Local Briefs: Ben’s Friends expands to Aspen, Ute Trail closure | AspenTimes.com

Local Briefs: Ben’s Friends expands to Aspen, Ute Trail closure

Aspen Times staff report

Ben’s Friends expands to Aspen

Ben’s Friends, a national support group for people in the hospitality industry struggling with addiction, is expanding into Aspen and will hold its first meeting Monday, Aug. 29, from 10 to 11 a.m. at Hooch (301 East Hopkins Ave.).

Meetings will be held at the same time and location every Monday thereafter, organizers said. The chapter will be led by Miller Ford, a long-time member of the Aspen food-and-beverage industry who has found sobriety in recent years. 

Ben’s Friends was founded in 2016 by Charleston, South Carolina-based restaurateurs Steve Palmer and Mickey Bakst in honor of Ben Murray, a chef and colleague who took his own life after struggling with alcoholism.

The organization exists to offer hope, fellowship and a path forward for those struggling with substance abuse and addiction in an industry that has one of the highest rates of substance abuse in the country, members said. 

Ben’s Friends has chapters in 22 cities across the country and, after taking its meetings virtual during the COVID-19 pandemic, has begun to host in-person meetings in all locations. National Zoom meetings are still hosted daily, as well as weekly women- and men-only meetings. For more information on the organization and meeting details, visit http://www.bensfriendshope.com

Ute Trail closed on Tuesday

The city of Aspen Parks Department will temporarily close Ute Trail on Tuesday, Aug. 30, to address improvements.

The closure is required to reduce the potential for rocks to fall onto sections of the trail below the work area, officials said. Crews anticipate the closure will begin at 8 a.m. and should last eight hours. While this closure is in place, the city recommends the Aspen Mountain Service Road and the Little Cloud Trails as alternate trails for recreation.

For more information about this project, contact the Parks Department at 970-920-5120 or parksweb@aspen.gov. For information about the city of Aspen Parks Department, visit aspenrecreation.com/parks-trails.

Ski Country names new director of communications

Colorado Ski Country USA announced they have selected Sarah Beatty as director of communications. Beatty brings more than 25 years of experience in public relations, crisis communications, content production, and journalism to the role. 

“We are excited to announce that Sarah is joining the Colorado Ski Country USA team,” said Ski Country President and CEO Melanie Mills. “Our members and media colleagues will benefit from Sarah’s enthusiasm, extensive communications experience and statewide connections, and I know they’ll enjoy working with her.”

Ski Country — the Colorado ski-resort, industry-trade association — serves 21 ski and snowboard resorts across the state and has been the global voice of the Colorado ski industry since its founding in 1963. 

Polis appoints 9th Judicial District judge

Gov. Jared Polis appointed Angela M. Roff to fill a vacancy on the Garfield County Court in the 9th Judicial District. She is filling the vacancy created by the retirement of the Honorable Paul Metzger, and her appointment is effective on Oct. 1.  

Roff is owner and sole practitioner of the Law Office of Angela Roff, PC, a position she has held since 2011. Her practice consists primarily of municipal- and family-law matters. Previously, she was an associate attorney with the Law Offices of Paul Gertz, PC (2007-11) and judge advocate with the Department of the Judge Advocate General, Air Combat Command in the U.S. Air Force (2002-2007).

Roff earned her bachelor’s from the University of New Mexico in 1998 and her JD from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in 2001. 

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