In Brief: Skier collapses, dies; spring events on the mountains; city distributes grants, further restricts plastic and paper bags |

In Brief: Skier collapses, dies; spring events on the mountains; city distributes grants, further restricts plastic and paper bags

Staff report

Aspen Mountain skier dies of natural causes

The Pitkin County Coroner’s Office is investigating the death of Jeffery Lane, a 67-year-old from Golden who collapsed while skiing Aspen Mountain on Sunday.

According to Aspen Skiing Co., ski patrol responded to a call of a man not feeling well below Lift 3. The man then collapsed and ski patrol began CPR. He was transported to an ambulance at the bottom of the mountain.

According to the coroner’s report, the cause of death is pending autopsy, but the manner appears to be natural.

Aspen Snowmass announces spring events

Snowmass will host a St. Patty’s Day celebration on Friday with the Ullrhof Games: a deck party featuring music, a series of games, and beer and food specials at the on-mountain Ullrhof Restaurant. Additionally, St. Patrick’s Day sunset skiing on Aspen Highlands will keep the Exhibition lift spinning until 6 p.m. and Merry-Go-Round restaurant open until 5:30 p.m. Friday.

KickAspen Night Skiing returns to Aspen Mountain March 24 and 25. Both nights, skiers and riders are invited to lap the Little Nell run from 7-10 p.m. and enjoy free live music from the Bud Light Hi-Fi Concert Series at the base starting at 6:30 p.m., featuring Friday night headliner Rootbeer Richie & The Reveille, an R&B, soul-infused live act hailing from Denver. Saturday night’s concert presents UK rock duo The Heavy Heavy, making Aspen a stop on their 2023 tour.  

Tickets for KickAspen Night Skiing can be purchased on the website here:

All skiers wishing to participate in the event must purchase a ticket, regardless of season pass status. All proceeds will be donated to Aspen Skiing Co.’s employee-led non-profits the Environment Foundation and the Caring for Community Fund. No uphilling will be permitted during the event. See below for additional events during Bud Light Spring Jam, March 23-26. 

Aspen council distributes $1.8 million in community grants

The Aspen City Council approved the distribution of $1,819,000 to 111 local nonprofits committed to providing resources and support toward the well-being, vibrancy, and enhancement of the community, city officials said.

Organizations receiving funding are aligned with the City Council’s goal for its grants program, which states: “supports nonprofit organizations that promote a mentally and physically healthy community; provide protection for our natural environment; and create opportunities for connections for all community members, through partnerships, ease of access, stewardship, arts and cultural enrichment, and innovation.” 

The grants program continues grow in participating organizations and the total amount of funds requested. This year’s applications highlight an increase in local nonprofit demand, with total cash requests increasing over 16% since 2022, rising to $2,482,00 from $2,124,000 last year. Overall cash requests have increased 55% since 2021. Additionally, 15 organizations were first-time participants in the grants program for 2023, representing a 15% growth in applicants over the previous year. 

“Aspen City Council is honored and thankful to be able to distribute such a significant amount of funding to many of our local nonprofits. We are in this position due to the hard work, support and passion of our entire community,” said Aspen Mayor Torre. “These funds will support the organizations that make Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley a truly unique and special place and improve the lives of our year-round residents and visitors alike. ” 

A central tenant of the city’s grant program is community involvement. All funding decisions are driven by the assessment of applications by teams of resident volunteers, officials said.

The amounts awarded:

Arts & Culture:

  • Funded Applications: 31
  • Cash Requests: $1,150,000
  • Funds Awarded: $897,000
  • Requests Increase from 2022: 17%
  • Budget Increase from 2022: 50%

Health and Human Services:

  • Funded Applications: 32*
  • Cash Requests: $577,000*
  • Funds Awarded: $366,000*
  • Requests Increase from 2022: 39%
  • Decreased from 2022 due to a one-time infusion of Tobacco Tax dollars in 2022.

*Includes requests approved in 2022 for two-year funding

Community Nonprofit:

  • Funded Applications: 41
  • Cash Requests: $904,000
  • Funds Awarded: $554,000
  • Requests Increase from 2022: 24%
  • Budget Increase from 2022: 7%

Organizations interested in participating in the city’s grants program in the future can learn more at or by emailing

Aspen further restricts single-use carryout bags

The Aspen City Council this week approved an ordinance that expands restrictions of single-use, carryout bags.

The ordinance, which affects as many as 80 local businesses, is effective May 1.

Remitted fees will be used for administrative, enforcement costs and costs associated with any recycling, composting, or other waste diversion programs and activities. The revenue collected from the $0.20 single-use bag fees is transferred to the city monthly and allocated to a Waste Reduction Fee fund only to be used for specialized waste reduction projects. This revenue supports projects including the annual purchasing of reusable bags for free distribution around the city and hosting the free electronic waste collection event for individuals to recycle their electronics.

The city’s ordinance affects large grocers; businesses with more than three facilities in Colorado; businesses with a store outside of Colorado. The ordinance does not apply to restaurants.

Starting on Jan. 1, 2024, the distribution of single-use plastic carryout bags will be prohibited statewide. Applicable stores will be required to use recycled paper carryout bags made from 100% recycled content as the carryout bag alternative. In addition, retail food establishments will be prevented from distributing expanded polystyrene, Styrofoam, as a container for ready-to-eat foods.

Since 2012, the year after the council prohibited the distribution of single-use plastic carryout bags at the two grocery stores in the city — City Market and Clarks Market — the single-use plastic bag restrictions have avoided 2.7 million plastic bags from being distributed in Aspen, according to the city.

Landfilling waste accounts for 16% of the city’s 2020 community greenhouse gas emissions, officials said. The city aims to reduce carbon by 100% and reduce overall waste 70% by 2050.

For more informationVisit Email: or call Jimena Baldino at (970) 319-8177.