Mel BlumenthalSecond ViewSnowmass Village, CO, Colorado

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August 14, 2012
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Mel Blumenthal: More good news in the Valley than just Whole Foods

Besides all the national political noise we've been bombarded with this summer, our local news has recently focused on Whole Foods and its impact on the local market environment. Not wanting to be left out in the cold, I paid a surreptitious late-night visit to the store last week and while peeping through the paper clad windows I began to experience those feelings of wonder and delight that occurs every time I enter one of our Whole Foods stores back home in Santa Monica.As this edition of the Sun hits the newsstands, you'll find me camped out in the parking lot anxious to be one of the first to cross the threshold of this fabulous new food emporium.Most other summer events probably pale in comparison to the Whole Foods grand opening but there are several other memorable moments and activities that went a long way toward rounding out a fabulous summer for all of us in the Blumenthal clan.In addition to the human members of our family, our two Golden's, Riley and Jersey, also spent another wonderful summer in and around the Village. Normally allergy-prone back home in Santa Monica their summers in Snowmass continue to be allergy-free and their appetites have been voracious following full days of hiking and swimming in the Valley's plentiful ponds. Strong rumors abound that the dog ban on the north section of the Rim Trail will soon be lifted but the leash law will be strictly enforced. Words such as "zero tolerance" are being bandied about for those who don't obey the rules. I'm also hearing that Skico and the Town are nearing an agreement for off-leash access to portions of the ski mountain. Riley and Jersey are beginning to salivate just thinking about next summer's freedom.By the way, while the Town's at it they should also impose and strictly enforce safety rules on mountain bikers on the Rim Trail as well as all other shared Town trails. Lots of mountain bikers appear to have a sense of entitlement when it comes to use of these shared trails, while hikers and their pets be damned. Once again The Peddlers have been out in full force this summer and I'm pleased to report that although several members of our growing group of road bikers are suffering the normal aches and pains of our mature years, we've luckily remained accident-free this summer by adhering to the rules of the road, common sense and courtesy to all users of our roads and trails up and down valley. Unfortunately, not all the other road bikers in our valley share the same sense of safety and courtesy displayed by The Peddlers.The Valley's cultural, educational and enlightenment activities have been in abundance this summer. From Snowmass' Ice Age Discovery exhibits and tours; Thursday night concerts on Fanny Hill; the Aspen Institute's Ideas Festival and McCloskey speaker Series; the Aspen Music Festival; Jazz Aspen Snowmass festivals; JAS Caf downstairs @ The Nell; Aspen's Center for Physics' 50th Anniversary series of speakers and events; and the weekly documentaries presented in collaboration between the Aspen Institute and Aspen Film, our days and nights have flown by with nary a moment's rest until we fall into bed and set the alarm for the start of another full day of action and activities.This summer also was memorable due to Aspen Film's sold- out premiere of my son and his Escape Artists' partners latest feature film, "Hope Springs," starring Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones and Steve Carell. For those of you who couldn't make the premiere don't miss this's now playing at the Isis and Movieland (just a little plug for the offspring). My prediction, Meryl and Tommy Lee will be front and center as Oscar nominees in February for their performances in this film.A strong rumor floating around the Village has the Snowmass Bakery & Caf moving into the Sweet Life space in Base Village this winter. Most of us who regularly patronized this local establishment were disappointed to learn of its demise on the Mall at the end of last ski season but we never gave up hope that it would re-emerge in its full glory elsewhere in the Village. The Sweet Life space would appear to be ideal and along with Base Camp and Sneaky's Tavern provides good reason to visit Base Village even in its incomplete state.In the meantime, don't forget to visit Rob Carney's Snowmass Espresso Caf in the Snowmass Center adjacent to the Aspen Sports outlet store. His delectable menu of coffee & espresso drinks, muffins, cookies, bakery goods and sandwiches are all available at the most affordable prices in the Village.Good news ... I just heard that John Quigley, who until the recent sale of the Silvertree Hotel, Wildwood Lodge and Snowmass Conference Center served as senior vice president of Silvertree Properties, has found a new home at the Viceroy Hotel as their new director of sales and marketing. John and his wife Chris Nolen are long-term, dedicated members of our community who've contributed much of their time, energy and resources to the betterment of our community. Congratulations John and congratulations to the Viceroy organization, you've latched onto the best in the business. Hopefully your summer has been and will continue to be as enjoyable as ours.Your comments are always welcome at

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The Aspen Times Updated Aug 14, 2012 06:03PM Published Aug 14, 2012 06:02PM Copyright 2012 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.