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Aspen Pure whets investors and customers

Naomi Havlen
Aspen Times Staff Writer

It’s only water, right?

Well, yes. But Barry Gordon of Aspen Pure says the bottled water with the local name is quickly gaining a national reputation.

The most recent sign of Aspen Pure’s success arrived a month ago, when Pizza Hut founder Dan Carney became a substantial investor in the company. Carney, a part-time Aspen resident, sees strong potential in the bottled water that’s only been on shelves for eight months. His investment should add credibility to the company, Gordon said.

“In trade, people recognize a man of his stature, with the foresight to create the immense empire of Pizza Hut successfully,” Gordon said. “His wanting to invest his money with our company makes us more viable.”

Gordon said it means financial security for the company to move forward, develop its product and expand into new markets more quickly. So far the water is distributed in major cities in 11 states, and Gordon said he expects Aspen Pure to be available in 15 states within the next month.

Just Wednesday the company agreed to begin distribution in Las Vegas.

Carney was not available for comment, but said in a press release, “It’s the next Fiji or Evian. With the worldwide brand recognition of Aspen, this product will sell.”

The purified water is harvested at an aquifer in the town of Alamosa, in the southern part of Colorado’s San Luis Valley. The plant is located on what used to be a potato farm, so Gordon said the underground water in the area has never been polluted by industry.

The aquifer’s water is fed by winter and spring snow from the surrounding mountain peaks, so while the water isn’t exactly from Aspen, it is 100 percent Rocky Mountain water, Gordon said. Bottled on site, the water goes through a five-step filtration process.

The growing popularity of the water has been at a rate that would usually take a company three years to accomplish, Gordon said. He has numerous reasons for the growth spurt – not the least of which is using the Aspen brand.

“Our water sells better out of state than in state,” Gordon said. “When you think of Aspen, you think of the Rocky Mountains: pure, clean and healthy. And Aspen has a bit of Hollywood attached to it, so by taking a bottle, you’ve just bought a piece of Aspen mystique.”

One of the largest outlets in Colorado for Aspen Pure is Denver International Airport, Gordon said, where people from all over the country often buy a bottle to take home as a souvenir. The Marriott hotel in downtown Indianapolis just switched their water placed in guest rooms from Evian to Aspen Pure. Gordon claimed that in the ever-growing water industry, Evian is the only water with plummeting sales.

“It’s a political backlash against anything French, and it’s happening with everything from water to perfume and champagne,” he said.

Gordon and his business partners (Aspen residents Jerry Bovino and Mark Friedland) also purchased a distribution company in Denver two months ago, naming it New Age Beverage. The company distributes popular drinks like Hansen’s Natural Soda, Tazo tea drinks, Jones Soda and Fuze.

Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is nhavlen@aspentimes.com


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