Private group wants Olympic fireworks show on Aspen Mtn. |

Private group wants Olympic fireworks show on Aspen Mtn.

Karl Herchenroeder
The Aspen Times

A private group that had intended to go to Sochi, Russia, for the opening of the Olympic Games on Friday has changed its plans in favor of a fireworks show on Aspen Mountain that will include a torchlight descent on Little Nell if approved.

Aspen Skiing Co. applied for the fireworks permit, while RMC event planners organized the private party scheduled to take place Friday evening at the Ajax Tavern.

The permit is pending approval from the Aspen Fire Department, the Environmental Health Department, the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office and City Manager Steve Barwick. For this particular permit, the applicant is required to run an ad in a local newspaper today and Friday so that neighbors are aware. Because the event will be held on private property and Skico-leased land, no city fee is required.

Aspen Fire Marshal Brian Nichols said the application has not crossed his desk, but he has had phone conversations about it.

“If they’re attempting to do what they originally asked me about, my inclination — unless we can work through a number of safety concerns — would be to say no,” Nichols said. “Aside from that, I have no idea what they’re asking to do.”

RMC general manager Sibby Schlaudecker declined to answer any questions about the event, though original plans called for a ground display with the Olympic rings. In a notice to neighbors, RMC asks neighbors to keep their pets inside during the fireworks.

“It’s not the first time that a private group has had a fireworks show on Aspen Mountain, and I’m pretty certain it won’t be the last time,” Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle said Wednesday. “I think the most crucial thing is that the public knows that it’s going to happen. Over the years, the thing I’ve heard is, ‘I wish I knew so I could’ve made sure my dog didn’t run away.’ I think that is what the ad is all about: to make sure people are aware.”

The torchlight descent is scheduled to take place at 7 p.m., followed by a 7:10 p.m. pyrotechnic ground display and a 7:15 p.m. fireworks show that will last 10 minutes.

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