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Slideshow: Aspen, Snowmass make best of Fourth of July during a pandemic

Things were a little different Saturday as far as Fourth of July celebrations go in Aspen and Snowmass Village. Even without Aspen’s Old Fashioned parade, fireworks and the Snowmass community celebration, visitors and locals made the best of it.

The holiday weekend brought out the biggest crowds around the Roaring Fork Valley since the area shutdown in mid-March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Instead of meeting up for the traditional Snowmass community celebration and concert, the Ice Cream Anti-Social rolled through the streets and neighborhoods throughout the village.

In Aspen, parks and restaurants remained busy throughout the day despite no parade and no official events taking place.

We’re Open: Aspen Home Consignment

Business name: Aspen Home Consignment

Address: 202 E. Main St., Aspen, CO 81611

Phone: 970-925-1870

Web: aspenhomeconsignment.com

Email: ahconsign@aol.com

Social media: @aspen.consignment (Facebook), @aspen_home_consignment (Instagram), @aspenconsign (Twitter)

Aspen Times: How have you gotten creative during this time?

Aspen Home Consignment: Our website is constantly updated and user friendly. Purchases can be made without even leaving your home. We offer pick up when consigning and delivery on your purchases.

AT: What’s the most important thing the community can do to support you?

AHC: Shop locally. We offer designer merchandise from staged houses in Aspen at a fraction of the price. You are also helping the environment by recycling.

There is no waiting for an item to be sent. Shop, purchase, take it home, instant gratification. We offer an “out on approval” policy as we want our customers to be happy.

AT: Where can we find your most current offerings and updates?

AHC: Our website aspenhomeconsignment.com and on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

AT: What has been the best customer experience or comment you’ve had since the crisis started?

AHC: “This is our first stop when we visit Aspen. Our whole house is decorated by Aspen Home Consignment.”

AT: Is there anything else you’d like to add regarding your business during the pandemic?

AHC: People want to make their home an oasis, to escape the pandemic. They are upgrading and refreshing more so than ever.

AVSC coach Casey Puckett returns to U.S. ski team as women’s Europa Cup coach

Alice McKennis gave Casey Puckett the nickname “Five Time” while training at Copper Mountain in early June. This required an explanation for the younger U.S. national team skiers, as they weren’t all too familiar with Puckett’s past, which includes an impressive World Cup career and five Olympic appearances.

But for the 30-year-old McKennis, having Puckett around brought her back to her roots as a young FIS skier with the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club, when she worked directly with Puckett.

“I just kept having these moments where it was like a flashback to 15 years ago with Casey Puckett training on the same trail. It was really fun to have him there and have all those memories come back,” McKennis said. “He has such a great eye and a great understanding of what it takes to be an elite athlete because he was one.”

Puckett, who has called the Roaring Fork Valley home since 1999 and has spent a collective nine years coaching AVSC athletes, has returned to the U.S. ski team, but this time as a coach. The 47-year-old was recently named the head technical coach for the women’s Europa Cup team, a role that unofficially began with that Copper Mountain training camp last month.

AVSC has certainly had other coaches move on — and often back from — the national team, notably its current alpine director, Johno McBride, who helped lead the Americans through many Olympics, including the most recent Winter Games in 2018. Snowboard coach Nichole Mason left the Aspen club two years ago to take over as the slopestyle rookie team coach for the U.S.

“It says something about AVSC when the U.S. team is actively recruiting coaches from the club. It just shows you the level of coaches we have here,” Puckett said. “We have such a good group of kids here and they are a lot of fun to work with. They work hard and they are fast. It’s going to be hard to leave those guys. I’m going to miss them. But I think it will be good to move to this next level and see what’s out there.”

Puckett’s main job with U.S. Ski and Snowboard this season will be to help develop young skiers such as AJ Hurt, Katie Hensien and Alix Wilkinson. McKennis, a two-time Olympian from New Castle, is primarily a World Cup speed skier and won’t directly work with Puckett.

The Europa Cup team is a newer creation made by U.S. alpine director Jesse Hunt, who took over the role in 2018. Hunt was actually one of Puckett’s coaches back when he was an athlete, and it was Hunt who reached out to Puckett to bring him on as a national team coach. While the Europa Cup and North American Cup are deemed to be the same level on paper, in reality the Europa Cup is a step up from Nor-Ams and success there will make it easier for U.S. athletes to make the jump to the World Cup.

“If you are not going to that series and paying attention to that level, then it’s a little bit more difficult to make the step to the World Cup. His motto is to win at every level, so he hired me to come help do that,” Puckett said of Hunt. “You don’t often get a call from the U.S. team to coach. If I would have passed it by, it may not have been there again, so I went for it.”

Puckett was an alpine skier for the U.S. from 1991 through 2002, competing in the 1992, 1994, 1998 and 2002 Winter Olympics. Most of his success came as a technical skier in the earlier part of his career — he took seventh in slalom at the ’94 Games in Norway — before he transitioned more into speed racing at the close. He coached for AVSC from 2002 to 2006 before returning to the national team, but this time in skicross, and competed in the 2010 Olympics before ending his career.

“Working with someone who has that understanding is unique and it’s not all that common within the ski racing world,” McKennis said of working with Puckett. “A lot of the younger generation — my teammates — aren’t as familiar with him and his background. So I think they were a little confused at first, like, ‘Why are you calling this guy Five Time?’”

Puckett returned to coach at AVSC in 2015, where he most recently was the club’s head U16 coach. He’s still going to call the Roaring Fork Valley home and believes a return to coaching at AVSC is possible down the road. He has two daughters, both high schoolers at Basalt and Colorado Rocky Mountain School.

Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, there are a lot of questions about the coming ski season and if it will happen at all. The U.S. alpine team hopes to continue on-snow training later this month at Mount Hood in Oregon, and will likely look to Europe or South America for fall camps, should borders open up to them again.

The next Winter Olympics is tentatively scheduled for 2022 in China, where COVID-19 is believed to have originated from. The Olympics aren’t necessarily a given for Puckett and his Europa Cup squad, but he believes his athletes have a good chance of getting there. Especially considering the U.S. is currently thin in terms of technical skiers, with only Mikaela Shiffrin, Nina O’Brien and Paula Moltzan having established themselves at that level.

“There aren’t a lot of numbers there right now, so my girls, if they ski well, they’ll have a good shot at making the Olympic team,” Puckett said. “Honestly, it’s not a big jump. They are really not that far behind the girls that are racing on the World Cup.”


Aspen Cycling Club: Photos and results from Frying Pan Time Trial on July 1


Frying Pan Time Trial

From Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Mens A (22 Mile Course)

1 0:49:33 SHANKS, Cooper Team Mike Bikes p/b Equator

2 0:50:29 CARR, Chris STRAFE

3 0:50:30 GRAYBILL, Marshall Roaring Fork Cycling

4 0:52:08 PETERSON, Butch RFMBA Trail Agents

5 0:53:05 LEONARD, Scott Basalt Bike & Ski


7 0:53:30 KELLY, Christian Limelight Hotel

8 0:53:32 CALLAHAN, John Limelight Hotel

9 0:53:48 BECK, George Basalt Bike & Ski

10 0:54:09 RALSTON, Andrew Basalt Bike & Ski

11 0:54:11 LEWIS, Joseph Wifey Racing/Shott Peformance

12 0:55:06 LOEFFLER, Alexander

13 0:56:22 KOSTER, Ryan Culver’s Glenwood Springs

14 0:57:24 OLIVER, Nick Basalt Bike & Ski

15 0:58:26 NEWTON, Tyler Hub of Aspen

16 1:01:27 PETERSON, Bryn CRMS

Womens A (22 Mile Course)

1 1:01:51 KNOTT, Courtney

2 1:03:06 TORY, Caroline Hub of Aspen

Mens B (22 Mile Course)

1 0:52:01 BUTTINE, Andrea Automatic Racing

2 0:52:56 ADAMS, Casey Basalt Bike & Ski

3 0:54:07 TUDDENHAM, Luke Basalt Bike & Ski

4 0:54:10 SULLIVAN, Danny Basalt Bike & Ski

5 0:56:12 DAVIS, Brad

6 0:57:13 ELLIOT, Simon Basalt Bike & Ski

7 0:57:15 PRATT, John

8 0:57:34 KLUG, Chris Hub of Aspen/Chris Klug Foundation

9 0:57:40 PERNA, Lew Great Divide Brewing

10 0:57:59 THOMPSON, Nigel

11 0:58:19 CHERNOSKY, David Groove Subaru

12 0:58:28 VOLONINO, Richard

13 0:59:24 SIRIANNI, Phil Basalt Bike & Ski

14 0:59:42 HERSHBERGER, Jonathan Hub of Aspen

15 1:00:50 FAURER, Patrick

16 1:01:00 FAAS, Michael Hub of Aspen

17 1:01:37 CIBULSKY, John Roaring Fork Cycling

18 1:01:57 WILLIAMS, Brian

Mens C (Sport) (13 Mile Course)

1 0:33:20 SELDIN, Chris

2 0:34:26 MERRILL, Nate Valley View Velo

3 0:36:57 MURPHY, Mark Basalt Bike & Ski

Womens C (Sport) (13 Mile Course)

1 0:34:03 SHAW, Sara Limelight Hotel

2 0:35:15 DIEMAR, Hayley Team Twenty20

Men 50+ (13 Mile Course)

1 0:31:48 LANE, Chris ACES

2 0:33:27 BURKLEY, Richard Limelight Hotel

3 0:34:09 ARMSTRONG, Mike Basalt Bike & Ski

4 0:35:41 CHILSON, Chip Aspen Sports Performance

5 1:07:31 GETTINGER, Mike

DNS GIBANS, Jon RFMBA Trail Agents

Women 50+ (13 Mile Course)

1 0:33:57 KELLY, Chris Limelight Hotel

Men 60+ (13 Mile Course)

1 0:31:15 LYONS, Steve Basalt Bike & Ski

2 0:32:10 KREUZ, Kevin

3 0:32:17 HANDWERK, Jeff

4 0:32:52 PAUSSA, Jim Hub of Aspen

5 0:33:22 BUTTINE, Chris

6 0:34:32 SLIVA, Glenn Ruedi

7 0:36:30 MURTAGH, Patrick

Men 70+ (13 Mile Course)

1 0:35:08 IRELAND, Michael Register. Vote 2020

2 0:35:24 CROSS, Ed Limelight Hotel

3 0:35:29 OLENICK, Bob

4 0:36:37 OVEREYNDER, Phil

5 0:36:53 GRICE, John

6 0:40:23 JONES, Larry

DNS ADAMSON, John Twisted Spokes Racing

Men 80+ (13 Mile Course)

1 0:40:30 HARRISON, Jim

2 0:54:00 HOUOT, Jacques Frenchy No Problem

High School Boys (13 Mile Course)

1 0:32:44 KELLY, Chase Limelight Hotel

— Race Marshals: Mary Jo Kimbro, Benjamin Gottlieb, Fritz Diether, Cathy Porter, Jon Gibans

— Results may also be viewed at www.aspencyclingclub.org.

— Questions about results should be directed to results@aspencyclingclub.org.

We’re Open: Susie’s at Willits

Business name: Susie’s at Willits

Address: 331 Robinson St., Basalt, CO 81621

Phone: 970-510-5372

Email: willitssusies@gmail.com

Facebook: @susieswillits

Aspen Times: How have you gotten creative during this time? What have you done to keep your customers engaged?

Susie’s at Willits owner Danica Moodie: Upon re-opening we offered complimentary masks, vitamin C drink packets (a healthy immune system is key) and curbside consignment drop off (with advance notice).

AT: What’s the most important thing the community can do to support you?

DM: Come shop with us! You will be not only shopping locally, you are shopping Green (by up cycling) and you pay half or less of the regular retail price! Plus you can check with us about consigning items that you are ready to let go of, which will put money back in your pocket. It is a beautiful cycle.

AT: Where can we find your most current offerings and updates?

DM: In store and on Facebook. Because we turn products over so fast, the very best is to give us a ring with your inquiry or simply just come in!

AT: What has been the best customer experience or comment you’ve had since the crisis started?

DM: When we re-opened I had so many customers say “thank you for being open!” Who would have thought something so simple would have caused such great gratitude.

AT: Is there anything else you’d like to add regarding your business during the pandemic?

DM: We have a great selection of designer clothing, accessories, home wares, furniture and art! But most importantly remember what we say at Susie’s: KEEP CALM AND STAY CLASSY!

Aspen Historical Society walking tours up and running

The Aspen Historical Society this week launched a slate of new outdoor guided tours for summer 2020, adapting to the restrictions of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Due to public health restrictions, the Historical Society will not host some its standard tours of summers past, including walking tours of the Hotel Jerome and Wheeler Opera House and will not host its Historic Pub Crawl or the History Coach Tour. Its museums also remain closed.

But the nonprofit has added tour offerings that allow for socially distant, outdoor experiences with its costumed tour guides.

“We’ve focused on summer operations that we’re sure we can pull off, like the walking tours, and we have a robust offering of tours for this summer,” said Historical Society president and CEO Kelly Murphy.

Additions for 2020 include a new Midland Railbed Tour, which goes from Gondola Plaza to the Holden/Marolt Mining & Ranching Museum along the historic railroad corridor. It runs Fridays at 1:30 p.m.

Historical Society guides also are offering new weekly tours of Red Butte Cemetery (Wednesdays, 1:30 p.m.) and Independence Ghost Town (Fridays, 10:30 a.m.), which also is open for self-guided visits.

The nonprofit also is reviving its popular Bauhaus Architectural Walking Tour, which takes guests through the West End to see home and sculptural works by and related to Bauhaus master Herbert Bayer. The Historical Society is also bringing back a weekly Mining & Ranching Machinery Tour, which shows off the operational steam engine and equipment outside of the Holden/Marolt Mining & Ranching Museum.

The walking tour staples of the Historical Society also launched operations this week: the Victorian West End Walking Tour and Historical Downtown Walking Tour, which each run Tuesday through Saturday all summer.

The socially distant walking tours are capped at six participants. Reservations are required in advance (970-925-3721). More tour information is online at aspenhistory.org.

The Historical Society’s Wheeler/Stallard Museum and Holden/Marolt Mining & Ranching Museum both remain closed due to public health restrictions imposed to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus. An application by Pitkin County to the state health authorities to open local museums was denied this month.

“We were confused as to why they would keep them closed,” Pitkin County Public Health Director Karen Koenemann said Thursday.

Gov. Jared Polis cleared the way for museums to open Thursday under amendments to the state’s public health order. Koenemann said there’s no reason to think museums here won’t open Friday. The Pitkin County Board of Health will discuss opening museums at its Thursday meeting, where it is expected to clear the way for Aspen HIstorical Society museums as well as the Aspen Art Museum.

“I don’t think there’s any medical or public health reason why it wouldn’t make sense (to open them) in our community,” she said. “Bars are definitely more risky than museums.”

The governor’s Thursday order also allowed bars to open at 25%, though that won’t yet be allowed in Pitkin County.

When the Wheeler/Stallard opens, it will present two new exhibits.

“Decade by Decade: Aspen Revealed” tells the story of local life through photographs and artifacts, tracing Aspen from the mining boom to today. The display aims to underscore the community’s connection to national events and trends and, according to the museum’s announcement, “reflects on the community’s place within the larger historical landscape of the nations — sometimes congruent, sometimes divergent — but always exciting.”

The complementary display “Maps Through the Decades” tracks Aspen history through maps dating from 1870 to 1970 including mining claims and ski trail maps from the Historical Society collection.

Plans for summer events celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment have been canceled due to public health restrictions. But the Historical Society is working on ways to honor the women’s suffrage movement later this summer and through the fall 2020 elections.

Staff writer Jason Auslander contributed to this report.


Phased plan begins Monday to resume athletic activity on RFSD grounds

Student-athletes in the Roaring Fork School District may resume voluntary sports workouts using outdoor school facilities starting Monday, but with strict health precautions in place to protect against coronavirus spread.

School district officials announced Friday that they have developed a phased plan to return to athletic participation, based on local and state health and safety requirements and recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The plan was reviewed by the public health departments in Garfield, Pitkin and Eagle counties, according to a district news release. It will involve a tiered return to sports activities through the summer, leading up to a tentative start to formal practices in August, depending on where things stand at that point.

Athletic participation during phase one this summer for schools in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt will require:

— All coaches and students to be screened for COVID-19 signs and symptoms before participating in each workout.

— All workouts will be held outside; there will not be access to locker facilities, weight rooms and gyms.

— All activities must adhere to a maximum of 10 people, reflecting the most restrictive local requirement currently in place (This number may change as public health requirements change).

— All workouts will be conducted in student cohorts to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

— Social distancing must be maintained, and masks must be worn unless the activity is exempted (swimming, distance running and high-intensity aerobic activity).

— All participants must use their own equipment for ball sports; all shared equipment, such as weights, must be sanitized before and after use.

“Plans for phases two and three become increasingly less restrictive in conjunction with the continued reopening and expansion of activities in our community,” the news release states. “The district reserves the right to change the restrictions and requirements outlined in this document as needed to support the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, and the broader community.”

All summer workouts are voluntary for students, per Colorado High School Activities Association bylaws, and coaches. Students who choose to participate in RFSD athletic activities over the summer must complete a waiver.

AHS senior-to-be Tyler Ward headed to California in pursuit of football dreams

Aspen High School standout Tyler Ward is hoping those college offers start coming his way. And in order to give himself a better chance of playing football at the next level, Ward announced Friday he will spend his upcoming senior season in California.

The 6-foot-5, 220-pounder intends to transfer to Calabasas High School, which is located in the hills just northwest of downtown Los Angeles. He admitted it wasn’t an easy decision to make, but it’s a situation that could lead to bigger opportunities down the line.

“It’s a pretty good football program they have out there. There were a string of quarterback transfers out there that kind of led to my interest,” Ward told The Aspen Times on Saturday. “But I’m not necessarily going for the whole football aspect. I think it’s a great opportunity for me to experience something new, live somewhere new, the whole nine yards.”

Suiting up for the Coyotes means Ward will play for a much bigger school — Calabasas has about 2,000 students, compared to Aspen’s 500 or so — and compete against tougher competition that will test him more than the Western Slope could. Calabasas has a rich history of producing college talent, including last year’s star quarterback, Jaden Casey, who signed with the University of California.

With a few players having recently left the Calabasas program, Ward could be in a good position to be the team’s starting quarterback this coming fall.

“Coming out here to a big California school, it should make things a lot easier to get exposure,” Ward said. “It was definitely tough leaving some of my friends, some of my teammates, my coaches. All that was super tough. I still kind of have a little bit of guilt, just leaving. I thought we were going to have a good year this year. I was pretty excited about everything that was falling into place. But the whole opportunity was truly too good to pass up.”

Calabasas is coached by Cary Harris, a former cornerback at the University of Southern California (2005-2008) who bounced around the National Football League for a few years. The team’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, Curtis Lamont Conway, played at USC in the early ’90s and had a 12-year NFL career.

Ward’s been in contact with numerous programs, a handful at the Division I level, but as of Saturday had yet to be offered a scholarship. The summer before a player’s senior season is often a busy one in terms of camps and recruiting, but because of the coronavirus pandemic much of this has grinded to a halt and made it difficult for recruits and coaches alike.

Trey Fabrocini, who would have been part of the AHS class of 2020, took a similar route as Ward when he decided to play for Fisher Catholic High School in Lancaster, Ohio, for his senior season. Fabrocini is committed to play running back at Division III Denison University in Granville, Ohio.

“It hasn’t been easy getting recruited coming out of Aspen. That’s definitely been a struggle,” Ward said. “This was kind of my big summer, especially after I started to build relationships with coaches and then being able to attend their camps. But the coronavirus kind of altered that a little bit.”

Ward will certainly leave a void on the Aspen football roster this coming season. He took over the starting job as a sophomore, leading AHS to a 6-4 record and a playoff appearance by throwing for 2,202 yards with 26 touchdowns and eight interceptions. The Skiers finished 4-5 overall in 2019, Ward’s junior season, one that was hindered by numerous injuries.

If all goes to plan and Ward does find a collegiate home, he said he’s in position to graduate at semester and could join a college program in time for spring camp in 2021. He’s also a standout lacrosse player, but is putting all his eggs into the football basket.

The Coyotes are scheduled to begin practice June 29, so Ward will be headed west sooner rather than later.

“Really depending on how I play out there will really determine where I end up playing,” Ward said. “L.A. is kind of the hotbed for quarterbacks these days, so I’m in a really good area to succeed and get exposure. I’m confident. I’m looking forward to the opportunity, looking forward to the challenges. It should be a good situation.”


Roaring Fork Show Up decries systemic racism, oppression Saturday in Aspen

A local movement protesting systemic racism and oppression in America marched into its third weekend in Aspen on Saturday.

Led by the local group Roaring Fork Show Up, demonstrators issued calls of “Black Lives Matter,” “white silence is violence,” “no justice, no peace,” and “defund the police.”

The group is scheduled to meet again at 10 a.m. Sunday at Wagner Park and march through town with a stop at Paepcke Park for more speeches.

Beyond just repeating the phrases, however, organizers urged participants to study and educate themselves about their meanings and purpose.

For instance, said one of the group’s organizers, Erica Joos, the “defund the police” phrase “is not about getting rid of police forces, this is not saying police men and women and police people are bad. This is saying that police are part of that systemic, oppressive system. Think about it as how we can redistribute funds from entities that keep black lives oppressed and disperse it in a better way — toward education, toward health care, and be more inclusive in that way.”

Marie Huntley was the Saturday event’s main speaker. A recent arrival to Glenwood Springs from Florida, where she was heavily involved in social-justice activism, Huntley delivered an impassioned plea for respect and love.

“If you say you love God, then you love me,” she said. “If you say you love God, then you love your neighbor. Let’s not walk around in this world confused and contradicting the word of the Gospel, whether you believe it or not. Because it is today, and it will always be the same: Either you love me for real, or you hate me.”

Huntley also gave personal accounts of the systemic racism her family experienced, including one of her son’s unfair treatment due to an institutionalized and prejudicial justice system.

Jenelle Figgins and Sajari Simmons co-founded the Roaring Fork Show Up movement.

Figgins also has a nonprofit organization — Goal Achievement Program for Black Excellence in the Arts — which “is committed to supporting young black dreamers become brilliant, well-rounded artists and empowered black people,” according to a description of the group on Roaring Fork Show Up’s website — https://roaringforkshowup.org.

Simmons is behind the Melanin Passport Initiative, described as “a philanthropy that gives freedom to inner city black children by assisting the attainment of travel documents, as well as planning & funding enriching retreats that expose them to horizons far beyond their neighborhood block.”

The group’s email address is roaringforkshowup@gmail.com.

Saturday’s crowd was roughly half the size of the ones that showed up last weekend on June 7 and 8. The assembly went peacefully like the others, and organizers have said they plan to keep the movement going on a weekend-ly basis. Aspen police provided street security.

“Some people hit the snooze button this morning,” Joos said moments leading up the event. “But we’re not going anywhere.”


We’re Open: Aspen Bikes

Business name: Aspen Bikes

Address: 430 S. Spring St., Aspen, CO 81611

Phone: 970-925-9169

Web: www.aspenbikes.com

Email: aspenbikes@gmail.com

Aspen Times: How have you gotten creative during this time? What have you done to keep your customers engaged?

Aspen Bikes: We are offering delivery and pick-up on long-term rentals. We are also providing curbside pick-up and drop-off so customers don’t need to come into the shop.

AT: What’s the most important thing the community can do to support you?

AB: Promote biking as the safest, fun recreation this summer, and e-biking as a great way for families and groups to ride together even though they may have differing athletic abilities.

AT: Where can we find your most current offerings and updates?

AB: On our website at aspenbikes.com.

AT: What has been the best customer experience or comment you’ve had since the crisis started?

AB: Customers appreciate the variety of bikes we offer, such as e-mountain bikes, e-road bikes and e-kids bikes. And with the simplicity of our rental process, we are able to get you fitted, paid and on your way in a matter of minutes. if you pre-pay and fill out our online waiver form, we can cut off even more time!

AT: Is there anything else you’d like to add regarding your business during the pandemic?

AB: Renting our Jeep Rubicon is a great way to get into the backcountry for a long drive or picnic. We also have over 25 stand-up paddleboards available for rent.