Pioneers of the sport
I read with admiration the story on Aspen’s rich snowboarding history (“Panel discusses Aspen’s place in snowboarding history,” Jan. 25, The Aspen Times) and would like to take just a moment to acknowledge local snowboarding retail innovators, forward-thinkers and riders Paul Krause and Charlie (whose last name slips by me now).
In the late 1980s these gentlemen opened Sidewinder Sports, America’s first snowboard shop in Snowmass, with seed money Paul received from his grandmother, much to his parents’ objections. Paul and Charlie were the first to offer equipment, rentals and lessons to a small but dedicated minority of riders just beginning to bloom on equipment innovation and style evolution.
Of course I can’t underestimate the resistance these gentlemen received from the local area businesses and Aspen Skiing Co. officials because snowboarders were a threat to everything good that our area had worked to establish. At one point, Paul told me they thought they would have to close because of it. So when you walk by any snowboard/ski shop anywhere in the U.S., crank up Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” on your iPod. While riding, remember that they, just as I do, ride with P.K.!
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The city of Aspen’s office building is exempt from paying encroachment fees, yet private developers have to now pay $9 a square foot, per month, starting in 2020.