1982: Aspen police cars in national Saab ads
In celebrating the 125th anniversary of The Aspen Times, we are printing a story or two from each year the newspaper has existed – 125 historical selections in 125 days. This series is in conjunction with the Aspen Historical Society. Aspen police cars in national Saab adsAdvertisements showing Aspen and Vail police cars, made by Saab, began appearing in newspapers throughout the country last weekend. The ads ostensibly show an Aspen and a Vail police officer standing by the two Saab police cars, one with “Aspen Police” on the side and the other with “Town of Vail Police” on its door. Below the two photos is the headline “they’ll never Agree on Who Has the Best Skiing, Just Who Has the Best Car.”The ad copy states: “In Aspen and Vail, ski conditions are usually terrific. Which means driving conditions aren’t. So it’s not surprising that police in both communities drive Saabs. In fact, nothing but …”However, although both police departments do use Saab cars, those shown in the ad are not from either department; in fact they are the same car,” according to Brian Terrett, the Vail officer shown in the ad. The photos were taken in the parking lot of a diner in Maplewood, NJ, with the snow on the ground created by shredded styrofoam, Terrett told the Vail Trail Newspaper.Logos for the Aspen and Vail police departments were glued to the door of the car, which was not a police car, but a stock model from a show room. In addition, Terrett added, although he appears in the photo with the Vail car, the Aspen officer is an illustrator from the ad agency that produced the ad, since no Aspen officers went to New Jersey to pose for the ad. (Nov. 11)Plans begin for wine festival in Aspen and SnowmassAspen and Snowmass Village will be the scene for an international wine festival next June if plans now being made are successful.To be called the International Wine Classic in Aspen/Snowmass, the festival is being planned by a special organizing committee headed by Gary Plumley, owner of the Grape and Grain.Others on the organizing committee include Snowmass Mayor Bob Kevan, his wife, Ruth, Aspen Chamber of Commerce Director Gerry Fox, Roger Beck, Snowmass Resort Association, and Hobie Hooker, Snowmass Club.However, the group is looking for others to help with organizing and implementation of the festival, Fox told the Aspen Times. Tentative dates for the festival were established by the committee after three meetings last month as June 17,18 and 19.According to Fox, only vintners who market their wines in this area will be invited to participate and each participant will be asked to send a winery officer or principal. Wine tastings will be broken into small groups and held in several different locations in Aspen and Snowmass Village.However, since the committee is still working on budgets and participants, no charges for the wine tasting have been settled yet, Fox explained.The committee hopes to arrange for special buses from either the Aspen or the Snowmass Village systems, or perhaps both, to provide transportation for the participants between tasting locations, it was explained. Funds will be needed to promote and hold the International Wine Classic and interested sponsors will be solicited from both communities.In addition, local lodges and restaurants which would like to participate will be asked to provide rooms or meals for some of the out-of-town guests.In addition to the wine tasting, plans call for seminars and lectures about wine and wine production, and these will also be divided between Aspen and Snowmass Village.According to a committee spokesperson, the June festival dates were chosen to fill a void between the International Design Conference and the start of the music festival.If the first International Wine Classic is a success the committee hopes to make it an annual event for the same period each year. Some committee members state that it is possible the wine festival could grow to equal the design conference in popularity with local and out-of-town guests. (October)First Aspen ski lift on display at Denver restaurant, museumAspen’s first mechanical ski lift has been resurrected by former Aspenite Steve Knowlton and will be among displays at his Cafe Kandahar Restaurant and Ski Museum when it opens next month in Littleton.The lift is the original boat-tow designed by famed Swiss skier and engineer Andre Roch and installed on Aspen Mountain some 45 years ago.The ancient device actually was a tram made up of old mining carts, hooked together and mounted on runners, and powered up the mountain by a cable system run by a gasoline engine, all of which Roch commandeered from the old Midnight mine, shut down many years before when the silver veins played out.Today, the boat-tow, which has been in Knowlton’s possession since it came down off Aspen Mountain, hangs high overhead in the main dining room of the museum/restaurant scheduled to open in mid December at 2709 West Main St. in Littleton.According to a 1940-41 winter sports guidebook published by the Union Pacific Railroad, the double-toboggan-type lift served both the practice hill and the slalom course on the lower slopes of Aspen mountain.It carried pre-World War II skiers 700 feet up the vertical rise of the mountain and hardy skiers then hiked the rest of the way up the slope before heading down.The boat-tow had a capacity of 200 skiers per hour and the fee was a very handsome 10 cents per ride!As primitive as this sounds, in 1938, when the boat-tow was built and placed in operation, it was considered quite luxurious and the run it served, Roch Run, laid out by Roch himself, was one of the world’s more formidable ski runs.The 1941 US National Downhill Championship held on Aspen mountain used the boat-tow to take competitors up the hill and famed Austrian racer Toni Matt, who won the downhill with a time of two minutes, 22 seconds, praised the course as one of the world’s best.Dick Durrance finished second to Matt, but in the slalom the order of finish was reversed, with Durrance the winner and Matt second.
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The Wheeler Opera House will remain dark into 2021, with current COVID-19 public health orders in place. Meanwhile, the masonry work on the exterior of the building will continue into July.