Aspen History: Aspen’s First Computer

Aspen Historical Society
One b/w negative of Norman Clasen standing in front of the Aspen sign mall, 1965. Clason designed the sign mall, which was intended to replace the billboards along Highway 82 from Glenwood Springs to Aspen. It was located along Highway 82, in front of the airport. Related images are in the Aspen Illustrated News on April 30, 1965 (page 4-5).

“Computer plan starts,” announced The Aspen Times on Nov. 20, 1969. “Believed to be the only resort destination computer service in the United States serving different owners, Aspen’s Chamber and Visitors Bureau 1130 IBM computer goes into service next week. Ordered by the ACVB early last summer to replace the data processing machine used last winter, the new computer service will be provided under lease by the Realtronics company of Denver. Although airlines and large hotel chains employ computers for their reservation services, the program created for Aspen by Realtronics is believed to be unique among resorts. According to Chuck Donelan, ACVB Office Manager, the system will remain a reservation referral system, with each lodge making its own reservations after prospective guests have been given a choice of the three accommodations that most closely fit their wishes. Success of the reservation service will hinge on how thoroughly individual lodges supply the ACVB or the computer with information about their bookings.” This image shows Aspen’s “sign mall” in the mid-1960s, promoting various Aspen businesses.

Aspen Times Weekly

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