4 valley firms selected for Outside’s ‘Best Places to Work’ | AspenTimes.com

4 valley firms selected for Outside’s ‘Best Places to Work’

Staff report

Three businesses from the Roaring Fork Valley returned to Outside magazine's list of the 100 Best Places to Work for 2015 along with a newcomer from Basalt.

Bluetent Marketing from El Jebel, Charles Cunniffe Architects of Aspen and Aspen Skiing Co. cracked the list again after earning honors last year as well. Cottle Carr Yaw Architects of Basalt was the new entry at No. 47.

Bluetent was at the 23 spot after placing 48 the prior year. Charles Cunniffe Architects weighed in at 54 this year and 63 last year. Skico was recognized as number 92 on the list, down from 83 last year.

GroundFloor Media of Denver nabbed the top spot. Former Aspen Times reporter Gil Rudawsky is part of the staff at the public relations firm.

Outside lauded CCY Architects for its work in sustainable design. The firm, with 26 employees, has a goal to build structures that produce as much energy as they consume.

The company offers an annual employee wellness package that can be applied to anything from a ski pass to weekly yoga sessions or a kayaking class. CCY also offers an education fund for art classes to keep the creative juices flowing.

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Charles Cunniffe Architects also gained accolades for making "bold statements" with its buildings by Outside. It is designing the K2 Ranch — a 15,000-square-foot Colorado home that is "entirely sustainable, with an array of photovoltaic solar collectors and a full geothermal system."

Employees get a free bus pass to reach the downtown office. A company car and bicycles are used to make site visits or attend business meetings.

Outside wrote, "The office environment is fast-paced but fun, with an always-on espresso machine, an open-door policy, and flexible hours so employees don't feel guilty for ducking out to watch a kid's basketball game or attend a meeting for a nonprofit like River Bridge, an advocacy center for abused kids that Cunniffe co-founded. Powder days, however, are reserved for skiing."

Bluetent has regularly placed well on the list in recent years. The 37 employees of the digital ad agency go on weekly outings, such as fishing trips, bike rides or hikes. They started an Uphill Club to skin up a local ski area and ski down before work once or twice a week. An added bonus is the microbrew fridge at the office.

Aspen Skiing Co. is the only ski area operator to crack the list. It's been a regular honoree in the eight years Outside Magazine has picked the best places to work.

"Going to work is a whole lot easier when your 'office' is one of four world-class mountains in the Rockies," Outside wrote. "One of the last remaining independently owned and operated ski resorts, Aspen Skiing Company provides its employees with free ski passes, free fitness and yoga classes and a solid health plan."

Outside created the survey competition to recognize outstanding employers in the outdoor industry. It hires a research firm, Best Companies Group, to conduct surveys to select the companies. Employers are surveyed on company policies and practices, benefits and demographics.

Employees are surveyed on topics covering engagement and satisfaction.

The final rankings are released by Outside each November.

The entire list can be found at http://www.outsideonline.com/dreamjobs.

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