News in Brief
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN – The Silver Queen Gondola, Ajax Express and F.I.S. chairlifts will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Aspen Mountain Saturday and Sunday for extended ski season. As much terrain accessed from those lifts will be opened as possible, but the ski patrol will monitor conditions and close trails as necessary.
All Aspen-Snowmass ski passes from the regular season are valid. Flex passes are good for one day of the weekend. Additional days for Flex, Classic and Escape passholders are $19. Adult lift tickets will be $39 per day. Youth and seniors will pay $29, and children’s tickets will be $19.
There will be bands or DJs on both days at mountain restaurants. DJ Naka G will be at the Sundeck from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, and DJ Dylan will be at Ajax Tavern starting at 2:30 p.m.
Jes Grew will give an acoustic performance at the Sundeck from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, and the Redtones will be at Ajax Tavern starting at 2:30 p.m.
Aspen Mountain will also be open April 24-25.
ASPEN – It was a tough season for Aspen’s lodging industry, with occupancy falling 2.5 percent in November through March compared to last winter and the average daily rate dropping 5.5 percent, according to a report by the Mountain Travel Research Program (MTRiP).
The winter occupancy rate fell to 53 percent this season, the report shows. The average daily rate fell to $416, from $440 the prior winter. Savvy travelers shopped for bargains – and tourist accommodations were often forced to give them.
In Snowmass Village, the winter occupancy fell 4.3 percent in 2009-10 compared to 2008-09, the report shows. Snowmass properties had an occupancy of 42 percent. The average daily rate was down 10 percent, from $329 to $296.
The report is performed for the Aspen Skiing Co., the Aspen chamber, Snowmass Village and Stay Aspen-Snowmass. It is based on data provided by 18 properties representing 67 percent of Aspen’s tourist accommodations, and 10 properties in Snowmass Village representing 75 percent of inventory.
MTRiP reported the future looks brighter for Aspen. Advance reservations for April through September are up 6.4 percent in Aspen compared to the same period last year. On-the-books occupancy for Snowmass for the next six months is down by an amount unspecified in the report.
BASALT – A presentation on the life of pioneering woman Sarah M. Gillespie in Aspen and El Jebel will be held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the Basalt Library community room.
The Gillespie family played a prominent role in Aspen’s development as a mining camp, and later owned the El Jebel Ranch. Nina Gabianelli will present a one-woman dialogue on Gillespie, and a round-table discussion will follow on the local history of the Harris, Favre and Crawford families at the El Jebel Ranch.
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