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In Brief: What about those weddings in Aspen parks?; CMC raises tuition and fees; Skico good at breeding founders of own companies

Aspen seeks feedback on events like weddings in parks

The city of Aspen is hosting an open house Thursday, Feb. 9, in City Hall from 4-6 p.m. Aspen’s parks and open spaces have seen a rise in usage that has increased the frequency of weddings, large-scale events, catered picnics, and large fitness activities in the parks that limits general usage to community members, city officials said.

The project will review and revise the existing sections of Municipal Code related to park rentals, as well as adopt a new park rental policy, and update the special event policy.

“The Parks and Recreation Department is checking in with the community to ensure any revisions to our parks and recreation policies are in alignment with the community’s values,” said Matt Kuhn, Aspen parks director.

For more information: aspencommunityvoice.com

CMC Board approves increase in tuition and fees

The Colorado Mountain College Board of Trustees has unanimously agreed to raise in-district tuition $5 per credit hour from $95 to $100. In-state rates will also increase $5 per credit hour, from $195 to $200 while the non-resident rates will increase $30 per credit hour from $480 to $510. These rates will go in effect beginning with the fall 2023 semester. 

While few Colorado colleges have announced their tuition rates for next year, CMC leaders expect that the college will continue to have among the most affordable tuition and fees in the state and the nation.

Trustees also unanimously approved fee increases in action sports industry, construction trades, and some health-care classes.

Food-service rates at residence halls in Leadville, Spring Valley, and Steamboat Springs will also increase by $200 per semester due to increased costs for food.

Trustees did not increase rates for standard double rooms in the residence halls and raised rates for single occupancy rooms by $400 per semester. 

New grant aims to help hiring for outdoor rec jobs

Gov. Jared Polis and the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office announced a new grant program to support continued pandemic recovery among outdoor recreation industry businesses and non-profits to help outdoor recreation industry employers hire and retain staff across the state.

According to data released last fall by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, outdoor recreation accounted for 2.7% of Colorado’s economy and 4.3% of the state’s employment, or 125,244 jobs, in 2021. That represents an increase in employment of 13.4% over 2020, which is just ahead of the national average of 13.1%.

“While we have seen significant growth in outdoor recreation employment, we have also observed a consistent need for support among outdoor recreation employers as they continue their efforts to steward our natural resources while also creating more equitable employment in the outdoors,” said Conor Hall, director of the Outdoor Recreation Industry Office.

The Outdoor Recreation Industry Impact Fund will provide $1.8 million as part of the American Rescue Plan Act to support payroll needs. Grants of up to $100,000 are intended to cover hiring and staff retention for outdoor recreation industry businesses and nonprofits that can demonstrate negative economic impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The review period opens Feb. 1, and applications must be submitted by Feb. 28. For more information: oedit.colorado.gov/oriif

Skico good at spinning off new companies

Data shows that two major Colorado-based ski resort companies — Aspen Skiing Company (4.19%) and Vail Resorts (2.76%) — produce among the most founders in the hospitality sector, along with luxury hotel and casino chain Wynn Las Vegas (2.88%), according to OnDeck, which conducted an analysis of America’s major hospitality companies.

The full study, by OnDeck, analyzed the LinkedIn profiles of more than 228,000 American workers: ondeck.com/resources/companies-that-produce-the-most-business-founders.

Glenwood Springs opens grant period

The city of Glenwood Springs Financial Advisory Board has opened for submissions of grant applications for entities including not-for-profit, government, or tax-supported entities for human services, special events, tourism promotion, and other public purposes as the City Council deems appropriate. 

Applications for the 2023 grant cycle are available at bit.ly/FABgrant. All applications are due by 5 p.m. on April 7. Applications must be submitted online, in full, on-time, and in one PDF file only, officials said. An applicant may submit only one application each grant cycle.

For more information, contact Steve Boyd at steve.boyd@cogs.us.

The Finance Advisory Board is a City Council-appointed group of community volunteers that meets monthly to advise the city manager and finance director in the preparation of the city budget, the establishment of accounting systems for the city, the planning of expenses, the projection of revenues, and the analysis of the other fiscal matters presented to the board by the City Council. The Finance Advisory Board is also responsible for making recommendations to the City Council regarding grants.

White River steps toward trail connecting Redstone with McClure

The White River National Forest has released the final Environmental Assessment and draft decision notice for a proposed seven-mile section of trail connecting Redstone with McClure Pass.

Wilderness Workshop previously submitted comments regarding the proposal during the scoping period and when the draft assessment was released. 

A public open house is scheduled for Feb. 15 from 5-6:30 p.m. at the Third Street Center in Carbondale. U.S. Forest Service and Pitkin County Open Space & Trails staff will be in attendance.

Trumble joins ownership of CCY Architects

CCY Architects has announced that Maura Trumble has joined the ownership of the firm, becoming the first female principal. Since joining in 2012, she has played an increasingly integral role at CCY, the firm said.

Her recent and ongoing work includes boutique hospitality projects in Telluride, Los Angeles, and the Coachella Valley, numerous private residences, and affordable housing for the town of Telluride.

Maura Trumble

She has recently spoken at a variety of design events sponsored by Telluride Arts, the Aspen Art Museum, Anderson Ranch Arts Center, the Urban Land Institute, and Denver Design Week. Her work has also been featured on the Telluride Arts + Architecture Home Tour. In 2019, Trumble was profiled in Aspen Magazine’s “New Generation of Design”, spotlighting prominent young designers in Aspen.

CCY Principal John Cottle said, “Maura is a natural leader. She cares about the people around her, is insightful, and her design passion is infectious. We’ve always valued progressive design thinking and practices, informed by deep experience, and we are proud that the continuing evolution of our firm leadership reflects those core beliefs.”

Hearse teeters over cliff near I-70 tunnels

A hearse that slid off Interstate 70 in snowy conditions stopped just shy of tipping over a ledge, with its front wheels hanging in the air at around 3 a.m. on Friday, according to Summit Fire & EMS.

After going off the road near mile marker 212 between Silverthorne and the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnels, the hearse, which was carrying a body for medical donation, “came to rest teetering over a 100-foot-high embankment,” according to the post.

The driver declined medical attention and transport. But, Summit Fire & EMS joked in the post: “If the ‘passenger’ hadn’t already been dead, this surely would have done it.”

Summit Fire & EMS spokesperson Steve Lipsher said the responding crews stabilized the vehicle, so it didn’t tip over the ledge while waiting for a tow truck. Silverthorne police also assisted.

Big bucks for Vail Uber drivers

The online ride-hailing industry is no exception to local workforce shortages. With ski season inflating demand for services like Uber, workers in these roles reap lucrative rewards for carrying industry burdens. 

Uber’s competitive pay matches the local demand for drivers, said Harry Hartfield, an Uber spokesperson.

“Vail came out — in the winter months — as one of the highest gross markets for drivers in the entire country,” he said. 

Within Vail and its surrounding communities, drivers make an average of $40 an hour in utilized time. Utilized time accounts for when drivers are on a trip with a customer, Hartfield explained. 

With hubs of activity around ski areas, he said many people who plan to visit the valley often don’t rent a car. Additionally, demand spikes with more nightlife. 

He said that Uber rates around Vail in winter are comparable to those in California wine country in the summertime. 

This year, however, driver income is even more exaggerated. 

“We’re seeing a ton of people in these ski resorts, and we still don’t have as many drivers on the road as we used to have,” he said. 

Workforce stressors following the onset of COVID-19 haven’t yet eased, Hartfield explained. That means Uber users around Vail experience longer wait times and more expensive rides than normal. 

Giant Olympic Valley development back to drawing board

Placer County Planning Commission held a meeting last week in order to hear public comment regarding the revised draft environmental impact report for the purposed development at Palisades Tahoe.

The development in Olympic Valley proposes up to 1,493 bedrooms in up to 850 units, including a mixture of hotel, condo hotel, fractional ownership, and timeshare units. It also includes new, dedicated onsite workforce housing that, according to Palisades Tahoe officials, will be built first and will house 300 employees.

A 90,000-square-foot Mountain Adventure Camp is also proposed and includes family activities and athlete training facilities in an indoor and outdoor environment. The Mountain Adventure Camp includes plans for possible indoor pool system that could include water slides and other water-based recreation. The facility could also feature an indoor rock wall, movie theater, bowling alley, and arcade; however, the types of programming that could be included have not yet been decided, according to officials from Palisades Tahoe. The facility would also house other guest and employee services such as employee offices and convention services.

The Placer County Board of Supervisors originally approved of the project in 2016. Soon after, Sierra Watch, a non-profit environmental organization, filed a California Environmental Quality Act lawsuit challenging claims related to adequately describing the environmental setting of the Tahoe Basin, impacts on emergency evacuations, impacts on traffic and noise and issues surrounding water sources.

In August 2018, the Placer County Superior Court ruled in favor of the county’s decision, resulting in Sierra Watch filing an appeal of that ruling. In August 2021, the court of appeals ruled that the environmental review analysis was deficient and that further analysis was needed regarding Lake Tahoe water quality impacts, evacuation times during emergencies, further discussion of noise impacts, and traffic impact mitigation.

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