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Your Morning News - January 30th, 2015


Garfield County to Online Auction Surplus

Garfield County hopes to make some extra cash from surplus equipment like cars or furniturde. The County is in its first round of an online auction for no-longer needed items. Chief Procurement Officer Jamaica Watts explains that Eagle County and other comparable governments are already using the service.

“The public can go on and register, they can put in bids, they can put in proxy bids. We can actually watch it in real time and know what’s going on. It’s kind of like eBay.”

Garfield County can also make sure the price doesn’t go below what the items are valued at. Officials believe this will be more affordable, effective and transparent than the previous method of storing items for long periods of time, and selling at a regular auction.

Setting it up online is technically free, but does require staff time. Buyers also pay an additional 10% of the price to the County. Garfield County is in the middle of its first auction. Watts says the response has been bigger than expected, so far, with multiple bids for several vehicles.

“The Assembly” Looks at the Future of Mountain Tourism

Mountain tourism officials met in Denver on Wednesday to discuss the future of the ski industry. Participants examined how to grow tourism during peak winter seasons and to make money during shoulder and summer seasons.

The meeting called The Assembly brought together more than 300 industry officials from resorts across the country.

Overall, the industry is doing well, particularly in the Western U.S. where this season is shaping up to be nearly as profitable as pre-recession years. Bill Tomcich of the booking company Stay Aspen Snowmass was at the conference. He says the nation’s positive economy is good for skiing.

“At this point in time we really have a lot of things working in our favor, with one possible exception being climate change and what that means for resorts, in particular, in the far western United States.”

Other challenges facing resorts include appealing to younger generations and women, attracting lower-income families and upgrading outdated infrastructure. Tomcich says the biggest challenge facing Aspen/Snowmass is its aging lodges.

“We’ve seen some really nice upgrades to a select number of properties in Aspen, but there are others that are certainly in need of further upgrades.”

This was the third annual conference. It was followed by the SIA Snow Show in Denver – the industry’s largest trade show.

Frisch Seeks Re-Election to Aspen Council

Adam Frisch announced yesterday that he plans to run for re-election this spring for a city council seat. Frisch, who is 47, first ran for the four-year term in 2009. He lost that election but won in 2011, garnering more than 45 percent of the vote. Nominating petitions, which require 25 signatures for a candidate to make the ballot, are available beginning Tuesday. Former housing director Tom McCabe also has announced his candidacy for a council seat. Current mayor Steve Skadron and former councilman Torre have said they plan to run for the two-year term. The election is May 5.

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