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What’s the Big Deal: Another One Aspen condo sells

“What’s the Big Deal?” runs Mondays and is based on the week’s most expensive property transaction recorded in the Pitkin County Clerk & Recorder’s Office.

Price: $9.5 million

Date recorded: Feb. 13

Address: 695 S. Aspen St., Unit C-3, Aspen

Neighborhood: One Aspen, base of Aspen Mountain

Buyer: Aspen Lift Holdings LLC

Seller: ASV Aspen Street Owner LLC

Property type: Condominium

Business Monday briefs: Aspen lodges charged the highest in 2019; new attorney at law firm

Aspen lodges can be boast the most expensive rates in the state, and a recent report confirms that.

In December alone, the average nightly rate at Aspen lodges was $936.41, easily the most expensive in the entire state, with Telluride’s rate of $577.83 coming second and Vail’s average of $551.05 placing it third.

Resorts had an average daily rate of $466.94 in December, while the state’s overall average was $167.38.

For all of 2019, Aspen lodges had an average daily rate of $513.22, also highest in Colorado.

The findings are part of the Rocky Mountain Lodging Report, a monthly survey commissioned by the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association.

Aspen’s rates, however, did not appear to drive away visitors in December, as it also had the highest occupancy rate — 68.2% — of all lodges in Colorado that month. Second was Breckenridge (67%), and coming in third was Steamboat Springs (64.9%).

Aspen accommodations also were 64.8% full in 2019 — the highest among all resorts but below the state average of 69.2%. Loveland had the highest occupancy rate, 75.7%, in all of 2019, trailed by Greeley and Colorado Springs, which both were at 74.2%, according to the report.

New attorney at Kalamaya | Goscha

Kalamaya | Goscha has announced that Greg Greer has joined the firm as senior trial counsel.

Greer has practiced in the Roaring Fork Valley for more than 30 years, representing clients facing charges ranging from drunk driving to first-degree murder.

In 2006, Greer, who also has been a public defender, was given the Gideon award from the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar. He previously also has been selected to the Super Lawyers list for criminal defense by the Colorado Super Lawyers.

Kalamaya | Goscha has offices in Aspen, Edwards and Glenwood Springs.

Business Monday Briefs: Lance Armstrong lists Aspen home for $14.5 million; another retailer set to pop up downtown


Multiple media outlets are reporting that Lance Armstrong has put his West End home in Aspen on the market for $14.5 million.

The home covers more than 5,800 square feet, and its five-and-half bedrooms each come with a bath. Like many free-market Aspen residences, the home also includes a wine cellar, a hot tub and a gaming room for kids.

Armstrong built the home, located in close proximity to the Aspen Meadows campus, in 2008.

Away Chalet opens Friday in Aspen

A new pop-up retailer opens Friday in Aspen.

The Away Chalet, located at 602 E. Hyman Ave., will have a brief stint downtown through Feb. 19.

Away is a global lifestyle brand featuring what a news release describes as “retro slope essentials, designed with striking, vintage colors.”

During its pop-up time downtown, the Aspen store will host a series of events and services in the space, including a custom oxygen bar, complimentary personalization, a shuffleboard court and a concierge offering refreshments, as well as DJ sets, cocktails and light bites in the evenings.

Aspen attorney Ben Genshaft joins Waas Campbell Rivera Johnson & Velasquez LLP

Long-time Roaring Fork Valley attorney Ben Genshaft has recently joined the law firm of Waas Campbell Rivera Johnson & Velasquez LLP as a partner. Mr. Genshaft’s practice focuses on residential and commercial real estate transactions, including purchase and sale agreements and residential and commercial leases. He joins partners Bart Johnson and Cheryl Velasquez in the Aspen office of Waas Campbell Rivera Johnson & Velasquez. The firm, which also has a Denver office, specializes in real estate and land use, commercial litigation, construction law and eminent domain.


Contact: Nina Eisenstat

Aspen Marketing and Communications 970.315.2120 nina@aspenmarketer.com

Aspen School District Superintendent Search Advances to First Slate of Candidates

Community participation and input remain a top priority for the board

(Aspen, CO) — The Board of Education for the Aspen School District announced that it has selected a slate of superintendent candidates for a first round of interviews to be held February 3 – 5, 2020 in Aspen.

Hiring a new superintendent has been a top priority for the board which includes Susan Marolt, Suzy Zimet, Dwayne Romero and newly elected members Jonathan Nickell and Katy Frisch.

The board is working with the education consulting and executive search firm, Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates (HYA). HYA president Glenn “Max” McGee and associate Dallas Strawn, both of whom have extensive education expertise and career experience as school district superintendents, are leading the customized search. The board tasked the firm with casting a wide net to recruit the most qualified applicants consistent with the detailed hiring criteria expressed by the board and the community.

At the outset of the process, the firm conducted extensive public outreach to develop a detailed ​leadership profile​ which serves as the customized job description for the position. Input was gathered from over 27 individual and group interviews, focus groups, an on-site community forum, a virtual community forum, and an online survey. Participants identified the district’s strengths, challenges, and the specific characteristics and skill sets expected of a new superintendent.


Aspen School District BOE Superintendent Search PR Page 2 of 2

The national search yielded a pool of 24 qualified candidates that were screened and interviewed by the firm and presented to the board. After careful review, eight candidates were selected for a slate of first-round interviews. Consistent with state law, the identity of candidates at this preliminary phase of the process remains confidential.

Susan Marolt, board president, commented, “Our board is impressed with the quality and diversity of the slated candidates, the depth of their advanced preparation, and the thoughtfulness with which they responded to the written portion of the application. We look forward to the upcoming interviews to further evaluate the ideal candidates for the Aspen School District.”

An advisory group of parents, students, teachers, staff and the community-at-large is being formed to assist the board at the final stage of the interview process. An organizational meeting for those interested in participating in the advisory group is scheduled for Wednesday, January 29 at 4:00 p.m. in the district board room in the Aspen High School. Members of the public are encouraged to attend.

Aspen School District Superintendent Search Timeline:

December 2, 2019 Planning meeting with Board COMPLETED December 2 Online survey open 12/5 COMPLETED December 16 Online survey closes 12/20 COMPLETED December – February Advertising COMPLETED

December 2 – 18 Stakeholder interviews/focus groups/forums COMPLETED

December 2 – January 18 Applications and recruiting COMPLETED

January 6, 2020 Presentation of Leadership Profile Report (1/6 board meeting) COMPLETED January 1 – 17 HYA screening interviews/vetting COMPLETED

January 21 HYA presents slate COMPLETED

January 29 Advisory Group introductory meeting

February 3 – 5 Board first round interviews

February 3 – 10 Advisory Group meeting (one meeting with two time options)

February 10 Board meets to identify semi-finalists

February 20 – 22 Board second round interviews

February 21 – 22 Board meets to determine finalist(s)

February 27 Baker-Eubanks background check

March 2 Board conducts final interview(s) with Advisory Group participation

March 23 Board site visit(s) (optional)

March 15 or April 6 Superintendent’s hiring approved and announced

July 1 Superintendent formally begins work

Summer or Fall 2020 Retreat with Board and new Superintendent

Business Monday: Federal suit says franchise agreements were violated in Aspen

The ex-operator and owner of two retailers that sell luxury jewelry and watches is claiming the high-end brands they worked with violated their franchise agreements after opening two corner boutiques in downtown Aspen.

Les Bijoux Aspen LLC is one of five plaintiffs — the four others are Lex Bijoux-named entities based in Florida — that are suing 10 defendants in federal court on allegations that they ran afoul of franchise agreements. The allegations also say franchise agreements were breached in Florida where other boutiques are located.

Les Bijoux Aspen once owned the Van Cleef & Arpels Inc. and Panerai boutiques at the corner of East Hyman Avenue and South Mill Street in downtown Aspen. The two stores currently have different, separate owners.

In its lawsuit, Les Bijoux Aspen claims the New York-based brand Van Cleef & Arpels Inc. in 2006 entered into franchise agreements where Les Bijoux Aspen and its Florida affiliates were to open stores in their respective markets.

Part of those agreements included Les Bijoux Aspen spending $3.79 million to build and decorate the store under the direction and control of Van Cleef & Arpels, the suit said. Van Cleef & Arpels “agreed to pay for these expenditures, but failed and refused to do the same,” said the complaint, which was transferred to federal court in Palm Beach, Florida, last week from Florida state court.

Plaintiff Les Bijoux Aspen and its associated entities also claim they spent $1.2 million on the build-out costs of the Panerai boutique as a flagship store. But Panerai’s corporate office did not acknowledge it as a flagship store while “stealing (the plaintiffs’) customers for their own corporate boutiques” in New York, accused the suit.

By breaching their agreements, the defendants are alleged to owe more than $7 million in build-out costs alone for the stores in Aspen and Florida.

The suit’s two counts are violation of the Florida Franchise Act and breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

In a filing last week, attorneys for the defendants said they will need more time to review the complaint before they formally reply to its allegations.

“The complaint includes claims by five plaintiffs against 10 defendants allegedly based on violations of over 300 pages of contracts attached to the complaint,” the filing said. “Additional time is needed so that defendants and their counsel have sufficient time to review and investigate the allegations asserted in the complaint and to gather the necessary information before responding to the complaint.”


Editor’s note: This report has been updated to clarify the relation between the current and former owners of the Aspen stores and those involved in the lawsuits. The current owners of the Van Cleef & Arpels Aspen Boutique and the Roger DuBuis Aspen Boutique are not parties to the lawsuit.

Business Monday: WindWalkers set to secure future with Missouri Height ranch purchase

Riding arena renovations and new classroom space to support expanded programming are now the focus for the WindWalkers equine-assisted therapy center near Carbondale, as the organization is set to take a big step toward securing its future.

WindWalkers, now in its 15th year, announced earlier this month that it is set to close in February on the purchase of its now-leased 15-acre ranch in Missouri Heights.

“The opportunity came quickly, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, in the middle of our year-end campaign. But we couldn’t pass it up,” said Gabrielle Greeves, executive director for the operation.

A group of anonymous donors put up the money to allow WindWalkers to proceed with the down payment on the $1.45 million purchase.

“We are so pleased to announce that WindWalkers will now have a secure permanent home that will allow us to grow and thrive for years to come — a place we hope you will continue to be a part of and dream with us about what it can become,” according to a statement announcing the purchase plans.

With the decision, WindWalkers is also launching a new capital campaign — “Hearts and Hooves Make the Difference” — to secure the remainder of the funds for the purchase and begin a three-year renovation plan.

Another $1.7 million is needed to complete the campaign.

WindWalkers has had an option to purchase the ranch for the past four years since the ranch, located on Garfield County Road 102, was put on the market.

When two other offers came forth late last year, WindWalkers had to make a decision, Greeves said.

The deal actually comes in under the listing price, and will allow the organization to trade its monthly lease for a slightly smaller mortgage, she said.

The ranch purchase means they can also proceed with some capital improvements on the property, Greeves said.

In addition to updating the insulation in the indoor riding arena and adding new heaters, WindWalkers plans to build a new heated classroom.

“This will allow us to do more year-round programs and camps,” she said, adding the organization is expanding to offer services geared toward behavioral and social-emotional health using the equine approach.

“We’re not just a therapeutic riding facility. We are branching into more social/behavioral health support,” Greeves said. “That focus has grown for us throughout the years.”

WindWalkers, which has an annual budget of $600,000, now serves over 75 clients per week during the warmer months, using 15 to 18 equine therapy horses.

A successful annual campaign will also allow WindWalkers to add some staff to support the new programming, she said.

Currently, WindWalkers has a staff of seven people, including three full-time staff, plus a herd of 18 horses to feed and take care of. Some hay is grown on the ranch, but most is purchased, which is a significant expense that needs to be maintained.

Most of the horses are older and have been retrained as therapy horses.

“These are animals that are getting second and third lives, and it’s a huge offering to the community for us to be able to do that,” Greeves said.

The regular routine of therapy sessions is set to start back up next week, after a reprieve during the colder winter stretch.

More information about the capital campaign, as well as the annual campaign and WindWalkers’ horse and rider sponsorship programs, can be found on its website.


What’s the Big Deal: Snowmass home, horse ranch fetch $12.25 million

“What’s the Big Deal?” runs Mondays and is based on the week’s most expensive property transaction recorded in the Pitkin County Clerk & Recorder’s Office.

Price: $12.25 million

Date recorded: Jan. 21

Address: 50 E. River Ranch Road, Snowmass

Neighborhood: Aspen River Valley Ranches

Buyer: Meanwhile Ranch LLC; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Seller: Galardi Group Development LLC; Irvine, California

Property type: Residential

Total heated area of main residence: 12,000 square feet

Home details: Four bedrooms, five full bathrooms, two half-baths, wine cellar, media/game room, separate bar area, two offices, a commercial grade kitchen,three-car garage)

Other amenities: 7,000-square-foot indoor facility with room for 12 horse stalls, separate three-stall barn,

Lot size: 56.35 acres

Assessor’s office actual value: $10,447,500

Assessor’s office assessed value: $747,000

Source: Pitkin County Assessor’s and Clerk & Recorder’s offices; online real estate advertisements

Business Monday Briefs: Poss firm wins Aspen awards; new program director at Mind Springs in Pitkin County

Poss firm named ACRA Business of the Year

Poss Architecture + Planning and Interior Design has been named 2019 Business of the Year by the Aspen Chamber Resort Association.

“The firm wouldn’t be what it is today without the support of my business partners, principals, and the talented staff that has come through our office in its 44-year history,” said founder Bill Poss at the Helen K. Klanderud Winterskol Awards Luncheon, held Jan 9 at the St. Regis Aspen Resort. “We started in Aspen in 1976 with a few associates and grew to 36 professional designers and architects. We have been asked to travel across the nation to provide our design approach not only to other resorts in the Mountain West, but across the country in 20 states and four provinces in Canada, from Nova Scotia and South Carolina, to the Island of Kauai in Hawaii.”

Poss Architecture + Planning and Interior Design also received the 2019 Best of Aspen and Snowmass Locals’ Choice by The Aspen Times. The firm was named as Best Architecture and Best Interior Design firm in Aspen.

Mind Springs hires Pitkin County program director

Mind Springs Health recently announced the hiring of Michael Morrow Jr. as its program director in Pitkin County.

Morrow will oversee operations at the mental health and addiction treatment center’s Aspen office at 0405 Castle Creek Road

For the past 20 years, Morrow has worked as a business consultant and also held numerous director-level positions at mental health facilities with bed counts ranging from 25 to 211 in Indiana and North Carolina. He holds a bachelor of science degree from Minnesota State University and multiple certifications and training in mental health and management.

Mind Springs Health covers a 23,000-square-mile area in Eagle, Garfield, Grand, Jackson, Mesa, Moffat, Pitkin, Rio Blanco, Routt and Summit counties.

Monday Business Briefs: RETT collections down in 2019; Baked NYC to pop up in Aspen

RETT collections drop in 2019

The city of Aspen’s real estate tax transfer collections were down 5.1% and 4.6% for its respective housing and Wheeler Opera House funds in 2019.

Data in its the city Finance Department’s monthly tax report, which was issued last week, showed the RETT generated $8.4 million for the city’s employee-housing coffers. That amount was 17.6% more than the city’s $7.2 million projection for the year, while falling short of the $8.9 million the city collected in 2018.

The city-owned Wheeler Opera House hauled in $4.4 million through RETT collections last year, 18% higher than the projected $3.7 million for 2019, while pacing behind the $4.6 million generated in 2018, according to the report

Housing ($892,700) and Wheeler Opera House ($464,793) collections for December were up 33% and 33.6%, respectively, over 2018.

Baked NYC comes to Aspen

Cocoa connoisseur Matt Lewis, the co-founder of Baked NYC, will open a Baked NYC pop-up shop at Hotel Jerome over Jan. 23 to 27.

His baked goods and hot chocolate will be available for purchase in The Library at Hotel Jerome during the day. At night, his spiked offerings will be available on the liquid dessert menu at Bad Harriet, the Jerome’s subterranean speakeasy.

Free digital marketing seminars open to Aspen area businesses

The Aspen Times is hosting two educational digital seminars next week for businesses interested in learning more about marketing ideas and approaches.

The events, which are free, are Tuesday at the Aspen Square Hotel in Aspen and Wednesday at the Element Hotel in Willits. Both seminars will run from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

The seminar will cover a variety of marketing-related topics such as:

Newest trends and products that can help your business and listings get ahead in the digital game; how to position yourself to a tourist or second-home owner before they’re in the market; how to position yourself to a tourist or second-home owner while they’re here; how to position yourself to all locals; and strategies to execute now to get your business in front of potential buyers.

Snacks and refreshments will be provided and there will be giveaways including free advertising packages.

Seating is limited. To register or for questions, email marketing@aspentimes.com.