25-50 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50 years ago

Sara Garton

A skier rides the outrun of the Willoughby Jump, which opened for the 1955-56 ski season on Aspen Moun tain. (Courtesy Aspen Historical Society)

Aspen Mountain took a big jump (see photos) 50 years ago, as the paper reported, An important addition to Aspen’s skiing facilities has been the construction of a new 30 meter jumping hill on Aspen Mountain near the site of the Aspen Ski Club’s established 60 meter hill.The need for a hill of this size, on which leaps from 80 to 120 feet can be made without danger, was needed to complete Aspen’s ski jumping facilities. … Manager Red Rowland of the Aspen Skiing Corporation turned over the corporation’s bulldozer with expert operator Clark Ilgen to accomplish the big part of the earthmoving. Ski Club director and mining engineer Fred Willougby did the preliminary profile work and final engineering control during construction, with the assistance of club directors Bib Craig and Gale Spence. …

The new hill will be used for competition the first time during the intercollegiate meet in December.Last Sunday Coach Spence and the Junior Ski Squad thoroughly foot-packed and ski-packed the landing slope and outrun, so that it is now in good shape and ready for use.The News About School column noted,The Aspen High School has in the past always been an accredited high school. In 1946, this school did lose its North Central Association accreditation because it lacked by one the minimum number of teachers … Once the North Central rating is lost, at least two years are required in re-establishing the rating. Much work, the most important of which is the improvement of the high school library, has been going on with the purpose of again meeting North Central standards. …A student entering college from an accredited high school need not take entrance exams, while a student from a non-accredited high school must take these exams to determine whether or not he has had sufficient work to enable him to enter college.

Mr. Paul Wirth has announced that hot coffee, tea, and chocolate [at the Sundeck on Aspen Mountain] will be available at a reduced special rate of 5 cents to student participants and instructors in the Wednesday afternoon activities program this year.The school deeply appreciates this support from Paul and Hanna Wirth who display once more, as they have done in many ways in the past, the kind of community and parental support of the school which makes it a joy to teach in Aspen. Happy Golden Wedding Anniversary, Broughtons! The Aspen Society column announced in 1955,Two prominent Aspen families were united Sunday when Miss Jacqueline Ann Chirnside became the bride of Kenneth Lloyd Broughton Jr.

Aspen’s ski season was off with a bang – and not just from snowguns (see photo). The paper announced (before there were sponsor restrictions!),Aspen is becoming a world ski racing capital of sorts this winter, a status reflected not only in the fact that four local skiers have been named to the U.S. Ski Team, but also in the fact that three major ski racing events are slated for Aspen’s slopes this winter.The first of the big races will be World Pro Skiing’s Michelob Light competition for $60,000 in prize money, which is schedules for the week of Dec. 15-30 and will be the opening North American event of the WPS season circuit. …

[W]hat many people consider the most prestigious racing circus of them all, the FIS World Cup, is scheduled to start March 3. The week’s events will include men’s and women’s downhill and giant slalom races, all on Aspen Mountain.Finally, rounding out the major events for the winter, will be the Coors American Pro Tour’s final event of the season, the Copenhagan/Skoal Grand Prix Finals, offering $40,000 in prize money, which makes it the richest event in the history of this circuit. Good news for the local riffraff was reported,A group of locals investors announced plans to purchase Aspen’s famed Red Onion restaurant and bar for $1.65 million in an apparent effort to revive the Onion’s reputation as one of Aspen’s favorite establishments. The purchase offer was made by Jim McDade, Mort Heller, Charles Israel, Bob Oden, Lenny Oates and a business partner of Heller’s from California.

McDade said the investor group wants to lease or sell the establishment to someone who will operate it in a manner appropriate to Aspen.”Something that provokes a local protest is not appropriate,” he said, referring to the Aug. 20 “riot” that caused the Red Onion to shut down again when it finally opened after being closed for more than a year. … Former bar patrons heard that one of the new owners had said he was trying to keep “the riffraff” out of the bar, and some apparently believed the remark was aimed at locals in general. So, on Friday, Aug. 20, a sizable group of ex-Red Onion patrons flooded the bar to reclaim their favorite watering hole, a move that prompted the place to close again. …McDade said he and his partners offered to sell the bistro back to [27-year-owner Werner] Kuster, but Kuster declined the offer, telling McDade, “twenty-seven years is enough.”

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