From the Times: As reopening begins, we are here every step of the way

Samantha Johnston and David Krause
The Aspen Times

March 16 feels like five years ago. The day the lifts stopped turning stunned all of us. Most of us went home for the weekend and never returned to the office.

We set up home offices, figured out how to do everything in our lives by Zoom, navigated once-weekly grocery store trips and wearing masks in public, and wondered how long it would be before life would return to normal.

We’re all still wondering that.

And then there were those workers who never went home — they made our world work 24/7/365 — health care workers, first responders, grocery store employees, over-the-road truckers, journalists, farmers and myriad essential workers who have continued to keep the lights on and the world turning.

Fast forward nearly two months and we’re on the brink of a new dawn.

Though The Aspen Times office has been shuttered since March 16, our team has been working as hard as ever to cover these unprecedented events, stay in touch with local business owners and find creative ways to deliver the news through our no-touch newsstands, website and enhanced digital coverage.

Our reporters and editors are working to be nimble as the COVID-19 pandemic changes hourly, daily and weekly; our advertising and circulation teams are doing the same.

As we prepare for phase 1 of Pitkin County’s reopening Saturday, we’ll do our part to make sure we are all informed — as citizens, visitors and business owners. Here’s how you can keep on top of what’s new:

‘What’s Open’

Since the first week of the crisis, our “What’s Open” listing has been displayed at to help readers stay updated on which businesses are open. We will continue this service until the entire county is open for business. If you want to get on the list or update what we have there, please contact managing editor Rick Carroll at

‘We’re Open’

“We’re Open” is a daily profile highlighting a local business that is serving customers. Again, we will continue this feature as the valley opens for business. If you would like your business to be added to the list or have questions, reach out to reporter Austin Colbert at

‘Mining for a Silver Lining’

By now we hope you’ve seen our “Aspen Silver Lining” feature — a collaboration with Lea Tucker — featuring the Aspen faithful near and far who are checking in, sharing their Aspen love and offering their tips for coping in this pandemic. We’d love to include your story.

Advertise Your Business

We know that this is a really tough time for business and, while reopening is what we have all hoped for, it isn’t a silver bullet for coffers left empty by the season coming to an abrupt halt. We’re here to help with innovative advertising packages, payment plans, sponsorship programs and lots of ways to get your business back in the game in a sustainable way. We’re here to help you. If you aren’t in touch with an account manager, feel free to contact advertising manager Ashton Hewitt at

How to get a Newspaper

We stopped door-to-door business delivery when the state mandated a shutdown. If your business is reopening and you want to restart delivery of The Aspen Times, contact our circulation director Jake Marine and he’ll take care of your request ASAP. He’s at

Speak Up

We encourage you to let us know how you’re feeling. Our daily letters to the editor section as well as our Sunday “Kudos and Kindness” feature is a platform where our readers let us know how they’re feeling or express gratitude. Those submissions, which we ask are 300 words or less, can be sent to

As for our offices, we will continue to be closed to the public during the month of May. However, we are still available every day by a phone call or email. If you have questions, we publish our staff list and contact information on The Aspen Times commentary page (which you can find in print or on our e-edition) and on the website in the “Contact Us” tab.

We know our role in this community comes with great responsibility, and we strive to keep you connected even as we’ve been apart. As the community takes these first steps to reopening, we look forward to telling these stories, your stories, as best as we can.

Samantha Johnston is the publisher of The Aspen Times and David Krause is the editor.