“I always loved those little creatures, always feeling blessed when they appeared nearby.
There’s a magical quality to them. I finally put one in a song.”
~ Leonard Cohen
Local Nonprofit to Run Day Shelter for Homeless
Pitkin County commissioners approved an emergency ordinance to give a local nonprofit a lease to operate a day shelter and overnight winter shelter to serve area homeless people at the county’s health and human services building near Aspen Valley Hospital, the Aspen Daily News reported. Recovery Resources was the lone bidder through the county’s request for proposals process to run the day and winter shelters. The nonprofit, which has been leasing space in the building over the past few years for its offices and a detox unit, is expected to reopen the day shelter soon in the wake of the departure of the facility’s former operator, Aspen Homeless Shelter, which shut down at the end of March.
Aspen Athletic Club Sells for $33 Million
A limited liability company called Dream Big or Don’t Dream at All Baby dropped $33 million on the 720 E. Hyman Ave. building that hit the market in early March for $29.95 million, the Aspen Times reported. The sellers, through CM LLC, were Evan Christian and the family trust of the late John Martin. The two Kiwis paid $6.9 million for the property in 2006. The property comes with a city-approved building permit for two penthouses on the building’s top floor. July 15 is the deadline to pull the building permit for the penthouses, with construction to begin within six months.
City Council Doles Out $1.4 Million in Grants
The Aspen City Council approved the distribution of more than $1.4 million to 95 local nonprofits that provide essential support to the community, the Aspen Daily News reported. On average, each nonprofit received $15,324. This year’s awards represent a significant increase in local nonprofit support, with cash requests increasing over 24% since 2021, rising to $2,123,605 from $1,667,550. Additionally, there were 14 first-time applicants, signifying a 15% growth in applicants over the previous year. The city restructured the grants program for the 2022 cycle.
Groups Secures Funding to Preserve Hunter Creek History
In order to preserve historic structures that are deteriorating in the Hunter Creek Valley, The Hunter Creek Historical Foundation recently received a $75,000 pledge from the John W. Baird Access Fund of the Trust for Public Land, the Aspen Times reported. That boosts the donations to $130,000. The targeted work is estimated to cost $350,000. The 60-acre homestead site has been identified by the Forest Service as eligible for listing on the National Register for Historic Properties. The site is on the north side of Hunter Creek, just east of the boundary between private land and national forest. There are several buildings that are in various stages of falling apart.
Slow Groovin’ Lease For Sale
The operators of Slow Groovin’ BBQ on the Snowmass Mall have put the lease of the restaurant space on the market, the Aspen Times reported. Slow Groovin’ operates Slow Groovin’ BBQ in Marble, Propaganda Pie in Redstone and Honey Butter in Carbondale. The Snowmass restaurant typically closes for the offseason. The name “Slow Groovin’” is not part of the sale. The offering on the market would entitle the new owner to the lease of the space as well as everything inside for an asking price of $340,000.
Viceroy II Plans Approved
Developers are setting the wheels in motion again for Phase II of the Viceroy hotel, more than a decade after Phase I opened near Snowmass Base Village in 2009, the Aspen Times reported.
The plans propose nearly 50 units in a six-level annex built on top of a platform located just uphill of the existing Viceroy building. The design features 48 deeded units that will be available to purchase, including two studios, 22 units with two bedrooms, 18 units with three bedrooms, four units with three bedrooms and a “flex” den and two penthouse units with four bedrooms each.
Steadman Clinic Opens in Midvalley
The much-anticipated, 65,000-square-foot orthopedic clinic opened at the Willits Town Center, cementing a partnership between The Steadman Clinic and Steadman Philippon Research Institute (SPRI), Orthopedic Care Partners, Aspen Valley Hospital and Vail Health, the Aspen Daily News reported. The joint initiative broke ground in October 2020, with construction beginning the following month. The new facility includes offices and patient-care space for The Steadman Clinic, along with a 37,000-square-foot ambulatory surgery center. The ambulatory surgery center occupies the second floor of the building, with four operating rooms — the same capacity as Aspen Valley Hospital — and two shelled for future growth.
Carbondale Voters Approve Pool
Town voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot question asking if the town should take on $8 million in debt from the existing recreation sales and use tax funds to build a new municipal aquatics center, to replace the John M. Fleet Pool, the Aspen Times reported. The measure passed 1,305 votes to 372.
Glenwood City Employees Get 5% Raise
The Glenwood Springs City Council approved a 5% raise for city employees in response to rising inflation and the already high cost of living, the Aspen Daily News reported. Although the council was unanimous in its decision to authorize the raise, some questioned where the extra $928,000 would come from. The city’s chief operating office said the city’s increasing tax revenue would cover the 5% wage increase for its employees.
Glenwood Secures Conditional Water Rights for Parks
The city of Glenwood Springs secured a conditional water right for three potential whitewater parks on the Colorado River, the Aspen Times reported. The new water right is tied to three proposed boating parks: No Name, Horseshoe Bend and Two Rivers. Although the water right allows for two structures at all three, the City plans to build a park at just one of the sites. The whitewater parks would be able to call for higher flows during certain times of year and would allow beginner, intermediate and expert boaters to all enjoy the boating structures, which have yet to be built. The five days of high flow would allow Glenwood to host a competitive event around the Fourth of July holiday.
Bells Bikers to Get Tracking Chip
Pitkin County commissioners agreed to move ahead with a pilot program that will monitor locally rented e-bikes used to get to the Maroon Bells Scenic Area, the Aspen Daily News reported. The pilot program will provide data to help the county understand bike usage. To support the program, e-bike rental shops will place a chip on each bike that could potentially go to the Bells this summer. For each chipped vehicle that passes the Maroon Bells Welcome Station, a $5 fee will be charged to the bike shop.
The county will use the revenue to support the program. The program also will require that bike-shop customers view a video tutorial, “How to E-Bike in Aspen.” They also must read a “Biking to the Bells” flyer and exhibit an understanding of the rules of the road for e-bike safety. This is all in an effort to help create a safe environment on the scenic road that’s become popular with tourists on bikes.
Spring Valley Campus Renovation Almost Complete
A $2.1 million nursing simulation lab, when complete, will finish a multiyear renovation project of the Colorado Mountain College Spring Valley campus focusing on bringing more students and community members up the hill outside of Glenwood Springs, the Aspen Daily News reported.
The new education center will, over time, allow the school’s nursing program to more than double the 96 students it currently serves.
The new space, slated for completion in July, will resemble an actual hospital with distinct patient rooms and a proper mock-operation room. Also in the space will be two debriefing rooms with video access to CMC’s other high-fidelity nursing education centers in Steamboat Springs and Breckenridge and a traditional classroom space. Students will have access to more than 90 training situations across all demographics with training mannequins, from infant to geriatric scenarios to birthing.
Pitkin County Airport Has Busiest Month in History
March was the busiest month for commercial passenger traffic in the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport’s history, the Aspen Daily News reported. There were 92,614 passenger arrivals in March, and an equal number departed. That represents a 3.5% increase over the prior monthly record for ASE, which happened to occur in March of 2019 — one year before demand for flights to and from anywhere nosedived due to the onset of COVID-19. Compared with March 2021 and March 2020, the passenger totals were up 42% and 96% respectively.
Compost Numbers Hit Record High
Pitkin County’s composting program is booming. In 2021, the Pitkin County Solid Waste Center recorded its highest composting level in the past six years, and it’s likely that the trend will continue to grow, the Aspen Times reported. In Aspen, the composting surge is almost entirely driven by an increased participation from residents, while less than 10% of the restaurants in Aspen are composting their organic waste.
Pitkin County’s recycling and composting rates are the second highest in the state in 2020, with 38% of total residential and commercial waste stream — right behind Boulder County, according to the 2021 State of Recycling and Composting in Colorado by Eco-Cycle and CoPIRG. But the report found that Colorado is one of the 20 most wasteful states in the country, with a statewide recycling and composting rate of about 15% in 2020 compared with the national rate of 32%.
Redstone Castle Sells, Wellness Center Proposed
The Redstone Castle sold for $11.75 million, and the new owners envision an upscale wellness retreat at the historic landmark, the Aspen Times reported. ER Wellness, a subsidiary of the Elevated Returns asset-management company founded and presided over by global financier Stephane De Baets, announced it had acquired the Tudor-style mansion hailed as the “Ruby of the Rockies.” The sellers were April and Steve Carver, who put the castle on the market for $19.75 million in September 2020. The couple bought the castle for $2 million in 2016 and invested in a major renovation that was completed in 2018.