Is Aspen business in good hands? |

Is Aspen business in good hands?

Carolyn SackariasonThe Aspen TimesAspen, CO Colorado
Jerrie K. Lyndon/The Aspen TimesGusto is one of many downtown Aspen restaurants that were evacuated on New Years Eve. Some local business owners are hoping insurance will cover their losses.

ASPEN Aspen business owners, who collectively lost millions of dollars as a result of New Years Eve bomb scare, are seeking financial relief from their insurance companies.Bob Glowacki, owner of the Steak Pit and the Double Dog Pub, said hes filed a claim with his carrier, Travelers Insurance.I was told its a good thing that the Wells Fargo bomb detonated and created damage because it gives us a better chance and puts it in a different category, he said.Bev Beck, an agent at Neil-Garing Insurance, said shes gotten requests from other Aspen business owners who want to file claims.She said she is currently processing Glowackis claim.Right now, its still up in the air, she said.Longtime Aspen local Jim Blanning planted four bombs around town before shooting himself in the head near the North Star Nature Preserve. The evening turned into a complete loss for downtown businesses, who were forced to evacuate within a 16-block radius. Gary Plumley, co-owner of Of Grape & Grain liquor store on Hopkins Avenue, said he has called his insurance company, Safeco Insurance.They didnt commit to anything, he said, adding he estimates the store lost $20,000 after he was forced to close the doors at 4 p.m., which is prime time for liquor sales. Im not holding my breath but it would be nice.Glowacki estimates he lost between $14,000 and $17,000.Weve got it pretty easy compared to other restaurants, Glowacki said.The Crystal Palace Grille was planning for 200 people at an invitation-only party. The estimated loss is at least $60,000.Samantha Cordts-Pearce, co-owner of both LuLu Wilson and The Wild Fig, told The Times shortly after the incident that her businesses lost between $40,000 and $50,000.Co-owner Young Yang said his restaurant, Asie on Main Street, lost out on 150 dinner reservations and a couple of thousand dollars worth of takeout orders. The lost revenue will probably equal about 15 percent of Asies revenues for the winter season, he said.Pacifica, a seafood restaurant on the Mill Street mall, lost close to $20,000.The Cantina bar and restaurant had to refund nearly 200 people their $120 tickets for a planned party on New Years Eve.Mezzaluna on Cooper Avenue had two planned New Years Eve dinner seatings, with reservations for about 175 people $21,000 worth of revenue not including beverage sales, said owner Deryk Cave.Cave told The Times after the incident that he also intends to find out if he has insurance that will cover the interruption of business.Im sure everyone is going to try, he said on New Years Day.Pitkin County Commissioner Patti Clapper said she intends this week to ask commercial landlords to give their tenants a break by not charging them rent for New Years Eve.Im trying to find some token of relief for business owners, she said.Glowacki said a nights rent isnt a lot of money but anything would help.I think it would be awesome for them to do that, he said. It would be a great gesture.Bob Langley, an Aspen commercial real estate broker, said for most restaurants that gesture translates into about $500.The concept is great, but you cant repair what Blanning did, he said. No break can be given that would be meaningful.While the loss for businesses is substantive, it is equally painful for the dozens of wait staff and bartenders who individually lost between $300 and $3,000 in tips that night. Many of them said they were banking on that money to pay this months rent.And while they cant seek financial relief from their insurance companies, some benevolent Aspenites are coming to them.An unidentified woman reportedly gave tens of thousands of dollars to be split among the staffs at a few local restaurants.And Brittany Bowers, a waitress at Bentleys, said some customers are tipping her 200 percent on their bills to help make up for the

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