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Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Pitkin County is using a study of cell phone data to figure out who is most likely to spread COVID-19 within the county. 

The numbers are a combination of how many people from a specific place are in Pitkin County and how prevalent the virus is in their home region. 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Tourism is returning to Pitkin County, and short-term lodging, like hotels and condos, can operate at 50% capacity each day. In a recent Board of Health meeting, Snowmass Village Mayor and board chair Markey Butler said that isn’t the best fit for her town. She spoke with reporter Alex Hager about why she's pushing for a different plan.

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.

 

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

 

The Aspen Chamber Resort Association (ACRA) released a set of guidelines Thursday that it is encouraging locals and tourists to use when sharing images of remote, backcountry locations on social media.

 

Instead of geotagging or sharing the exact location, ACRA wants people to use a generic tag that reads, “Tag Responsibly, Take the Aspen Pledge.” 

Early Openings Lead To November Visitor Record

Dec 27, 2018
Aspen Skiing Company

 November occupancy numbers hit an all time high for paid overnight stays in Aspen and Snowmass Village.

Aspen Skiing Company And Snow’s Perfect State

Oct 15, 2018
Alycin Bektesh / Aspen Public Radio News

The Colorado Tourism office has updated their marketing campaign. The new slogan “Snow’s Perfect State,”  is meant to highlight the many ways to play in the snow, not just skiing.

Sunlight sees slow, dry start

Dec 25, 2017
courtesy Sunlight Mountain Resort

Sunlight Mountain Resort opened over the weekend, two weeks later than planned and with just one run open. The lack of natural snow has hurt this year’s numbers.

  The busy summer months in the upper valley are coming to an end. News director Carolyn Sackariason has been digging into summer occupancy numbers for both Aspen and Snowmass. She discusses them with producer Christin Kay.

To hear more stories like this, subscribe to our new podcast The Dial.

Off-season visits drop 20 percent

Jul 9, 2017
courtesy photo

According to city tax collections, Aspen’s lodging industry took a hit this off season. May’s overall retail sales were down a modest 4% from 2016, but lodging tax collections were down 21%. City finance director Don Taylor wrote in the monthly report that the dip is due to fewer hotel guests as well as lower rates for the rooms that were occupied. Clothing sales also dropped 10% compared to the same time period last year.

Carbondale’s lodging tax sets a new record

Mar 7, 2017
Carbondale Chamber of Commerce

The town of Carbondale’s lodging tax increased 17 percent between 2015 and 2016. The five years between 2011 to 2016: 109 percent.

Patrick Fort / Aspen Public Radio

An overcast afternoon didn’t stop visitors from going to the Maroon Bells Tuesday. Many were hiking and taking pictures, but a small assembly of photographers were present waiting for the right light to capture Aspen’s changing leaves.

Patrick Fort / Aspen Public Radio

The Snowmass Concert series finishes tonight on Fanny Hill. This summer, most of the shows have avoided the anecdotally present rain that seems to have interfered in previous seasons. The series featured music industry veterans like Taj Mahal and newcomers like Jamestown Revival.

Carolyn Sackariason

  City of Aspen officials want to have more parking available in front of shops and businesses downtown. As Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher reports, it appears to be working.

Patrick Fort / Aspen Public Radio

If you ask Manik Sakya, the owner of Nepal Restaurant in Glenwood Springs, what he values the most, he’ll tell that it’s culture, cuisine and nature.

  February was a rough month for tourism in the Aspen area. Little snow, high winds and an airport equipment problem made the Upper Valley less enticing and a lot harder to get to. But the real kicker was the long closure on I-70 in Glenwood Canyon.

White River National Forest

Forest Service officials say early data shows record numbers of visitors to high use areas in the Maroon Bells Snowmass Wilderness over the summer.

Applicants turn out for Willits hotel job fair

Oct 6, 2015
Elise Thatcher

A new hotel in Willits Town Center already has more applicants than job openings. Hotel management held a job fair Tuesday, screening people who want to work there. Called the "Element by Westin Basalt-Aspen," the establishment is expected to open in early December.

Snowmass Village summertime business sees growth

Sep 24, 2015
Marci Krivonen

Tourism officials in Snowmass Village are pleased with visitation this summer. Growth was seen each month from June through September.

September is seeing the biggest hike in visitation. So far, overnight stays in hotels and lodges are pacing 41 percent higher than the same month last year.

Christine Newcomb sees it first-hand. She’s a server at Big Hoss Grill on the Snowmass Mall.

"We’ve been getting busier and busier every summer. It’s only gotten busier since I started working here four years ago."

Hanging Lake closed for Saturday repairs

Sep 9, 2015
Elise Thatcher

The popular Hanging Lake trail will be closed this Saturday. The Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers will be working on improvements at the heavily used destination. They’ll tackle some of the areas that are suffering from overuse.

Paving project comes at Aspen’s busiest time

Jul 27, 2015
Elise Thatcher

  Starting today, there’s roadwork on Highway 82, either on Main Street in Aspen or between the roundabout and the airport. It’s a paving project during Aspen’s busiest month for car traffic at the entrance to the resort community. This July there’s an average of 27,000 cars coming in or out of town each day

Creative Commons/Flickr/Ed Schipul

A new study in Aspen and Snowmass Village will attempt to quantify just how large the “vacation rental by owner” sector is. 

More visitors to Aspen and Snowmass are using websites like Airbnb and VRBO to book overnight stays. It’s unknown, though, how big this sector is compared to traditional hotels and lodges. The tourism agencies Stay Aspen Snowmass and Destimetrics are trying to find out. Bill Tomcich is with Stay Aspen Snowmass.

Higher prices, busier hotels on tap this summer

Jun 29, 2015
Elise Thatcher

The Roaring Fork Valley broke records for visitors last summer. So far Aspen and Snowmass Village are on track to be even busier, and more expensive, this summer. Resort tracker DestiMetrics says overnight bookings across the West are up about 8.5% compared to last year. Aspen and Snowmass Village are seeing about the same numbers.

Aspen approves second Hunt affordable lodge

Jun 2, 2015
GrassRoots TV

Last night, Aspen City Council approved a second affordable lodge proposal by prolific land owner Mark Hunt. Councilmembers gave the go-ahead for what’s called Base 2. It would replace a Conoco gas station on Main Street, and off-site parking has been a point of contention.

Facebook/Marble Distilling Company

In the spring, Carbondale will welcome its first new hotel property in several years. The Marble Distilling Company plans to open a distillery and luxury hotel on Main Street. The owners think it will attract a new demographic and keep visitors in town longer. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen explains.

Connie Baker is Co-owner of Marble Distilling Company. She’s guiding me through the 7000 square foot building that’s still under construction.

Valley Roundup - November 7th, 2014

Nov 7, 2014

Welcome to Valley Roundup, a review of the top news stories in the valley in the past week.

This week you went to the polls, we take a look at some of the key races – what they mean and what could be the path forward for development and the future of Snowmass’s Base Village.

In non-election news, the Aspen Airport has a new director and our panel will give him some advice.

Speaking of travel, this summer was the best for tourism in the history of the State of Colorado and this winter, into 2015, could top that. We’ll chat about the pluses and minuses of the busy seasons.

And on the Download, you’ve heard of tweeting and facebooking – we’ll introduce you to an Aspen bartender and entrepreneur who wants the term “soapboxing” to be just as ubiquitous.  

Marci Krivonen

As the fight to keep natural gas drilling out of an area known as the Thompson Divide continues, two Roaring Fork Valley residents who operate lodging near the Divide flew over the contested area last week with Ecoflight. They say energy development would hurt their business. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen went on the flyover and filed this report.

The clouds are clearing as our Cessna 210 leaves the ground. It’s a smooth takeoff and right away, snowcapped peaks come into view.

Mountain Edition - September 25th, 2014

Sep 25, 2014

Good afternoon and welcome to Mountain Edition.

The Roaring Fork Valley is awash with fall colors this week.

Basalt puts together a commission to decide on a way to revitalize old town.

Health insurance rates are going down next year for some residents in the Glenwood Springs area. And that’s partly because some doctors and hospitals have agreed to get paid less.

U.S. Senate candidates in Colorado battle it out for the women’s vote in the November election.

And we look at the 35th annual Aspen Film Fest, opening this weekend.

How Colorado's High Country Became "Vacationland"

Sep 15, 2014
Marci Krivonen

As the entire Roaring Fork Valley takes a huge breath after a busy summer, we’re exploring why Colorado’s mountain resorts get so congested. It’s thanks in part, to an aggressive marketing effort that’s been growing since the 1940s. In his book “Vacationland: Tourism and Environment in the Colorado High Country,” University of Denver History Professor William Philpott says the effort to repackage Colorado as a tourist destination followed World War II. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen spoke with him.

Kaylan Robinson/Wanderlust

You may have noticed traffic jams and crowded streets in Aspen this summer. These are all anecdotes indicating the resort experienced a busy summer. But, the data proves it too. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

You may have experienced headaches on your drive into Aspen this summer...as eastbound traffic piled up on Highway 82. Turns out, the number of cars heading in and out of town in June, July and August was up three-and-a-half percent over last year.

Marci Krivonen

Aspen and Snowmass Village have played host before to the USA Pro Challenge but, for the first time this year, the race will travel through Basalt and Carbondale. Cyclists begin “stage two” of the race in Aspen just after 10 o’clock Tuesday morning. As Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports, Downvalley communities are rolling out the red carpet.

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