Business Monday briefs: Aspen occupancy rate just shy of top spot in February
• At least six commercial buildings are up for sale in Aspen. A group of commercial units at the Eric’s/Su Casa building on Hyman Avenue are currently advertised for $14.999 million (Jazz Aspen Snowmass has the building under contract for purchase); the Golden Horn building on East Cooper Avenue has a $12.999 million asking price; the building next to City Market that houses the Grog Shop and Jour de Fete is listed for $8.95 million; offices at 201 N. Mill St. have a $5.5 million price tag; a unit at the Aspen Business Center is marketed for $4.595 million; while commercial space at the Concept 600 building on East Main Street is offered for $3.995 million, and additional space in the same building is listed for $1.695 million. Aspen broker Lex Tarumianz made note of the listings in his most recent newsletter.
• Pitkin County’s unemployment rate was 2.7 percent in January, with 10,939 jobs filled in a civilian labor force of 11,237, according to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. There were fewer jobs in Pitkin County in January 2017 — 10,925 — but the unemployment rate was also lower at 2.2 percent. Statewide the unemployment rate was 3 percent in January, the same as December.
• Three of the six ski resorts surveyed by the Rocky Mountain Lodging Report cracked the 80 percent barrier for hotel occupancy rates in February, and Aspen was one of them. Aspen posted an 80.7 percent occupancy rate, just shy of top-ranking Breckenridge’s 80.8 percent and slightly ahead of the 80.4 percent posted by Steamboat Springs. Colorado resorts had an overall occupancy rate of 71.1 percent, according to the report. For the first two months of the 2018, Aspen lodges had the highest rate, 79.6 percent, of occupancy among all state lodges. For the first two months of 2017, 81.2 percent of Aspen lodges were filled, which also was tops in the state.
Aspen lodges also had the highest average daily rates in February — $692.13, with Vail’s $523.55 average posting second. For the first two months of 2018, Aspen lodges averaged $677.08 per day. That’s nearly $73 more than the $604.51 average Aspen lodges posted in January and February of 2017, according to the report.
The Rocky Mountain Lodging Report is commissioned by the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association.
• Aspen Valley Hospital has received a Baa2 rating with a “Stable Outlook” designation from Moody’s Investors Service, a provider of credit ratings, research and risk analysis.
The rating affirms AVH’s previous Baa2 rating.
Moody’s analysts noted certain strengths which contributed to AVH’s overall rating and stable outlook, including:
— The completion of the first three phases of AVH’s extensive capital renovation and expansion project, the Master Facilities Plan.
— A strong financial operating performance, which includes a favorable payor mix and Medicare designation for a critical access hospital.
— Demonstrated fundraising capabilities.
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Basalt officials are determined to try to get the growth equation right — striking a balance between being too restrictive and ending up with problems like Aspen or being too lax and destroying the midvalley quality of life.