25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago

Compiled by Janet Urquhart
Aspen Times Weekly
A torchlight descent on Aspen Highlands in April 1960 creates a continuous stream of light in this photograph. The event apparently took place three times a week during the cocktail hour at Highlands.

Fashion regulation was front-page news in Aspen a century ago. The Aspen Democrat-Times reported:

We understand that City Attorney Harold W. Clark, at the earnest solicitation of Mayor Charles Wagner, is devoting a considerable portion of his time to the drafting of an ordinance directing the manner in which dressmakers shall cut garments for their fashionable customers.

The question of dress has long disturbed the serenity of “his honor,” as well as others of the city government, and he has come to the conclusion that a line must be drawn – and drawn above the waist-line. He says the dressmaking system is all wrong – that with the younger portion of our feminine population there is too little skirt and too much waist and that with those older, it is too little waist and too much skirt. …

His honor also wishes to bring about reform in the construction of men’s trousers. He says it is simply a waste of material to cut pants as long as they should properly be and then add about six inches to the length so that they may be turned up.

The custom is not only wasteful, but unsanitary as the fold at the bottom of the pants becomes the carrier of all sorts of garbage and dirt.

• • • •

Efforts to lure tourists to Aspen is nothing new. Long before the town was a resort, town officials were trying to entice tourists. A century ago, the Aspen Democrat-Times reported:

Now is the time to get busy if we would attract a portion of the tourist travel that will shortly bring thousands of people to Colorado. There should be some sort of organized effort to get the many scenic and fishing attractions incorporated in the booklets now in preparation by the Rio Grande and Colorado Midland railroads. We have fishing resorts and scenery such as few sections of the country and we should not be a bit backward in bringing them before the people who are looking for interesting places where they may spend their summer vacations.

A former Aspenite was involved in plans for a new Colorado ski resort a half-century ago. The Aspen Times reported:

A Denver corporation headed by a former Aspenite announced recently that it has purchased St. Mary’s Glacier dude ranch and lodge above Idaho Springs and will develop the area as a ski resort.

According to Roy Parker, 29, formerly on the staff of the Aspen Ski School and now general manager of Winterland, Inc., his firm purchased the 177-acre tract and will operate the lodge and 13 adjoining cabins as a tourist resort starting in June.

Parker, who helped lay out and then operate the Loveland Basin ski area for several seasons, explained that his firm will build a double-chair ski lift to the top of St. Mary’s Glacier this summer.

He said that by next winter, three ski slopes, a toboggan run a mile long and an ice skating area will be open to the public, along with the lodge and cabin facilities.

• • • •

Two Denver motorists almost took a terrifying plunge near Aspen 50 years ago. On April 1, The Aspen Times reported:

A 100-foot plunge into Maroon Creek from the Highway 82 bridge was almost the fate of a car carrying two Denverites Sunday morning, March 27, one mile west of Aspen.

However, the vehicle managed to cross the greatest part of the span before shearing off six guard posts on the last 30 feet of the north side of the structure and dropping 18 feet into the bank of the gulch.

The car then slid 25 to 30 feet down the embankment before coming to rest against several trees. Had it continued rolling down the rest of the pitch, occupants would probably have been severely injured.

Although the car was a total loss, Istvan Nyisztor, the driver, and his wife suffered only cuts and bruises. …

Nyisztor was fined $10 and court costs for careless driving by Justice of the Peace Eugene Mason.

An extended season on Aspen Mountain was in the works 25 years ago, but the cheap lift ticket was a source of consternation. The Aspen Times reported:

The executive director of the Aspen Resort Association said Wednesday that contrary to published reports, the ARA is not opposed to the Aspen Skiing Co. decision to extend the season at Aspen Mountain for one week.

Spence Videon said the timing of the announcement and the $5 lift ticket being offered during the extended season might take away from the April 11-14 SunSpree celebration being coordinated by the ARA at the urging of the Skiing Co.

“Those are our only concerns,” Videon said. “When the Skiing Co. first asked us to put something together for the end of the season, they told us they would not be able to offer the $5 ticket that week because their rates already had been published. I felt we needed that advantage in order to compete with the other areas that week. Timing was the problem.”

Gov. Dick Lamm has declared the week Colorado Ski Week and most ski areas are promoting special events. In Aspen, it’s SunSpree. In Snowmass Village, it’s Banana Season.

“I had asked that they time their announcement (of the extended season) so that it wouldn’t break on the Front Range before SunSpree.

“People who were planning to come to Aspen for SunSpree might hear about the $5 ticket the following week and change their plans,” Videon said.

• • • •

Aspen was at the forefront of anti-smoking laws 25 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:

Requested by Aspenite Sharon Mollica at the Feb. 11 city council meeting, a draft anti-smoking ordinance has been prepared and is now in the process of preliminary public review.

After listening to Mollica explain the hazards of second-hand cigarette smoke at their Feb. 11 session, the council asked her to work with the city staff to have a sample ordinance prepared. …

Not only does it propose to ban smoking in all public places, grocery stores and other retail establishments … it also proposes a ban on all smoking in restaurants.

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