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News in Brief

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN – February wasn’t a blockbuster month for Aspen in terms of overall sales, but the slight increase suggests a slowly improving economy.

Sales totaled $49.6 million, a 1.6 percent increase when compared with February 2010’s $48.8 million, according to the city’s consumption tax report, released Thursday.

Separated into retail categories, monthly sales were a mixed bag, with some sectors showing gains and others showing losses. For example, accommodations, the backbone of the local economy, realized $16.6 million, a 1 percent loss compared with last year. But restaurants and bars saw a 3 percent gain, pulling in $8.9 million.

Other drivers of the local economy – sports equipment, clothing and food and drug – lost ground overall during the 28-day month, with losses of 2 percent, 3 percent and 8 percent, respectively. There were four full weekends in February, same as in 2010.

Collections from the city’s 2.1 percent sales tax were $1.09 million, which represents a 5 percent increase over February 2010’s collections of $1.03 million.

ASPEN – Aspen ski-wear maker Obermeyer recently learned it earned three awards for its performance at the SnowSports Industries America (SIA) winter sports show in January.

Obermeyer was declared the winner in the Best Display, Best Booth and Friendliest Receptionist categories. The SIA shows brings thousands of vendors of skiing equipment and clothing together with retailers at the biggest show in the country for the snow sports industry. Obermeyer has a prominent booth at the annual event.

Company founder and Aspen icon Klaus Obermeyer personally greeted attendees at his firm’s booth during much of the show held in Denver. The gregarious Aspenite was a lock for friendliest receptionist.

Obermeyer won accolades for its booth, which was constructed using recycled materials. “The most efficient aspect of the booth is that it is constructed of totally symmetrical hollow core birch door panels – manufactured in a housing door factory. The panels are extremely lightweight, durable, interchangeable and environmentally sound. This year the booth was an astounding 6,300 square feet,” a statement from Obermeyer said.

The design moved visitors through interesting nooks and crannies, giving each product collection its own personality while maintaining brand continuity.

The booth was designed by Biege Jones, Obermeyer director of advertising, and Jerry Smith, advertising assistant.

The company was also honored for best display for its visual merchandising theme of “Heritage.”

“With 10 adult displays and four kids displays in all, the team created retro ski posters and rustic boxes with vintage Obermeyer photos for every group to punctuate the vignettes,” the company said. “To create an ‘old meets new’ element, brightly colored pictures were arranged next to the black and white retro prints.”

Antique props like wooden skis and poles as well as retro boots were used with original garment sketches were used to draw attention to the theme.

The display was created by Susan Obermeyer, creative director, and Lauren Baumann, senior product specialist and visual merchandiser.

SNOWMASS VILLAGE – The Aspen chapter of the Room to Read nonprofit will hold a fundraiser Saturday at the Viceroy in Snowmass Village.

All proceeds will go to the Local Language Publishing program, according to Susan Lodge, co-founder of the chapter. That program tries to get new, colorful books into the hands of children of the developing world, in their native language. Donors will be able to vote on which country they want the funds from Saturday’s event used, Lodge said.

The Aspen Apres Ski Party will start at 3 p.m., poolside if conditions allow; inside in case of rain or snow. It will feature food, events for kids and music by Dan Sheridan.

Tickets are $50 for adults; $25 for attendees ages 13 to 20; and free for kids 12 and younger.

Tickets can be purchased at the door.


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