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News in Brief

The Aspen School District is seeking bids for the design and installation of a synthetic playing surface and stadium lights at the athletic field next to Aspen Middle School.The school board is looking for a design build team that will remove the existing natural turf, install a perimeter irrigation system if necessary and install both the artificial turf and stadium lights.The district is stipulating that the existing eight-lane running track be protected during construction.The school district and the city of Aspen have each pledged $300,000 toward the athletic field renovation, and a group of parents and other private donors are working to come up with roughly $900,000 more. The overall project is to include new bleachers, a press box and restrooms.The district’s plan for the first phase, the turf and lights, calls for construction to begin in June and be finished in time for the fall semester. A contract is to be awarded by Feb. 15, according to the district.

After several fits and starts, Sopris Restaurant changed hands Tuesday – and it wasn’t sold to Bair Chase, developers of a neighboring golf course south of Glenwood Springs. Bair Chase had planned to purchase the restaurant, but a deal fell through in September after Bair Chase failed to receive financing.The restaurant’s sale to Sopris Properties LLC closed Tuesday, said Walt Brown, attorney for Sopris Restaurant and Buffalo Valley owner Kurt Wigger. “Those guys were out of this deal a long time ago,” Brown said, referring to Bair Chase. He said the owners of Sopris Properties signed a contract for the restaurant in September, but the deal took months to close. Aspen architect Charles Cunniffe, one of the partners in Sopris Properties, said the corporation is an investment group unaffiliated with Bair Chase. He said the plan is to have another restaurant replace the old Sopris Restaurant. He would not say who the other investors are. “It’s really myself and other partners and minor partners,” he said, adding that they hope to be “low-key” about their new purchase. There’s no guarantee the old Sopris building could become another restaurant, however. Cunniffe said “there’s a number of options,” including turning the property into an entirely different kind of development or even becoming part of the Bair Chase development. (Glenwood Springs Post Independent)


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