More hammers pounding in Aspen |

More hammers pounding in Aspen

Janet UrquhartAspen Times Staff Writer

Aspen saw an increase in construction activity in 2003, but the $106.2 million worth of projects undertaken last year represented a slight drop-off from 2002, according to end-of-year tallies by the citys building department.The pace of construction at other ski resorts was all over the board, from a record $94.2 million worth of new construction in Vail last year to a 61 percent plunge in the value of new construction in Jackson Hole, Wyo.Aspen issued 376 building permits last year with a combined value of $106.2 million, compared to 305 permits worth $117.8 million in 2002. Construction work was booming in 2001, with 387 permits worth $180.9 million, including the expansion of the citys Truscott Place housing. Work on the new Aspen Recreation Center also started that year.The city issued 413 permits worth $90.5 million in new construction in 2000, according to building department records.The city saw a huge amount of remodeling work in 2002 and 2003, according to Julie Ann Woods, the citys director of community development.Weve never really lost our pace, she said. Now, the value has gone down some were seeing the same number of projects, but they may not be the marble countertops in every inch of the building.In Vail, which is largely built out, the town issued $92.4 million in permits, including a couple of large commercial developments the Vail Mountain School and Middle Creek Village as well as a host of remodeling projects and other work, according to the Vail Daily. Construction last year surpassed 2002s record of $92 million.Last years record in Vail is likely to be shattered when the $500 million redevelopment of Lionshead begins in 2005-06, the resorts newspaper noted.Telluride posted a 46 percent jump in construction last year, issuing 223 permits with a total value of $22.2 million, compared to 180 permits worth $15.2 million in 2002.The Town of Crested Butte saw a slight drop in the number of permits it issued 68 last year, compared to 72 in 2002 but a big increase in the value of new construction. Projects totaled $7.1 million last year, up from $4.3 million in 2002.Most of last years gain came in new residential construction and remodels in Crested Butte, including the new Verzuh Ranch subdivision, according to Scott LeFevre, building inspector.Weve had a banner building season, he said. Ive never seen so many people building in the winter.In the Town of Jackson and Teton County, Wyo., however, construction has stumbled for three straight years, according to a report in the Jackson Hole News & Guide.In the Town of Jackson, the value of new construction fell from $72.1 million in 2002 to $28.4 million in 2003. Most of the drop came in commercial projects; residential construction was up from $16 million in 2002 to $20 million last year, the newspaper reported.The value of construction outside the towns boundaries was up 14 percent.Park City, Utah issued 818 building permits last year, a slight drop, but saw a nominal upturn in the value of new construction about $59 million in 2003, compared to roughly $51.5 million in 2002. Park City set a record in 1999, with $119 million worth of new construction, according to its local newspaper, The Park Record.Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is


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