1974: Aspen has biggest ski day ever | AspenTimes.com

1974: Aspen has biggest ski day ever

The deep powder snow which fell over the weekend brought the skiers out on Aspen mountains to make the day before New Years, Monday, Dec. 31, the biggest skiing day ever in the history of Aspen.

Aspen Skiing Corporation officials said that 12,326 people skied the corporation’s three areas, 2,915 on Aspen Mountain, 3,009 on Buttermilk, and 6,402 at Snowmass Resort. They said this was an 18.63 per cent increase over their highest skier day last year, which was Dec. 29, 1972 with 10,390 skiers on the three mountains.

At City Market…the shelves became bare. The store ran out of everything…from drink mixes, to bread, to sugar, cranberry sauce, the TV dinners and frozen foods, milk, eggs and potato chips. “From the time one shipment would come in…we would run out before the next shipment could arrive,” said Dean Hedges, manager of the store.

The store had an average of two to three large semi-trucks hauling in groceries every day.

The Aspen Post Office (including the Main, the Annex, and the Snowmass Resort) handled 320,000 pieces of mail during Christmas week. Of this, two-thirds of the mail was incoming and one-third was outgoing.

According to the Post Office authorities, it took about 650 man-hours to process the Christmas week mail and three to four trucks were carrying it to and from Aspen each day.l

The combined condominium and lodge bed count for Aspen and Snowmass Resort is about 18,000 beds.l

John Dillon of Aspen Reservations said that he had conducted an informal survey and that Aspen was filled to capacity during Christmas and New Year’s week. (Jan. 3)

The John Denver Concert netted $6,000 for the benefit of Touchstone with two completely sold-out performances on Tuesday, Feb. 19, in the Wheeler Opera House.

According to Touchstone officials, $4,000 was profited by ticket sales while $2,000 was profited by sales of the Tom Benton Poster designed especially for the concert. The first 50 copies of the Tom Benton posters were numbered and signed by Benton and Denver. (Feb. 21)

What was to have been a ski holiday in Aspen ended in tragedy for a Houston, Texas, family when the private plane in which they were riding crashed in the mountains Saturday, March 2, near Glenwood Springs, killing four members of the William Godrey family and the pilot. Two Godfrey children, Andrew, 8, and Mark, 11, survived and were rescued two days after the crash.

A physician caring for them said the younger boy probably had saved his brother’s life during their 44 hour ordeal in the wreckage by dressing him in ski clothes and giving him soft drinks and melted snow to drink. Mark Godfrey had been trapped in the wreckage.

The plane was a Mitshubishi MU-2 twin-engine propjet. According to the Civil Air Patrol, Gallaher was an experienced pilot with more than 10,000 hours of flying time.

The CAP said Gallaher filed no flight plan before he left Houston and was last heard from at 2:30 PM Saturday when he cancelled an instrument approach into Aspen that he had requested shortly before. At the time of this transmission the plane should have been in a holding pattern over the Carbondale-Glenwood area.

The search area was calculated from this position…and that several witnesses in the Sunlight Ski Area near Glenwood reported a muffled explosion about 3:30 PM.

Search operations for the downed aircraft were hampered until Monday morning by a weekend storm which dumped about 18 inches of snow in the Glenwood Springs area and reduced visibility.

The rescue party was directed to the crash site on Monday by nine-year old Danny Schaefer of Denver. The boy was at Sunlight Ski area on Saturday when he saw the plane disappear over a ridge. (March 7)

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