Aspen businesses endure power outage |

Aspen businesses endure power outage

Local barber Greg Casteel, known as "The Cowboy," had to perform his haircutting arts on the streets of Aspen during a Monday morning power outage. Here he is cutting 5-year-old Stanislav Bodnar's hair.
Oleg Bodnar/courtesy photo |

From barbers cutting clients’ hair out on the sidewalk to stressed baristas turning customers away, local businesses had to get creative and make a few sacrifices to accommodate for the Presidents Day power outage in Aspen’s downtown core, which lasted from about 10 to 11:30 a.m.

When the power went out at Aspen Barber Shop halfway through two haircuts, barbers Greg Casteel and Tom McClain first attempted to continue cutting in the dark, each barber holding up a flashlight for the other.

But once appointments started backing up, they took the cuts to the streets for some daylight, which McClain said the customers were troopers about.

Though some people were understanding of the downtown power situation, others might have let their anger or caffeine deprivation get the best of them.

“People in town couldn’t find anywhere to serve them, and some were mad,” said Peach’s Corner Cafe server Aimeeh Folvag. “Everyone was asking each other what’s wrong, but nobody knew.”

Folvag said most customers left the cafe without ordering anything, as Peach’s was only able to offer its customers plain coffee, tea and a few premade goods.

A server at Spring Cafe echoed Folvag’s experience — some customers were frustrated, and most left empty-handed.

All of the restaurants and cafes that experienced a loss in power interviewed by The Aspen Times said the outage was especially bothersome on a holiday weekend.

About a half hour after the power went out Monday, Meat & Cheese Restaurant and Farm Shop decide to close its market, which typically opens at 10 a.m.

Meat & Cheese did not reopen or start serving food until around 2:30 p.m., which affected the restaurant’s sales, Meat & Cheese marketing manager Elise Kubisiak said.

A number of other restaurants said they likely would have closed had the power outage continued into the afternoon.

The Big Wrap managed to power through the morning, but owner Babs Menendez said it would have closed for the day had the outage last much longer.

Most clothing retailers, however, said they would have remained open through the afternoon and into the evening — power or no power.

Kali’s Aspen and Kcor Design store co-owner Drita Rosin said the clothing and jewelry boutique would have just continued to write customers’ credit card numbers manually.

Lil’ Boogie’s store manager Shana Kelley agreed.

“We don’t ever close,” Kelley said, adding that the children’s clothing store is open 365 days a year.

Lil’ Boogie’s sales associates also were able to run across the street to Boogie’s Retail and use a battery-operated handheld device to accept customers’ credit cards, Kelley said.

But not all retailers persisted through the dark holiday.

High-end jewelry store Piranesi closed its shop for the day, with a note on its door that read: “Happy Presidents Day! Unfortunately, we have no electricity. Back tomorrow at 11 a.m.”

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