News in Brief |

News in Brief

ASPEN ” Well, Aspen and Snowmass Village aren’t exactly facing the problems of President Obama, but they are staring at their own challenges on the tourism front.

The latest occupancy report shows the average occupancy at Aspen’s tourist accommodations will be 55 percent full for the week of Jan. 25 and only 51 percent full for the week starting Feb. 1, based on advance reservations made by Jan. 15. The report was released Thursday.

The advance bookings are well behind last year’s pace and significantly below actual occupancies last season. The average occupancy for the last week in January last year was 82 percent, and it was 91 percent for the first week of February.

Property managers and owners have repeatedly said that the trend this year is for more walk-up traffic and reservations closer to vacations. That trend will need to continue to improve the current bleak outlook for coming weeks.

Advance bookings are better in Snowmass Village. Business on the books as of Jan. 15 would produce occupancy of 58 percent for the last week of January and 75 percent for the first week of February, the report shows. Actual occupancies last year were 74 percent for the week of Jan. 25 and 88 percent for the week of Feb. 1.

ASPEN ” Theater Masters is presenting a series of 10-minute plays at Blackbox Theater at Aspen High School at 7:30 tonight (not on Jan. 29 as was advertised).

The plays are by student playwrights from Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley, and from colleges all over the country.

A question-and-answer session will be held with three directors after the tonight’s performance. Tickets are $25 and available at the door or by calling 948-9484.

ASPEN ” The organizers of an effort to build a recreation center in the midvalley will hold a meeting Thursday to update the public on their progress and to solicit opinions on those plans.

The Friends of the Crown Mountain Recreation Center Committee will host the meeting at 7 p.m. at the Eagle County Community Center in El Jebel.

The committee has been working with a consultant called GreenPlay to develop a conceptual plan for a recreation center at Crown Mountain Park in El Jebel. The center would need separate funding from the recreation district which developed the park.

Organizers hope to approach voters for approval of funding in November.

Thursday’s meeting will include discussions of the site and facility alternatives. GreenPlay will use the community feedback to continue planning the recreation center. The meeting will also include a review of the finances required for an election and the facility itself.

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