AUGUST 1929Before drug busts captured headlines in Aspen, booze busts did. The Times reported,Down they go – one by one – and another bootlegger hits the trail that leads to the penitentiary.Only this time it is two bootleggers that were caught with the goods – nearly two gallons of Barbedwire Mule and five patrons.Last Saturday night at 8:15 sharp, Sheriff Nicholson and Deputy Stringer, accompanied by State Officer Bruin, soft-footed to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Grohar, situated just outside the eastern boundary line of the city limits.As the officers slipped into the reception room, Mrs. Grohar, it is stated, was in the act of filling a nice little bottle with the stuff that exhilarates, and the bottle and contents was secured by one of the officers and retained as evidence.Further search uncovered a two-gallon jug nearly full of booze in the woodshed, and this was also taken in charge by the officers.Louis and Mary Grohar were arraigned in the County Court charged with bootlegging in violation of the Prohibition Act. Both defendants pleading guilty, Judge Shaw gave them the limit, assessing each in the sum of $300.00 and costs, totaling the neat little sum of $671.15, which will help to swell the school fund for the benefit of the kiddies. Judge Shaw also sentenced Louis and Mary Grohar to ninety days in the county jail, suspending sentence during good behavior.And in another high-and-mighty report from local law enforcement …Speed maniacs and gasoline-hootch idiots who are caught on the streets would be thrown in jail and kept there until the police magistrate finds time to hear what they have to say for themselves.The Quiet Years of ranching and farming in the valley were par for the course in the Rocky Mountains, as evidenced by this article,
When we asked our old friend L.F. Scarboro, secretary of the Colorado Bankers’ Association, publisher of the Mountain States Banker, how some of the bankers and miners are coming in some of the mining camps over the state, he replied:”I don’t see much improvement in mining; but as for the agricultural communities all over the state, they are in good condition. In fact, our business in the farming sections is the best it ever was.”To sum it all up, mining in the mountain states has needed “relief” these last eight years far more than farming has. And mining needs relief today.AUGUST 1954The 1950s were a time of growth for Aspen, with the Times reporting on several new developments:An announcement was made last week by Ren F. Read, president of Aspen Enterprises, that his company would begin construction immediately of a 6 lane bowling alley and restaurant located at the corner of Hunter Street and Cooper Avenue. …[T]he alleys will be a real asset to the East Cooper section of the business district. Aspen’s newest motor court, The Smuggler, was finished and open for their first night’s business on Saturday, July 31. Owned and operated by Mr. and Mrs. Hans Cantrup, The Smuggler contains 13 modernistic rooms, each with bath, and furnished in the modernistic fashion. Besides the 13 rental rooms, a large two room apartment is reserved for the Cantrups. This new business is located at the southwest corner of Main and Center streets.Concrete has been poured for the foundations of the new Hunter Creek bridge that is being built by E.J. Rippy & Sons. The county has relocated the bridge to straighten out the road at this point. After turning the corner at the old Sanders Brewery, the road will run almost in a straight line north to Red Mountain.Aspen’s affiliation with the Lone Star state seems to be decades old. The Times announced,
Next Sunday will be Texas Sunday at the Aspen Community Church, with Texans taking most of the parts of the services, even to preaching the sermon if a Texas minister can be located vacationing in Aspen.The choir will be filled with Texans and special music is planned and that will be “made in Texas” too.Aspen is a popular place for Texans in the summer and without exception most of them attend church as is their custom.AUGUST 1979With season ski passes topping the $1,000 mark these days, prices under $300 seem downright unbelievable … but that’s the way it was in 1979.Highlands, which offers the traditional season pass (a skier pays just once at the beginning of the season and then skis for free the rest of the winter) is offering its passes to local employers at a discount price of $50 below the regular price.The cost to the employer for these passes is $200 during August, with the fee increasing at the rate of $25 a month up to a maximum of $300 … In addition, Highlands also offers a special weekends-only pass, which will cost employers $125 …The Aspen Skiing Corporation will continue to offer its Host Pass next winter. Under the terms of this pass the user pays a fee at the beginning of the season and then pays a reduced rate for each day’s skiing.Next year the initial cost of the pass will be $265, half of which will be returned at the end of the season to pass holders who have been employed throughout the winter by businesses which are members of the Aspen Chamber of Commerce.The daily rate for skiing with a Host Pass has also increased for next winter, with the price of skiing Aspen Mtn set at $10 (up from $9), Snowmass holding steady at $5, and Buttermilk up one dollar to $5.Equally cheap – at least by 2004 standards – was the price of gas. The Times reported, A few stations in Colorado lowered the price of regular gas as supplies improved with the beginning of August, but on the whole, prices continue to rise, according to the Rocky Mountain AAA Auto Club.
The price cuts were apparently to attract customers, with the lowest reported at 84.9 cents a gallon. … A third of the stations surveyed are charging $1 or more a gallon for unleaded gasoline, the club said.A major drug bust was big news 25 years ago, as much for the way the bust was handled and the publicity it generated as for the people popped. The Times wrote,The DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) sent in several troops last Tuesday night to the Roaring Fork Valley in an effort to sweep the valley clean of drug dealers following a seven month investigation in the area.Ten people were arrested in the valley Tuesday night – two in Aspen, and the remainder were picked up in various locations throughout the valley from Basalt down to Glenwood Springs.Nine more were arrested in other parts of the country and state bringing the total arrest number up to 19.A Denver grand jury had handed down 33 indictments, according to reports, leaving another 14 still on the DEA’s hit list. …The entire investigation was spurred on by the downvalley police chiefs who questioned the actions or lack of actions of the Aspen and Pitkin County police relative to drug violations.”There was pressure downvalley to influence upvalley to control drugs better…the arrests point out our drug problem is at the other end of the valley,” the Glenwood police chief [Bob Halbert] stated.Aspen police chief Rob McClung took exception to Halbert’s statements, saying “… Only two of the people arrested were in Pitkin County, the rest all lived in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Garfield County. … It’s not a fair assumption for them to put off their problems in another community. They are using Aspen as scapegoat.”The editors of the Times responded,… The fact that a TV station knew that the raids were scheduled and even was broadcasting filmed accounts of them while they were going on detracts from the reality of the law enforcement effort. And despite the fact that most of the arrests took place in other towns, the focus of the publicity generated was again on Aspen.Of course the feds know best how to generate the most coverage. Their budgets often depend on it.
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Development in Basalt barely skipped a beat in 2020 despite the coronavirus. It’s expected to be busier next year.