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Local businesses honored by ACRA

Aspen Times Staff Report

Familiar faces in Aspen’s business community shared the stage at the Crystal Palace yesterday, when the Aspen Chamber Resort Association announced the winners of its 1998 Business of the Year Awards.

Aspen Activities Center owner Don Sheeley was given the Small Business of the Year Award; David and Don Fleisher, owners of the clothing retail outlet Pitkin County Dry Goods, were named winners of the Large Business of the Year Award.

Sheeley, a 29-year resident of Aspen, was recognized for what ACRA called a “generous commitment to the community.”

Aspen Activities Center owners and employees regularly donate time to the 24-Hours of Aspen, Sister Cities, Sunshine Kids, ACRA, Aspen Education Foundation, Mountain Rescue and many children’s recreational programs, according to an ACRA press release. Sheeley has also taught more than 1,900 children to sail.

Sheeley has owned and operated his company for 19 years. Since 1979, Aspen Activities Center, which distributes brochures, business cards and other information to racks located throughout town, has grown from an $8,000-a-year business with just 28 clients to a company with 400 clients and sales topping $1 million. The company employs six full-time employees and several part-timers.

“I basically owe all my success to my employees,” Sheeley said. “They’ve been with me for seven to 15 years, which is great for a small business.”

Sheeley dedicated the award to his father, Les Sheeley, who passed away at the age of 85 just a few weeks ago.

Pitkin County Dry Goods was given the Large Business of the Year Award for its excellent service. “Customers,” reads the ACRA press release, “are greeted at the door with fresh, bottled water, and during the holidays, home-baked fudge, cookies and other treats.”

Pitkin County Dry Goods is one of the largest clothing stores in Aspen, with a wide range of selections. It currently employs more than 30 people.

The Fleishers were also recognized for their involvement in the community. They have contributed to the city of Aspen Mall Commission, the Aspen Music Festival board of trustees, Aspen High School, Aspen Community Theater and the Aspen Rotary Club.


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