Business Monday briefs: Aspen police warn of real estate scam; new GM at Aspen Meadows; ACRA lands awards

APD: Beware of real estate scam

The Aspen Police Department issued word last week that it has observed a recent trend of fraudulent reports primarily targeting local real estate companies throughout the Roaring Fork Valley.

Residents are reporting threatening phone calls from a Lt. Mike Tracey with Pitkin County. The scammer states that Tracey currently has an active warrant for their arrest. The scammer advises that to avoid imprisonment the citizen must immediately pay a large fine.

“This is a scam!” the APD warned. “Do not share personal information or provide the scammer with money!”

The Aspen Police Department recommends these precautions for people to avoid a scam:

• Register your phone number with the National Do Not Call Registry. You may register online or by calling 1-888-382-1222 (TTY: 1-866-290-4236). If you still receive telemarketing calls after registering, there’s a good chance that the calls are scams.

• Be leery of callers claiming that you’ve won a prize or vacation package.

• Hang up on suspicious phone calls.

• Be cautious of caller ID. Scammers can change the phone number that shows up on your caller ID screen. This is called “spoofing.”

• Independently research business opportunities, charities, or travel packages that the caller offers.

The APD warns to also avoid doing the following:

• Don’t give in to pressure to take immediate action.

• Don’t say anything if a caller starts the call asking, “Can you hear me?” This is a common tactic for scammers to record you saying “yes.” Scammers record your “yes” response and use it as proof that you agreed to a purchase or credit card charge.

• Don’t provide your credit card number, bank account information, or other personal information to a caller.

• Don’t send money if a caller tells you to wire money or pay with a prepaid debit card.

More details are available by calling the APD at 970-920-5400.

New GM at Aspen Meadows

Frank Kastelz

Aspen Meadows Resort has named Frank Kastelz general manager.

Kastelz has more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry in a diversity of specialized expertise from guest relations to operations and finance. He most recently served as interim general manager in the spring following the retirement of Jud Hawk.

“I had zero intentions of moving to Aspen when I took this temporary role, but I rapidly grew attached to the amazing team and to the potential of this special property,” Kastelz said. “As we navigate the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 and start to redefine who we are as a brand and a destination, my plan is to lead with empathy. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we need to take care of each other and embrace power in unity.”

Previously, Kastelz was hotel manager for The Tremont House, a Wyndham Grand Hotel in Galveston, Texas, as well as the complex director of food and beverage for three Wyndham hotels including the iconic Hotel Galvez & Spa, a Wyndham Grand hotel. He has worked with a variety of Wyndham brand properties in roles such as general manager at the Wyndham Santa Monica At the Pier, as well as director of operations of the Wyndham San Diego Bayside.

ACRA lands accolades

The Aspen Chamber Resort Association (ACRA) was awarded two Destinations Council Destiny Awards for the categories of “Destination Website” and “The Road Less Traveled” at the ESTO (Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations) conference held Aug.15-17.

ACRA Senior Marketing Manager Jessica Hite accepted the awards at the conference.

Jessica Hite of ACRA

The Destiny Awards recognize U.S. Travel destination members for excellence and creative accomplishment in destination marketing and promotion at the local and regional level; and foster the development of imaginative and innovative destination marketing promotion programs and activities. The awards were open to all DMOs or CVBs that are members of the U.S. Travel Association.

“We are thrilled to have won both of these awards, but it’s especially gratifying to be recognized for one of our destination marketing initiatives, promoting responsible tourism,” said Eliza Voss, vice president of marketing for ACRA.

Business announcements, tips and story ideas can be sent to Rick Carroll at