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Economy & Employment

Janie Joseland Bennett

Last week, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES, Act was signed into law. The $2 trillion COVID-19 rescue package includes what are called Small Business Administration, or SBA, loans. 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Travel restrictions and social distancing requirements have left many local businesses closed, with some staying shut through the spring offseason. The Aspen Chamber Resort Association expects that the impact will last into summer and the cancellation of Aspen Ideas Festival and the Food & Wine Classic will deal a blow to the summer economy.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Few retailers in the Roaring Fork Valley remain open after a statewide order shut down those that were not deemed essential. Liquor stores and dispensaries are on the short list of essential businesses, but are reporting a slowdown in sales.

Courtesy of Stephen Stacey

Stephen Stacey moved to Glenwood Springs three years ago with his daughter. He said they live a simple life, and love to fish. 

 “Glenwood Springs is a great place to live if you love to fish,” he said. “The only town in the United States of America that has two gold medal rivers in the town boundary.”

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority says it does not expect to completely suspend bus service amid concern over COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. RFTA is sanitizing buses, expanding sick leave for drivers and drafting contingency plans should a reduction in service prove necessary.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Housing can be tough to find in the Roaring Fork Valley, and the list of properties gets shorter when it comes to finding places that accept pets. 

Charissa Carvell, a dog trainer at Colorado Animal Rescue in Glenwood Springs, knows this situation all too well. People will come to the rescue to surrender their cats and dogs because they can’t find housing that will take their pets.  

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Presidents Day weekend marks one of the busiest on the calendar for Roaring Fork Valley hotels, and this year is no exception.

The Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association says the long weekend lines up with Valentine’s Day and attracts Front Range visitors looking for a romantic getaway. Lisa Langer, the chamber’s director of tourism promotion, says she heard from about nine hotels that plan to be at or near capacity for part of the weekend.

 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

In the Roaring Fork Valley, it can be tough for people to find a place to live. Finding a place that is affordable and close to their workplace is harder still. That housing crunch means that businesses can have trouble retaining workers.

Wyatt Orme / Aspen Public Radio

Before the 2020 census opens for online responses in March, local officials are making an effort to reach the Valley’s Latino community. 

According to estimates from a 2017 census survey, almost a quarter of people in the Roaring Fork Valley said they were Hispanic or Latino. That study shows 28% of the population in Garfield County as Hispanic or Latino, 30% in Eagle County and 10% in Pitkin County.

New Bus Service Will Connect Parachute To Rifle

Jan 29, 2020
via RFTA

Garfield County commuters will soon have a new way to reach the Roaring Fork Valley, with a bus service that will connect Parachute and Battlement Mesa to Rifle.

The county approved a grant of nearly $280,000 dollars for the new service. By taking passengers from Parachute to Rifle, it will connect people to the RFTA bus system, which runs from there, through Glenwood Springs, to Aspen.

via Creative Commons

 

Skiers, snowboarders and fans from all over the world are convening in Aspen for the X Games. The crowds at Buttermilk have boosted Glenwood Springs businesses as well. 

 

Jeremy Gilley, director of sales at the Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs, says they’re completely booked on Friday and Saturday, and reservations are up almost 75% from an average January weekend.

 

Courtesy Sunlight Mountain Resort

Sunlight Mountain is opening up new runs for the first time since 1993, as part of a four million dollar expansion. The Glenwood Springs resort will open five new runs this season, adding 500 vertical feet to the mountain’s East Ridge section. 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Holiday crowds are are descending on the valley by the thousands. Aspen Chamber lodging data from the end of November showed 70% rooms already booked for Christmas Day, with a peak of 79% booked on December 28th.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

The City of Aspen released the results of its latest citizen survey this week. The annual questionnaire measures resident attitudes about living in Aspen and the city’s government.

Overall, respondents gave the city high marks in categories such as safety and protecting the environment, but were dissatisfied with livability.

Molly Dove / Aspen Public Radio

A coworker, someone sitting next to you on the bus or even a friend or family member may be struggling to feed their families, or themselves. According to the Colorado Health Institute, nearly 13 percent of residents along the I-70 mountain corridor ate less than they should have in 2019 because of financial troubles.

Colorado Health Institute / www.coloradohealthinstitute.org/research/CHAS

Every two years, the Colorado Health Institute (CHI) releases the Colorado Health Access Survey (CHAS). This year’s results show residents in the Roaring Fork Valley struggle to afford medical care. 

In the Health Statistics Region 12 (HSR 12), which includes Eagle, Pitkin and Garfield Counties, 14.3% of residents are uninsured. That is up nearly 4% from 2017, and more than double the state’s 6.5%

On a recent afternoon, Jeff Blevins left Sopris Liquor and Wine in Carbondale with a bottle of vodka in a brown paper bag.

The Final Dish on Takah Sushi

Apr 30, 2015
Rob St. Mary

In 1981 sushi wasn’t the popular cuisine it would become. But, that was the year Aspen’s first such restaurant – Takah Sushi – opened. Aspen Public Radio’s Rob St. Mary has more on the long-time establishment that closed earlier this spring.

Green Dragon Marijuana Shop Could Change Hands

Apr 27, 2015

The City of Aspen’s local licensing authority will consider its first change of ownership application for a marijuana shop next month. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason reports.

A Denver man has applied to the city clerk’s office to potentially buy the Green Dragon on the Hyman Avenue Mall. The application says the buyer, Ryan Milligan, plans to invest $7.2 million dollars in the deal. It would be financed by a loan from Andrew Levine, also of Denver.

New Owner of Explore Booksellers Talk About the Future

Apr 9, 2015

Doug Phelps is president of the board of directors for an organization that recently purchased Explore Booksellers. Public Interest Network saved the venerable bookstore from closing when it bought the Main Street property for $4.6 million. He spoke with Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason.

More about Explore Booksellers: http://www.explorebooksellers.com/

Retail Sales in Aspen Up 10% in 2014

Feb 4, 2015

The city sales tax report for 2014 is in. It appears the Aspen economy has more than rebounded. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason reports.

People in Aspen shopped more, drank more, ate more and consumed pot more in 2014 than the previous year.

That’s according a recently-released sales tax consumption report, which shows economic activity within the city of Aspen last year is up 10 percent over 2013. That amounts to nearly $624 million in commerce.

Ben Knight

  Film has played a major role in the fracking debate in Colorado and around the country. Tonight, there’s a new fracking movie showing at the Wheeler Opera House. “Dear Governor Hickenlooper” is a collection of short films about oil and gas drilling. Most are critical of the industry. Stash Wislocki is the Director of Dear Governor Hickenlooper film. He spoke with Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher.

Bringing CitiBank to Justice

Jul 16, 2014
DOJ

Reaction continues to come in to Monday’s massive 7 billion dollar settlement between Citigroup and the US Justice Department over misconduct that contributed to the great recession of 2008. Citigroup will pay four billion dollars in fines plus 2.5 billion for what’s called consumer relief.  

The US Attorney for the District of Colorado, John Walsh played a major role in the sleuthing of Citi’s wrongdoing.  He spoke from his office in Denver with APR’s Roger Adams.

Seeing Drilling, Fracking Up Close

Jul 8, 2014
Roger Adams

The word “fracking” has come to mean drilling in general for oil and gas-- and a major concern for communities and environmentalists in Colorado and elsewhere.In reality the process of hydraulic fracturing is a specialized procedure used to create cracks in shale deposits thousands of feet underground which in turn releases trapped natural gas.  There are hundreds of fracked wells in Garfield County. Often you can see them from the highway.  Recently Aspen Public Radio got a tour of a fracking operation run by WPX Energy near Parachute.  Hear the story by APR's Elise Thatcher below.  See a slideshow of photographs of the rig by APR's Roger Adams HERE.

Garfield County

  Oil and gas operators must have equipment to catch and cut down on methane leaks. That’s part of new air quality requirements chosen yesterday by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Money Savvy Women

Feb 19, 2014
Wealth By Design

Women control just over one half of all wealth in the United States. By the end of this decade it projected women will control two thirds of this country’s wealth.  This shift will likely reshape the financial industry as women increasingly seek financial advisors who understand their attitudes toward money.  Men and women see money differently. Aspen Public Radio's Roger Adams explains.

“Men will be more about making a rate of return; women are more on the relationship side.”

Danielle Howard has spent 21 years in the financial industry and now owns Wealth By Design, a small financial firm in Basalt.  She is one of a growing number of money advisors who are focusing on women clients and recognizing how women approach the subjects of investment, income and financial security.


File Photo

Big tech news came yesterday with word of Google paying $3.2 Billion in cash to purchase Nest Labs. Nest creates "smart thermostats" developed by original iPod designer and company CEO Tony Fadell.

Wine Shortage May Be Limited, Overhyped

Nov 4, 2013
Elise Thatcher

There’s a wine shortage… and it could get worse. So predicts a recent report by banking giant Morgan Stanley. The report blames bad weather and other factors for a looming shortage of fine wines. What is not clear is if the forecast is right. At least one financial writer calls the report a ploy to boost certain investments. Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher talks with Aspen sommelier Tim Baldwin, Assistant Food and Beverage Director at The Little Nell in Aspen. First, she asked him what his take is on the wine shortage.

'Ganja-preneurs' Set Their Sights On Colorado Pot Tourism

Oct 28, 2013

Recreational marijuana shops won’t open their doors in Colorado until January and already several pot tourism companies are making plans to cash in on the new businesses.

CrossCurrents - Hub Aspen

Oct 23, 2013

Gordon Bronson and Michael Edinger, founders of Hub Aspen, a business incubator space they are hoping to launch in downtown Aspen.

www.hubaspen.com

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