Aspen business buzz 2017

Erica Robbie
The Aspen Times
Offseason equals construction in Aspen's downtown core as businesses come and go.
Anna Stonehouse/The Aspen Times |

As the weather starts to change with a new season, so too does Aspen’s downtown scene.

While the constant game of musical chairs — new retailers and restaurants, closures and relocations — is inevitable, one commercial broker said business seems a bit slower than usual.

“There used to be a lot more activity than I’ve seen right now,” said Bob Langley, who’s been involved in commercial real estate in Aspen for nearly 30 years.

“We’ve got some real aggressive rent demands,” Langley said, speculating as to why this may be the case. “I think that’s probably as significant as anything.”

He added that Aspen’s high rents are especially cumbersome for businesses leasing larger spaces.

“You can get away with big rents for smaller spaces,” Langley said. “Larger spaces are a little bit more challenging.”

Nonetheless, there is still movement among the market, and with that, here’s the latest Aspen business buzz:


The former McDonald’s building, now owned by O2 yoga and pilates studio owner Brittany Van Domelen, will remain vacant and under construction until the fall.

Under the title Rubey Park LLC, Van Domelen purchased the property at 408 S. Mill St. from McDonald’s Corp. in September for $3,29 million, according to county records.

Despite plans to relocate O2 from its current home at 500 W. Main St. to the Mill Street space by Food & Wine weekend, Van Domelen said construction has delayed the new opening until October.

“We have had to face a few construction and design related decisions that have prolonged the buildout,” Van Domelen wrote via email Thursday. “Instead of choosing a quick fix we are approaching this remodel the right way.”

02 yoga and pilates studio will resume its normal operations at its Main Street location in the meantime.


The hub lives on just three blocks down the street from its former location of more than three decades.

In December, former Hub owner Charlie Tarver sold the business to employee Tim Emling, who is reopening the shop at 616 E. Hyman Ave. across the street from the Aspen Art Museum.

Tarver sold his portion of the condominiumized building at 315 E. Hyman Ave., where the hub had operated, to the Casper family for $3.1 million in April 2016.


Michaela Carpenter-Olson of Aspen hopes to create a different type of hub in the former Hub of Aspen home.

Carpenter-Olson, founder of the homeware and lifestyle brand “Maker and Place,” will house a shop in the space at 315 E. Hyman Ave. from July 1 to Sept. 15.

The brand features unique items from 40 to 45 “independent makers from all over the world,” Carpenter-Olson explained via phone Friday.

“The idea is that all of our products are handmade,” she said. “We want to bring these beautiful products to the Aspen market and give independent artists this exposure.”

In addition to the store’s retail component, it also will offer working studio space as well as a temporary home to Aspen Entrepreneurs on the upper mezzanine.

“It’s going to be a really fun sort of combination of things, with different lecture series (and) events.”

For more on Maker and Place and its future Aspen site, visit


From the St. Regis and the Wheeler Opera House to the Lululemon store and the Pure Barre studio, Aspen Shakti has offered classes at temporary sites all over town since moving out of its former home at 422 E. Cooper Ave. in the fall.

Aspen Shakti owner Jayne Gottlieb found a new home for her studio, which offers yoga, fitness, dance and meditation classes in the basement level of the corner building at 535 E. Hyman Ave..

As far as Gottlieb is aware, Aspen Shakti, formerly known as Shakti Shala, is the first commercial tenant to sign a lease in the Aspen Core Building.

Gottlieb said she is excited for Shakti’s next chapter in the 2,300-square foot space, which she noted is “a bit larger” than its previous home next to the Red Onion.

More space means more opportunities for Gottlieb, who hopes to offer “inspired conversation,” similar to Ted Talks, centered around health and wellness at the studio in the future.

Aspen Shakti will open for its first classes May 10.


A Venice Beach-born “California lifestyle brand,” Aviator Nation, will open a store on the Mill Street mall at 308 S. Mill St. around June 1, according to commerical broker Angi Wang of Setterfield and Bright.

Wang said the company is “super excited” to open its first shop in Colorado to add to its five California locations.


The new indoor cycling franchise CycleBar will open a studio at 117 S. Spring St. at the end of May, according to Wang.

“Although cycle and spin studios are catching on everywhere,” Wang said, “this brand is growing quickly and adding locations all over the U.S.”

The owner is “eager” to open by May 26, in time for Memorial Day weekend, she said.


The hair salon located next door to Peach’s Corner Cafe at 121 S. Galena St. will vacate the space next month, Altitude Salon owner Jerome Marks said Saturday.

Marks, who’s worked in the hair business in the space for nearly 20 years — 13 as an employee of a former salon and seven as owner of Altitude — said the landlord and building owner requested in mid-April that the business, which operated on a month-to-month lease, vacant by mid-May.

Marks said he is currently seeking another space to relocate Altitude Salon.


Red Fox Frozen Yogurt will bring back its food cart this summer at 401 E. Hyman, at the corner of the Mill Street Mall, where The Broth-el was located.

Georgia Brown antiques store has moved into a space at 505 E. Hyman Ave.

Valentina Kova jewelry store will reopen at 208 S. Mill St. in June.

Christopher Martin Gallery is expanding at 525 E. Cooper Avenue.

Lugano Diamonds jeweler will open inside the Residences at The Little Nell building, below Shlomo’s Deli & Grill, around the first week of June.