven methods to preserve wildlife habitat and agricultural areas as well as community-driven initiatives, which are typically of a smaller scale and might mean a variety of different projects to respond to community needs, such as a garden for community use.
Motherlode Mercantile Opens at Pitkin County Landfill
The Motherlode Mercantile, Pitkin County Solid Waste Center’s next foray into waste diversion, opened in May, the Aspen Times reported. The new retail venture aims to divert quality furniture, sports equipment, architectural salvage, lighting and plumbing fixtures, decorative items, and landscaping materials. The space will take the place of the drop-and-swap area that has been at the landfill for years.
The Mercantile will serve as a donation point as well, receiving reusable items for a tax deduction. In addition, the Solid Waste Center currently takes in textiles and books for recycling and reuse which will be outsourced because of space limitations. The Motherlode Mercantile will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and from 7:30 a.m. to noon on Saturdays
Amid Staffing Shortages, RFTA to Pare Down Schedule
The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority is having trouble fully staffing and will reduce its offerings this summer as a result of that shortage, the Aspen Times reported. RFTA will pare its summer service to 899 daily one-way trips from the schedule of 971. One of the biggest impacts will be to its Bus Rapid Transit service, reducing BRT trips to 116 from 149 daily. It will maintain 15-minute gaps between buses between 4:35 and 10:50 a.m. to handle the morning commute and between 1:50 and 7:20 p.m. for the afternoon rush. There will be a 30-minute gap between buses at all other times.
Pitkin County Reaches Conservation Deal with Moore Family
The Pitkin County commissioners are close to finalizing the purchase of land and conservation easements on the Tom and Carolyn Moore ranch on McLain Flats Road, the Aspen Times reported. Pitkin County has offered $10 million for the outright purchase of 95 acres and a conservation easement on between 135 and 177 acres.
The Moores have lived on the property since 1966. The area along McLain Flats Road has transformed from a secluded hideaway about 3 miles outside of Aspen to a neighborhood of luxury mansions. Tom Moore told the county commissioners he didn’t want to see similar development sweep through the ranch. The Moores can continue living on the land. The family will also get a development right for a new home.