25-50-100 Years Ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 Years Ago

Compiled by John ColsonAspen Times Weekly

Courtesy Aspen Historical SocietyThe Aspen Airport terminal building circa 1960 (that is as close as the AHS archives could get to a date for this picture) featured a faded aspen leaf on the roof. It wasnt until late in 1958 that the community learned it might soon have commercial airline service for the first time, so the primitive facilities werent necessarily outlandish.

The Pitkin County Stockgrowers Association weighed in on a growing scandal regarding The Aspen Daily Times and its bill for publishing the countys tax delinquency notice, which the rival paper at the time, The Aspen Democrat, had dubbed the tax list swindle. The county had paid some $2,488 to the Times for a job that the Democrat had done a year earlier for $1,371.The association may rightly take action in this matter as its members are representative of the heavy taxpayers in all sections of the county Attorney Lyman Hays, who advised the county commissioners to pay the exorbitant bill is very indignant that The Democrat has dared to say the bill of the Times was illegal and that the commissioners should be sued for the money they so fraudulently paid out. The farmers will pass resolutions demanding that the district attorney take such steps as are necessary to recover the amount fraudulently paid out by [county commissioners] Powell and Smulling.(Microfilm of The Aspen Times 1904-1909 is missing from the Colorado Historical Societys archives. These 1908 excerpts are from The Aspen Democrat.)

Aspen residents undoubtedly were happy to hear that air travel might soon be offered to them, thanks to an application being reviewed by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, which was being asked to permit daily commercial flights between Aspens Sardy Field and the airport in Denver.Aspen will soon have scheduled air service to Denver if plans made by the newly-formed Aspen Airways Incorporated and presented to the PUC last Friday are approved by that group. Initial flights will be made in a Cessna 381, which the group purchased last month from the Aspen Institute and which has been used by the Institute for charter service to Denver and other cities. Initial fare would be $22.50 per person [one way].In the wake of a controversial experiment in cloud seeding, Aspen finally did get some snow on the slopes of the local ski areas, although there was no proof that the weather was a response to the cloud seeding work.No one in Aspen knew for certain whether they should be grateful to Irving Kricks snow generators, but no one really cared where [the snow] came from. Kricks generators were placed at the end of last week for a month long in a ring around Aspen However, Kricks weather modification firm guarantees no results and it is impossible to say that this weeks storm was induced by the generators.

The war of words continued in the ongoing controversy over whether the planned Phase IV employee housing complex at the base of Smuggler Mountain, later called Centennial, should be deed-restricted in perpetuity to keep prices affordable for local workers, or allowed to revert to the free market after a period of time, as desired by the developer.The [Pitkin] county planning and zoning commission joined the housing authority this week in declaring that the Phase IV employee housing project should remain under strict rent and price controls forever or, at least, for as long as is legally possible. P&Z members made that declaration [in reaction to] the fact that deed restrictions on the projects rental units will run for just 20 years [until] some time shortly after the turn of the century. The question of time limits on price controls applies only to the rental units in the project. All involved agreed that the units which will be sold will remain under price controls in perpetuity.Another long-term local negotiation, this time regarding a bus transit system, had bogged down as the Roaring Fork Transit Agency and the Aspen Skiing Company haggled over details, The Aspen Times reported.RFTA board members and Ski Company officials are scheduled to meet Friday to put their signatures on a final draft of the five-year agreement, a pact under which the transit agency will provide bus service, at last, to Buttermilk and Snowmass. Finance Director Tom Oken told the board the contract areas in question include a renegotiation clause, the proposed benefit package [for employees] and advertising on the buses.A week later, the paper reported, the deal was done, and just in time.The Aspen Skiing Company and its customers almost missed the bus. Following two interim contract extensions and several months of negotiations that at times became, well, lets say less than congenial, the ASC and the RFTA have a five-year contract that will provide bus service to the slopes. The ski company and the agency have agreed to limits on the cost to ASC of employee benefits incurred on ski company routes ASC will pay the full cost of benefits not to exceed 19.3 percent of the hourly wage for full time employees and 3.8 percent for seasonal workers [as well as other costs of providing the service].As Aspen prepared for the annual Winterskl parade and celebration, a schedule of the days calendar of events included a list of celebrities and a stepped-up roster of activities.No more of this Mickey Mouse stuff, this Winterskl we gonna have astronauts and an air show with sky divers, even. The husband-and-wife astronaut team, Bill and Anna Fisher, who will be going up in the Space Shuttle this summer and fall, respectively, will be grand marshals of the parade decked out in full [space] regalia. Buzzing over the parade route will be jets from the Air National Guard out of Colorado Springs, and, weather permitting, the Wings of Blue Skydiving Exhibition team will perform toward the end of the parade. The skydivers say all they need to land is a 10-by-10 spot in Wagner Park.Another bit of welcome news came in the form of final confirmation that Aspen would be a stop for the 1984 Coors Classic bicycle racing circuit.In order to become one of the six sites for race stages, the Aspen City Council and the new Aspen Resort Association had to agree to meet criteria which included an entry fee as well as room and board for 600 racers, coaches and officials. The 1984 Coors race will be a special event for two reasons it will serve as the final tune-up for the national bicycling teams who will compete in the Los Angeles XXIII Summer Olympics [and] will mark the 10th anniversary of the race, which began as the Red Zinger Classic and eventually moved under Coors sponsorship as it became the premier bicycling event in the U.S. and one of the major events on the world competition calendar. Aspen last held a stage of the race in 1978. In recent years, Snowmass has held a race stage, but the town decided to withdraw after last summers event.A local eatery was recognized by a national magazine for the excellence of its cuisine not an unusual thing these days, perhaps, but at the time it was seen as a breakthrough accolade.Arthurs Chinese Restaurant [formerly on Main Street] got a pat on the back when Travel Holiday [published from 1977 through 1986, according to Culinary Arts Museums website] gave it an award of excellence in the magazines Guide to Fine Dining. This is the first time the award has gone to an Aspen restaurant according to the magazines brief description, Arthurs offers some of the most succulent and exciting fare of our country, better than tourists can have even in the shade of the Great Wall.

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