Austin Weiss promoted to lead Aspen’s parks and recreation department
Longtime Aspen-area resident and city employee Austin Weiss has been named new parks and recreation director for the city of Aspen, officials said this week.
Weiss has lived in the area for 23 years and began his career with the city in 2001 as the trails manager for the Parks Department, according to a news release from the city.
Since then, he was promoted to Open Space and Natural Resources manager (2014) and Parks and Open Space director (2017). Most recently, Weiss has served as the city’s Interim Parks and Recreation director, filling the vacancy left by Jeff Woods, who retired in June after serving as director since 1997.
“This position requires a leader who understands Aspen’s mountain culture and how it influences the community’s recreation needs,” Assistant City Manager Diane Foster said in the release. “We’re thrilled for this opportunity to promote Austin, who has an extensive background in managing some of our city’s greatest assets — our parks and open space system. His forward-thinking approach, enthusiasm about Aspen, and his ability to engage the community played strongly into his selection.”
Weiss holds a Bachelor of Arts in Outdoor Education and Recreation from Prescott College in Arizona.
As Parks and Recreation director, Weiss will be responsible for overseeing the city’s parks and open space system, including the development of Galena Plaza and the Dolinsek Gardens as a part of the Lift One Corridor project, according to the city’s announcement.
He will supervise the city’s recreational programming and will oversee the special events and golf departments along with the Red Brick Center for the Arts.
“I’m excited for this next phase of my career with Aspen, and to build upon the amazing legacy that Jeff (Woods) left us,” Weiss said. “At this critical time in history, many are turning to our services and public spaces to support their mind and body well-being. I plan to preserve the natural beauty of our community through continued open space management and by providing the incredible parks and recreation opportunities that our community is famous for.”
Roaring Fork Valley natives Emily Ridings and Nikki Ferry have come full circle when it comes to dance. Both studied dance with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet (ASFB) as kids, continued their training with other prominent schools, and now return this weekend, as ASFB presents “The Nutcracker” at Aspen District Theater.