Aspen plans a `bazaar’ weekend
But wait, there’s more!Sure, sure – it’s fall, and you’ve seen the leaves change, watched burly, bandaged rugby players troll the streets and witnessed hot air balloons floating gently through the Brush Creek Valley.But you haven’t yet seen the latest stop being pulled to attract visitors to Aspen in what could be the traditional start to the off-season. The downtown commercial core should be hopping this weekend when “Aspen Goes Bazaar” with sidewalk sales, live music and entertainment.Shae Singer, owner of Sashae Floral Arts & Gifts and Living the Dog’s Life in Aspen, has organized the bazaar weekend. She said the Commercial Core and Lodging Commission asked her to come up with a weekend event that would extend visitor traffic into the typically quiet fall shoulder season.”We chose this weekend because we wanted Aspen to be enjoyable for people coming from the Western Slope and the Front Range to enjoy the leaves and the great weather,” she said. “If we waited too long, there’s a chance it wouldn’t be so wonderful.”Any local retailer or business that wants to participate can, and Singer and representatives from the CCLC convinced the City Council to relax their rules on a number of things in downtown Aspen for the weekend. As a result, there will be signs, sidewalk vendors, balloons and live music in true bazaar style.The Aspen Chamber Resort Association has been marketing the weekend through radio and print ads on the Western Slope and the Front Range, Singer said. The weekend is part of a “Fall in love with Aspen” campaign that includes the promotion of the Aspen Filmfest and the second annual Aspen Cocktail Classic on Friday night at the St. Regis.This weekend is also the second annual Scottish Highlands Games at Aspen Highlands Village on Saturday, including a Scottish Heavy Athletic Competition, Scottish dancing and children’s activities.”Whether or not these activities bring in additional people from all over the state, I think the people who happen to be here will attend and spread the word about their positive experiences,” Singer said. “And they might come back next year for these events.”To encourage increased visitor traffic, many of Aspen’s lodges are offering special “Bazaar” prices and deals. A group of smaller local lodges known as The Gems of Aspen are offering room rates from $48 to $98 per room. Aspen’s larger hotels like the SKY Hotel, the Hotel Jerome and The Little Nell are offering lower rates for Colorado residents.The bazaar in the commercial core will also include local band Little Blue, performing Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. on a stage on the Cooper Avenue mall across from Paradise Bakery. The weekend’s events begin at 4 p.m. on Friday and end at 4 p.m. on Sunday.For more information on the weekend’s events, visit http://www.aspenchamber.org.[Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org]
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