Spring Jam may get a quiet nod
Aspen Times Staff Writer
Aspen’s second annual 180 Spring Jam may get city approval on Monday with nary a peep from neighbors who made a lot of noise about the party last year.
Spring Jam debuted last April with a 16-day celebration to celebrate the end of the snowboard ban on Aspen Mountain. It produced more noise in the weeks leading up to the event than it did once the bands took the outdoor stage at the base of the mountain.
When the Aspen Skiing Co.’s application for a permit for this year’s activities goes before the City Council next week, the silence may speak volumes about the company’s success in pulling off last year’s event without rattling windows or neighbors.
This year’s Jam is scheduled April 6-14, with daily apres-ski parties next to the gondola building from 3 to 6 p.m. Leading up to the event, the Skico is planning parties on the last three weekends in March.
Last year, the city initially capped the number of days the company
could exceed Aspen’s noise ordinance with Spring Jam to four days. The limit was a response to worries from condo owners in nearby buildings. The Skico appealed, saying the limit would curtail their plans for live music.
Ultimately, the neighbors and the company reached a compromise that allowed 12 days of amplified music, including six live bands. A seventh band performed unplugged.
This year, the city’s Special Events Committee has recommended the Skico be allowed to exceed the 65-decibel noise limit on 17 days, so long as the amplified music doesn’t top 100 decibels. The Skico is actually only planning parties on a total of 15 days, said Deb Doyle, director of events for the company.
Last year, city officials and at least one neighbor armed themselves with noise meters to keep tabs on the volume. Music from bands and DJs never came close to hitting the 100-decibel limit, according to Lee Cassin, Aspen’s director of environmental health.
The city received no complaints about noise during the event, she said.
“Basically, we had absolutely no problem with it,” confirmed Pam Cunningham, general manager of the Aspen Alps condos. “My board has directed me to support it.”
North of Nell residents weren’t rocked by last year’s parties either, said Joe Raczak, the general manager there.
“They kept it well within the limits . we were very happy,” he said.
In addition to the apres-ski parties, this year’s Jam will again feature on-mountain fun like the Dash for Cash, KickAspen Big Air Invitational, Quarterpipe Showdown and Ultracross.
The Skico has boosted its marketing of the event this year, in hopes of drawing more out-of-towners for a spring break, according to Doyle.
“We’re doing a lot more advertising this year – nationally and on the Front Range,” she said.
Once again, $29 lift tickets have been paired with lodging deals for the event. Rates as low as $59 per person per night, including lift tickets, are available for those who stay for at least two nights and ski or ride at least two days, according to Bill Tomcich, president of Stay Aspen-Snowmass
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Just in time for Halloween, the Pitkin County Board of Health voted 4-2 to reduce the size of informal gatherings from 10 to five for at least the next two weeks starting Friday. According to the public health director, officials are currently investigating 11 outbreaks in Pitkin County.