| AspenTimes.com

Workforce housing still a critical issue for ski towns in 2021

The number of residential real estate transactions was up across the board in Colorado’s mountain counties in 2020, showing the high level of demand for properties in these locations.
INSIGHTS FROM ASPEN & SNOWMASS

Aspen continues to innovate in employee housing efforts

Aspen is home to the Aspen/Pitkin County Housing Authority, the oldest and largest mountain resort workforce housing program in the country. 

“As a community, we are grateful for the forethought of those who started APCHA and the ongoing commitment to workforce housing from Pitkin County Board of County Commissioners, the Aspen City Council and the APCHA Board,” said Cindy Christensen, City of Aspen housing deputy director. 

“Because of this continuing, long-term investment, Aspen/Roaring Fork Valley was and is better suited than most to weather the growing intensity of pressure that every ski town in the west has felt on its housing market.” 

Christensen said that providing affordable housing opportunities for the local workforce remains a focus for the City of Aspen, as it recognizes its necessity to support those contributing to our community and economy’s success. Aspen City Council has prioritized creating more affordable housing, including 79 new units at Burlingame Ranch Phase 3 and potentially 300-plus units at the City’s Lumberyard property.

Eliza Voss, Vice President, Destination Marketing, with the Aspen Chamber Resort Association, said that the APCHA’s inclusive, valley-wide approach is crucial in both understanding and addressing the impacts COVID-19 has created, as well as fostering long-term resilience. 

Snowmass Village looks to increase inventory

Workforce housing also remains a top priority for the Town of Snowmass Village, and is a clearly identified goal of the Town Council.  

“Study after study has documented our region’s unaffordable housing prices, inventory shortages and ever expanding commutes for workers,” said Betsy Crum, housing director, Town of Snowmass Village. “We are working to add an additional 185 units to our current inventory of about 475 units. This is an ambitious goal and we hope to continue to work in partnership with other public/private sector entities to evolve our housing program.”

Crum agreed that housing remains the central issue in securing Snowmass’s future.   

“A world class mountain resort requires world class employees so an effective workforce housing program is as important as other critical infrastructure in our resort community,” she said. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has been many things – pick your word – disruptive, unprecedented, extraordinary,  a true black swan event. In several respects, the pandemic has also been an accelerant – creating additional pressure on already challenging issues related to tourism economics in mountain destinations. 

The pandemic has certainly accelerated the stress on workforce housing, which was already a difficult problem with few easy solutions. Ultimately, an adequate supply of workforce housing is a community-wide issue that can have impacts on the visitor experience and the overall destination’s competitiveness. 

Factors contributing to low workforce housing inventory

Indeed, residential real estate prices are up across the country; this surge is especially true in mountain communities across the U.S. Several factors have contributed to these increases – people moving to mountain communities from urban areas during the pandemic, traveler preference for short-term rentals over hotel rooms, second homeowners occupying their units for longer periods of time and the high level of interest in outdoor activities. Such patterns have added more strain to an already overburdened workforce housing supply in many popular vacation destinations. 

Tom Foley, SVP of business analytics at Inntopia, sees a specific change that the pandemic wrought. “Home and condo usage by owners in mountain destination towns is up across the board, meaning that in some cases inventory that might otherwise be used for short- or long-term workforce housing is not available,” Foley said. “What’s not entirely clear yet is to what extent owner stays are [directly] impacting workforce housing.” To some degree, second homeowner usage and short-term rentals during the pandemic are complicating the workforce housing issue. 

Destination-wide issue

If a restaurant is understaffed or a hotel can’t get its rooms cleaned in time, the visitor experience may be negatively impacted, jeopardizing potential return trips. The lack of workforce housing, therefore, has a direct effect on a destination’s attractiveness. Carl Ribaudo, president of SMG Consulting, agrees. “The continued lack of affordable housing for residents and employees within the tourism industry limits the competitiveness of the destination. If you don’t have enough employees to provide services to visitors, how competitive can you be?”

Beyond the quality of the visitor experience and the competitiveness of the destination, sales and lodging tax collections can be suppressed. According to Dave Byrd, director of risk and regulatory affairs at National Ski Areas Association, “Without ample affordable housing, the entire community suffers – it impacts tax revenues significantly, businesses cannot fully operate, and impacts guest services across the board. Without affordable housing, all businesses will struggle to find workers.”  

New tools needed

Many large employers have focused on offering staff housing for their employees. In particular, ski areas across the country frequently provide subsidized, seasonal housing to their staff. According to the NSAA Kottke End of Season Report, 59% of all U.S. ski areas have employee housing. In the Rocky Mountain region, an even greater 76% of ski areas offer employee housing, with an average of 165 staff housed per ski area in the winter of 2019-20. These beds are essential because without housing, a large employer like a ski area can’t operate effectively, with potential impacts like reduced lift operations, longer lines at food and beverage outlets and an overall lower level of customer service. 

Many other smaller businesses in ski towns face the same challenges; hotels and restaurants need places for their employees to live, too. But these smaller businesses can’t always afford to provide housing by themselves. A community-wide, collaborative and creative approach is often necessary, as seen recently in Big Sky. The resort area in Montana has allocated $1.9 million of its 3% resort tax to the Big Sky Community Housing Trust to build affordable housing, 

In Colorado, the Town of Breckenridge continues to fund affordable housing efforts. “In addition to building new deed-restricted housing for locals, the Town is very committed to programs that preserve some of that inventory, through Buy Down Programs and deed restriction acquisition programs,” said Laurie Best, senior planner at the Town of Breckenridge. “Locally, most businesses, including critical infrastructure, are increasingly challenged to recruit and retain the employees they need,” added Best. 

Federal funding could prompt housing projects

Significantly, President Biden’s current infrastructure proposal includes major funding for affordable housing across the U.S., which could have a positive impact in mountain towns via direct funding for workforce housing projects in rural areas. 

“Biden’s trillion-dollar infrastructure bill has some very encouraging proposals on workforce housing, and he is smartly targeting rural communities with grants for workforce housing,” observed Dave Byrd. Byrd went on to say, “While the bill’s details remain to be defined, the proposal is encouraging, and the ski industry will be pushing innovative public-private agreements and funding to create sustainable and affordable housing in and near ski communities.”

The challenge of workforce housing has been on the front burner in many mountain communities for quite a while, but the pandemic pushed the issue to a critical level. To remain competitive and to provide an exceptional visitor experience, workforce housing is essential. As destinations look to new tools and funding sources, taking a broad, community-wide approach to workforce housing is more of a priority now than ever before. 

ABOUT INSIGHTS COLLECTIVE

Insights Collective; a Tourism Economy Think Tank and Resource Center – is a collaboration of destination travel industry experts who are collaborating and working, together with mountain resort communities and their stakeholders, to understand, plan, and navigate through the emerging tourism marketplace. www.TheInsightsCollective.com  /  info@theinsightscollective.com

After-Hours Medical Care in Basalt keeps patients out of the ER

The team at Aspen Valley Hospital’s After Hours Medical Center in Basalt provides comprehensive care for all types of immediate medical needs.
Visit After-Hours Medical Care

234 E Cody Lane
Basalt, CO 81621

Monday – Friday: 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

No appointment necessary, walk-ins welcome! Please call ahead if you have COVID-like symptoms.

For your convenience, virtual visits may be available. Call (970) 544-1250 to inquire. 

More information at aspenhospital.org.

In an outdoor-activity-centered community like the Roaring Fork Valley, sports-related and other minor injuries go hand-in-hand with the mountain terrain. But unlike a major urban center, the options for getting fast help after a mountain bike twist or the onset of other common illnesses and injuries are a little more limited – minus making what might be a costlier and time-consuming trip to the ER in Aspen.

That’s why Aspen Valley Hospital’s After-Hours Medical Care clinic in Basalt has become a well-respected and easy-to-access destination for urgent care needs. And with a convenient midvalley location and service hours seven days a week, 365 days a year, the clinic is an excellent, same-day alternative when your family doctor is unavailable.

Dr. Joshua Seymour is Medical Director for the After-Hours clinic in Basalt and also Whitcomb Terrace Assisted Living in Aspen, both part of Aspen Valley Hospital’s Network of Care. Dr. Seymour says he’s proud the After-Hours Medical Care clinic is able to provide a safe and welcoming atmosphere for patients from throughout the entire valley and beyond.

“We provide comprehensive and cost-effective care for patients for a wide variety of minor issues – cuts, burns, lacerations, coughs, UTIs,” he says. “We’re open from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. daily, and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the weekends, and every patient is seen by a board-certified physician, plus a nursing staff that has extensive training in emergency care.” Board certification is the highest level of accreditation within a given specialty. “In an urgent care setting, having doctors with the newest advancements in treatments and the skills that go with them leads to a higher quality of care,” says Dr. Seymour.

Dr. Seymour’s staff includes at least one board-certified doctor as well as a nurse onsite during those hours, and occasionally a second doctor or nurse practitioner helping out during busy times. 

“Generally, we’re able to see patients very quickly, without the wait or the cost you might experience at an ER,” he adds. “Our common goal has never changed – we’re here to provide an important service to the community.”

More than just a triage center for minor injuries, the After-Hours Medical Care center has also become a critical link in providing immediate care when a doctor’s visit is hard to schedule.

“We have a great relationship with the primary care offices in the valley, and that can really help to bridge the gap of after-hours care, when they’re not available,” he says. “After your visit, we can discuss your condition with your primary care provider.”

In the ongoing era of COVID, the After-Hours Medical Care facility has also taken great steps to ensure onsite patient safety, and is also offering patients the option of virtual visits. Patients can also be seen curbside at their vehicle, and the clinic has a negative pressure room, so walk-in patients can be treated safely.

Every patient at the After Hours Medical Center is seen by a board-certified physician, plus nursing staff with extensive training in emergency care.

“We’ve been militant in our COVID safety precautions, so we can offer Zoom visits, if we see that as an appropriate utilization of resources – and like an in-person visit, you’ll be seen by a board-certified physician, just in the safety and convenience of your own home,” he says. “We learned to adapt to telemedicine very quickly when COVID hit, and these ‘virtual house calls’ have become a big part of our care.”

For those who do need immediate care after a sports injury, Dr. Seymour says the clinic has a full x-ray suite, with results read by a board-certified radiologist. Patients can then be splinted and offered referrals for follow-up care with a wide variety of physical therapists, or the Hospital’s wide range of spinal, back or even concussion specialists. 

Dr. Seymour also works as a volunteer firefighter for Roaring Fork Fire Rescue. He says his many shifts as the doctor on call at the After-Hours clinic echo the community services he provides during his firefighter shifts.

Aspen Valley Hospital recognizes medical care can be expensive, and the After-Hours clinic is one way they are driving down costs for patients who do not necessarily need an ER level of care – with the associated ER fees. 

“The clinic works with a variety of insurances, as well as providing a 20% discount for patients who pay in cash,” says Dr. Seymour. “We try to make a visit as cost-effective as we can. If I’m seeing someone after a mountain bike crash, we’ll suture you up. But sometimes people come in, who clearly need to be seen at the hospital, and we have the emergency medicine expertise to handle those cases effectively.”

Volunteers needed to help domestic, sexual abuse survivors

RESPONSE NEEDS MORE VOLUNTEERS

Are you interested in helping victims of domestic and sexual abuse in our valley? Response needs volunteers to who can commit to at least two 12-hour on-call shifts per month. Crisis line calls are routed to volunteers’ cell phones (without the number being shared with the caller), so all you have to do is remain within cell range during your shifts. A 30-hour training is required and during the current pandemic restrictions, the training will be offered entirely online for the first time. The next training begins April 6th.

“I volunteer with Response because I believe in the transformative power of showing up for another person during times of deep sadness, confusion or fear,” said Response volunteer Shannon Birzon. “I feel eternally grateful for those who have done the same for me, and volunteering is a way for me to give back to my community.”

If you’re interested in volunteering, visit responsehelps.org/volunteer, call 970-920-5357, or email hannah@responsehelps.org.

The effects of domestic abuse
or sexual assault can feel overwhelming for victims, especially when they feel trapped in an unsafe situation.

Response, a nonprofit that helps victims of domestic and sexual abuse in the upper Roaring Fork Valley, provides services that offer safety, comfort and relief for victims who need support.

In 2020, 150 clients used the services provided by Response, and 274 people called their 24-hour crisis helpline.

Survivors of abuse that come to Response find a non-judgmental listener, referrals to other agencies, court and medical accompaniment and many other types of support. Many of these survivors were in the midst of a life-changing crisis and Response was their first stop on their journey of recovery.

Response is looking for more local volunteers to be that listener and safety net for those in crisis. An online training for volunteer advocates begins online on Tuesday April 6th (see fact box).

DOMESTIC AND SEXUAL ABUSE IN THE VALLEY

One in three women, and one in four men, in the United States have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner, according to The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Those statistics ring true locally, according to Response staff.

“There’s a common misperception that victims fit into some kind of mold,” said Response’s Executive Director Shannon Meyer. “Anyone could be experiencing abuse— your neighbor, colleague, family member — yet you may have no idea that this is happening to them.” Domestic abuse affects people from every education level, socioeconomic class, race, gender, sexual orientation, single or married

Another misperception is that domestic abuse is always physical — it can also be psychological, emotional and financial.

“Abuse can touch anyone and victims don’t fit into any obvious stereotypes,” she said. “A lot of times, people are surprised by that.”

RISING NEED FOR MORE LOCAL VOLUNTEERS

Response operates a 24/7 crisis help line staffed almost entirely by trained volunteers who work 12 hour on-call shifts on weeknights and weekends.

There were 274 calls to the helpline in 2020— and Response always needs more trained volunteers to assist callers in need.

“We rely on our trained volunteers to take shifts on the crisis line. Volunteers give our full time staff a break and keeps them from burning out.”

Volunteers must complete a 30- hour training program that teaches volunteers everything they need
to know to respond to a victim’s immediate needs when they call
in crisis. There is always a backup staff member on-call who can handle more complicated calls should a volunteer need assistance.

“The training provided to become an advocate prepares you to support and empower those in crisis, as well as expands a culture that provides safe harbor to survivors of violence and abuse,” said Greg Shaffran, a proud volunteer for Response since 2014.

Response asks its volunteers to take two on-call shifts per month, so the commitment is relatively minimal. The requirement for the on-call shift is pretty simple: volunteers must remain within cell range during their shifts to ensure they don’t miss a call.

“Our volunteer advocates serve a very important role of stabilizing a caller until they can connect with one of our staff advocates during office hours triaging until the callers can connect with our staff advocates,” Meyer said. “Volunteers need to be able to listen, understand the dynamics of what’s happening, tell them what resources are available and help them into a safe position until they can talk to our staff.”

24-HOUR CRISIS HELPLINE

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic or sexual abuse, Response has a 24-hour crisis help- line in the Roaring Fork Valley offering immediate response for victims any day of the week, any hour of the day.

Anyone experiencing domestic violence, sexual abuse or stalking can call 970-925-SAFE (7233) any time day or night if they need help.

What does tourism look like this summer?

Data shows that travel bookings arriving in the market within 90 days go up when infection rates decrease, and go down when infection rates are on the rise. (Source: Inntopia)
About Insights Collective

Insights Collective; a Tourism Economy Think Tank and Resource Center – is a collaboration of destination travel industry experts who are collaborating and working, together with mountain resort communities and their stakeholders, to understand, plan, and navigate through the emerging tourism marketplace. www.TheInsightsCollective.com  /  info@theinsightscollective.com

The Collective’s Resource Center is comprised of its founding members, each a specialist in their own right

Jane Babilon, Lodging Research Consultant
Dave Belin,  RRC Associates
Chris Cares,  RRC Associates
Barb Taylor Carpender, Taylored Alliances.
Tom Foley,   Inntopia/DestiMetrics
Ralf Garrison,  Advisory Group of Denver
Brian  London.  London Tourism Publications
Carl Ribaudo, SMG Consulting
Susan Rubin Stewart, Contact Center Consultant
Jesse True,  True Consulting

As the COVID-19 pandemic begins to feel like it is subsiding, given the decreases in infection rates, hospitalizations and deaths, combined with the rapid increase in vaccinations, thoughts in the tourism industry focus on returning to a pre-pandemic normal. Many tourism destinations, attractions, lodging, restaurant providers, recreation providers and retail stores – as well as residents and local governments – are asking (or at least thinking), what will tourism look like this summer?

Yes, the conventional wisdom view is that there is significant pent-up consumer demand for travel. And as the COVID-19 vaccination numbers continue to climb, that in turn will unleash increased visitation on tourism destinations across the country. But as I have learned, conventional wisdom is often not conventional or wise. Let us consider the following.

Across the country, there is evidence that the lodging industry is picking up. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, “Smith Travel Research reported hotel occupancy for the week ending March 6 was 49% nationally, the highest it has been since October.” Additionally, the same article reported the Transportation Security Administration saw 1.36 million people pass through airport security checkpoints on Friday, March 12 alone, the most in an entire year. Leisure travel has now become the driver in the industry as many analysts concur that the more financially impactful business travel will be slow to recover, perhaps waiting until COVID-19 herd immunity is achieved. It remains to be seen when major corporate customers will be back to pre-pandemic levels.

From a mountain tourism destination perspective, the past year has given us several insights. First, despite the pandemic, demand for outdoor recreation-based destinations was substantial. These destinations, be they located in the mountains, on the coast or in the desert, did very well in terms of visitation. Consumers looked to escape the claustrophobia of city locations and find relief from the limits of COVID-19 on the hiking or biking trail, the ski run or just by being outside. The consensus view of the Insights Collective:

“That mountain destinations will see a continued level of visitation because of the interest in outdoor recreation. This level of visitation would be similar to last summer. In some cases, even greater demand as more people become vaccinated, mask mandates expire and people feel confident traveling again. The Insights Collective also expects fall visitation to be a strong at mountain destinations for the same reasons.”

This view is supported by some recent data from Inntopia that may give some insight into consumer behavior. In the short term, that might lead to more mountain destination travel demand over the summer and fall. According to Tom Foley, Senior Vice President with Inntopia and an Insight Collective member, “There have been two lead indicators through this pandemic. The first is infection rates, with bookings arriving within 90 days going up when infection rates go down, and vice-versa, as seen on the chart. The second – and more exciting – is a direct correlation between first-time vaccinations and bookings, with bookings arriving within 90 days almost directly mirroring the patterns of vaccine doses administered across the country.” Foley also added, “While this doesn’t mean that only vaccinated people are booking, what it strongly infers is that society is responding to vaccinations, both with vaccinated persons planning immediate travel, and with non-vaccinated persons feeling more confident (for better or worse) that much of the threat is behind us and following suit.” As the vaccination trend takes hold, it appears consumers are trading the long-term planned trip for a more spontaneous one within the next several months – a clear sign of confidence and interest in booking travel.

Despite these positive indicators both nationally and in mountain tourism destinations, there could be some hiccups. There are several trends to keep an eye on that may impact travel to mountain tourism destinations. First could be the slow resumption of youth activities, including everything from summer camps to swimming lessons, which could curtail family travel and keep some parents and families closer to home. Second and more troubling would be issues related to a national failure to reach herd immunity. One could imagine a scenario as the initial surge in vaccinations gives way to holdouts and deniers, both of which are already showing up in the media. Could this enable COVID-19 variants an opportunity to flourish and force further restrictions? A final trend to keep an eye on could be economic challenges that hold back consumer confidence. Some 9.4 million jobs have been lost since the pandemic began. There’s also the possibility of inflation impacting the $1.3 trillion consumers have in savings, as well as the additional $1.9 trillion in stimulus making its way into the economy. And there’s increased interest rates – all factors which suppress travel.

Our view: Be optimistic, but be cautious.

Local leaders in both Aspen and Snowmass are planning to take that approach for the season ahead.

“Snowmass properties are telling us that there is strong early demand for summer already,” said Rose Abello, tourism director for Snowmass. “We anticipate a combination of longer stays booked farther in advance along with the continuation of demand for last minute bookings.” 

Abello says Snowmass Tourism will continue to plan a series of events and activations for visitors and locals alike, shifting as needed when state, county and local regulations change.

“The great news is that what the Valley offers — wide open spaces, access to the outdoors, a great variety of dining, shopping and more – should continue to resonate with travelers and provide some level of resiliency with fluctuating restrictions,” she said. 

Eliza Voss, vice president of destination marketing with the Aspen Chamber Resort Association, says ACRA is cautiously optimistic for summer, but plans to remain nimble in order to pivot as public health guidelines may dictate.

“There is certainly pent-up demand for summer, particularly from those that have been fully vaccinated and are interested in resuming some leisure activities with family and friends they may not have seen for a year,” Voss said. “Many arts & cultural organizations are planning for in person programming albeit with reduced capacity and necessary protocols in place, but we are thrilled at the idea of live music & theater.”

When it comes to exploring the outdoor recreation that Aspen has to offer, Voss said ACRA’s messaging will focus on education and sustainability, highlighting the best ways to explore these natural assets while preserving them for many years to come.

Art gallery spotlight: Marianne Boesky Gallery

Dashiell Manley “isolated phenomenon (purple weather),” 2020 Oil on linen 32 x 39 in.
Marianne Boesky Gallery

100 S. Spring St., Aspen
212-680-9889
info@boeskygallery.com
marianneboeskygallery.com

Since its inception in 1996, Marianne Boesky Gallery’s mission has been to represent and support the work of contemporary international artists of all media. This winter in Aspen, Marianne Boesky Gallery is pleased to present “The Hollow,” a solo exhibition of new works by Donald Moffett on view Nov. 27, 2020 to Jan. 18, 2021.

New York-based artist Donald Moffett emerged as both an artist and activist in the late 1980s, participating in the ACT UP movement and as a founding member of the collective Gran Fury. “The Hollow” continues Moffett’s interest in minimalist, abstract forms that simultaneously carry personal and metaphorical meaning. The works on view include a grouping of Moffett’s extruded and resin techniques from his glory hole series. In his extruded paintings, the artist methodically extends individual tendrils of oil paint to stand perpendicular to the canvas, creating a bristling three-dimensional surface. In contrast, Moffett’s resin works on view achieve a luminous appearance by pouring pigmented resin on the painting’s surface.

Moffett subverts traditional notions of painting and abstraction, employing innovative technique and methodology to disrupt the surface in his process of extruding paint, resin-pouring, and routing his monochromatic works. The subtle coding of the painting’s orifice-like holes and lush textures splits across multiple concerns: formal, metaphorical, structural.

In addition to our winter exhibition, new works by gallery artists the Haas Brothers, Dashiell Manley and Claudia Wieser will be on view on the second floor. 

For more information, visit marianneboeskygallery.com, or email info@boeskygallery.com, 212-680-9889.

Art gallery spotlight: Anderson Ranch Arts Center

Studio Coordinator of Sculpture Zakriya Rabani works in the studio on the Anderson Ranch campus
Roshni Gorur, Anderson Ranch Arts Center
Anderson Ranch hours and contact information

5263 Owl Creek Road Snowmass Village
Phone:  970-923-3181
andersonranch.org
info@andersonranch.org

Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Founded in 1966, Anderson Ranch Arts Center is a premier destination in America for art making and critical dialogue, bringing together aspiring and internationally renowned artists to discuss and further their work in a stimulating environment.

Its mission is to enrich lives with art, inspiration and community. The 5-acre campus hosts extensive workshops for aspiring, emerging, established artists, children and teenagers in eight disciplines, including photography & new media, ceramics, painting & drawing, furniture design & woodworking, sculpture, printmaking and digital fabrication.

Artist Ajax Axe welds during a Facilitated Studio Practice session in the Anderson Ranch sculpture studio.
Roshni Gorur, Anderson Ranch Arts Center

“We are an oasis, a maker’s paradise, but also leading the way in technology and our facilities,” said Katherine Roberts, director of marketing and communications. “We are also known internationally as a place where very sophisticated, world-famous artists come to create and engage with the community.”

Events include virtual and in-person workshops, lectures, Q&A sessions with world-renowned artists, collectors and art world luminaries, as well as free public events such as gallery exhibitions, art auctions and culinary events in the Ranch Cafe.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Anderson Ranch remains an active campus, with small, safe workshops and art-making still happening, as well as an outdoor sculpture exhibition and many virtual events and workshops.

In addition to the Summer Series: Featured Artists & Conversations, the Ranch hosts engaging events throughout the year including: the Recognition Dinner, held in honor of Anderson Ranch’s International Artist Award and Service to the Arts Award honorees; the Annual Art Auction & Community Picnic, a 40-year tradition which features works of local, national and international artists; and a year-round Artists-in-Residence Program, fostering artistic growth for emerging and established visual artists.

Learn more at www.andersonranch.org or by calling 970-923-3181.

Current events

Founded in 1966, Anderson Ranch Arts Center is a premier destination in America for art making and critical dialogue.
Roshni Gorur, Anderson Ranch Arts Center

Installed through September of 2021, 17 sculptures by local, national and internationally acclaimed artists are installed outdoors around the Ranch campus in the “Scuplturally Distanced” exhibition. A selection of the works are for sale, with proceeds shared between Anderson Ranch and the artists.

Through April 30, a campus art sale will help raise money for Anderson Ranch scholarships, benefiting the more than 30% of Anderson Ranch students and residents who receive financial support. Artwork will be ready to buy and display in your home.

Check the website for a list of upcoming visiting artists, one of Anderson Ranch’s signature experiences, plus many virtual workshops happening throughout winter and spring.

And don’t forget to sign up for summer 2021 workshops, online now.

Anderson Ranch released a detailed COVID-19 Business Safety Plan in October that outlines practices throughout the campus in place to keep staff and visitors safe. For a full list of current events at the campus, and to download the safety plan, visit www.andersonranch.org.

Anderson Ranch Master Printer Brian Shure prints an Anderson Ranch Edition in collaboration with artist Simon Haas in the Patton Print Shop on the Anderson Ranch campus.
Roshni Gorur, Anderson Ranch Arts Center

Art gallery spotlight: Omnibus Gallery

Leonetto Cappiello “Kub” 1931 78 x 50 in.
Hours and contact information

Omnibus Gallery
410 E. Hyman Avenue
Aspen, Colorado 81611
970-925-5567
www.omnibusgallery.com

Hours: Noon-ish to 8-ish; Closed Sundays unless the hotels are full!

Strong on content and light on fluff, the Omnibus Gallery dubs itself the “finest gallery collection of original vintage posters ever.”

“What I have on the walls is a museum — I hear this thousands of times a year, and it’s not an overstatement,” says owner Goerge Sells. “It’s the best gallery I’ve ever been in. It’s really special, and really unique in the world of art; in terms of graphic arts, this is the motherlode.” 

The gallery’s rare and vintage lithograph posters date from the late 1880s to just after World War II, depicting billboards, pinups, sporting events, film, automobiles, travel and anything else imaginable. The inventory is deep and the 3,300-square-foot space is “filled to the gills with really cool stuff.”

Admittedly, Sells is a bit of a slob and the gallery is disorganized, but he likens it to an “electrical, visual experience.”

Sells started collecting and selling vintage posters around 1981. He viewed the art form, known as “the art of the streets,” as a part of the human experience. It went on for about 125 years and it’s something to which we all can relate. 

“We’ve all seen posters all of our lives,” Sells says. “This art form is in our DNA, it’s in our being. I believe that what I’m doing here is really important, that what I have here at Omnibus is really special.”

When he first started collecting, Sells said there were plenty of original posters available to buy. He used to have to budget what he could spend because there was such a massive supply. Now, there’s just not much left.

I have hundreds of images in here that are part of the collections in some of the major art museums in the world that carry this time period — it’s really satisfying,” Sells says.

Artists represented include the turn of the Century masters such as Charles Loupot, A.M. Cassandre, Ludwig Hohlwein and Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, a visionary who believed that lithography was the art of the future. Sells has about 15 Toulouse-Lautrec posters, who he calls the “master” of this art form. 

The gallery features about 6,000 posters, with another 2,000 in backstock. Prices range from $500 to tens of thousands.

Art gallery spotlight: Aspen Art Museum

The Aspen Art Museum. Photo: Michael Moran/OTTO
Hours and contact information:

Aspen Art Museum
637 East Hyman Avenue
Aspen
t: 970-925-8050
f: 970-925-8054
info@aspenartmuseum.org

Admission to the AAM is free courtesy of Amy and John Phelan

Hours:
Tuesday–Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Closed Mondays

The Aspen Art Museum (AAM) is an admission-free, globally engaged contemporary art museum, with community, education and member programs that provide ever-changing onsite and online exhibitions, workshops, and events. 

Opened as the “Aspen Center for the Visual Arts” in 1979,  the museum was officially accredited as the Aspen Art Museum in 1984. The AAM’s downtown building  was designed by 2014 Pritzker Prize for Architecture winner Shigeru Ban and completed that same year with 100% private funding. In 2017, the facility was recognized among the American Institute of Architects (AIA) awards for “best contemporary architecture.”

Community-focused

Modern Aspen was founded on the principles of “The Aspen Idea” —  the balance of “mind, body and spirit” — a holistic concept which continues to inform AAM programming. Under museum Director Nicola Lees, the museum’s future builds on the legacy of Aspen’s singular history and the artists that visited over the course of the 20th century, including Robert Rauschenberg, Claes Oldenberg, Bruce Nauman, Christo & Jeanne-Claude, Ed Ruscha, Andy Warhol, and resident artist/designers like Herbert Bayer. 

Working rigorously and considerately with the local community to put education, collaboration, and community at the heart of its programming and with artists across the ecology of the artworld, the AAM hosts site-specific artist commissions, exhibitions, and educational and public programs that respond to Aspen, the Roaring Fork Valley, and Colorado’s Western Slope and the area’s unique climate and topography. 

Finding creative ways to be site-specific and site-responsive in times of inhibited social contact has led to flexible and dynamic museum programs that move fluidly between physical and digital spheres and engage artists not only in exhibitions, but also in helping reinvent and redefine what museums can be as ‘site’ may refer to hybrid physical/digital spaces.

SO Café on the rooftop

On the rooftop overlooking the museum’s Sculpture Garden, the AAM’s 2,700-square-foot SO café offers among town’s most socially distanced daytime indoor/outdoor dining experiences complete with views of Ajax Mountain and downtown Aspen. Guests may dine-in or carry out from a weekly changing menu of local ingredients prepared by museum culinary partners Julia and Allen Domingos.

Hours: Tuesday–Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Coffee & Croissants: 10 to 11:30 a.m.
Lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Beverages & Snacks: 2:30 to 5:30 p.m.
BOGO Happy Hour: 3 to 5 p.m.


Art gallery spotlight: Ann Korologos Gallery

Sarah Lamb “Tres Leches” Oil on Linen 9.50 x 13.50 in.

Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and by appointment

211 Midland Ave., Basalt
970-927-9668
art@korologosgallery.com
www.korologosgallery.com

Ann Korologos Gallery in historic downtown Basalt is the premier source for contemporary Western Art in the Roaring Fork Valley and beyond. Acclaimed local and national painters, sculptors, printmakers, mixed-media artists, and photographers share their connection with the landscapes, cultures and characters of the American West through their own unique language.

“Our goal is for every interaction with the gallery to add beauty and depth to your life,” shares gallery director Sue Edmonds. “Every visit offers the opportunity to learn something new about an artist, a place, a moment, or yourself. Art is an integral part of our cultural heritage, now and always, and the works our artists are creating are inspirational and soothing. Whether connecting with us virtually or in Old Town Basalt, we believe you will be transported by their insight and creativity.”

This season, explore nature’s abstractions by Michael Kessler and Allison Stewart, expressionist landscapes by Andy Taylor, and high-keyed still lifes by Angus Wilson. Discover patterns of sacred geometry carved into handmade ceramics of local clay by Woody Creek artist, Michael Wisner. Connect with the mood of a moment through landscapes of Colorado and Utah captured in the large-scale paintings of Kate Starling, evocative pastels of Sabrina Stiles, moody Aspen groves and poetic still lifes by tonalist Deborah Paris, and the atmospheric, dreamscape paintings by Peter Campbell. Pause to witness the character and connection of mankind with wild animals through the work of Ewoud de Groot, Mike Weber, Paula Schuette Kraemer, and Sherrie York. Discover locally loved and nationally acclaimed painters, printmakers, sculptors and mixed-media artists such as Sarah Lamb, Dan Young, Joel Ostlind, Leon Loughridge, Terry Gardner, Dinah Worman, Simon Winegar, Donna Howell-Sickles, Tomas Lasansky, Janet Nelson, Michael Kessler and more. Of the selection and quality, art aficionados and collectors have been known to say, “the best gallery in Aspen… is in Basalt!”

Art gallery spotlight: Raven Gallery

Paul Schweider “Hive” – blown and carved colored crystal
Location and hours:

Summer and winter, in-season: Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Post- and pre-ski season (mid-April through early June and October through mid-December): 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week

433 East Cooper Avenue
Aspen, Colorado 81611
970-429-4297
info@ravengalleryaspen.com

Walk into Raven Gallery’s 3,500-square-foot space on East Cooper Avenue and you will find amazing studio art glass in every technique imaginable.

But explore a little further and you’ll discover much more: a curated collection of paintings in different mediums, a select group of unique ceramic works and a remarkable collection of extraordinary minerals and crystals.

Recognized as one of the top glass galleries in the country and completely unique in Aspen, gallery staff welcome all visitors, from browsers to collectors.

“We represent a range of glass art from entry level to masters complemented by paintings, ceramics and museum-quality mineral and crystal specimens,” said director of glass Anne Gross.

“Our guests are fascinated with the variety of techniques and unusual forms of the different pieces on display. We love sharing our knowledge and questions are always encouraged.”

The owner’s passion for art comes with a deep appreciation for how much time and effort it takes. As an artist herself she knows how technically difficult it is to create impeccable pieces of beautiful glass; she’s tried it! She opened the gallery to promote artists who have the talent to make work that marries beauty with light and captures the imagination, and to showcase the rare beauty of natural art in the form of fine minerals and crystals.

It’s in that way that Raven Gallery brings together the two forms of art that she loves. Having traveled the world, it’s her feeling that Aspen has the best community with the best skiing she has experienced.

So why not showcase the most beautiful glass and crystal art to compliment that!

Adjusting to business during the pandemic has meant putting in place various systems to protect visitors to the gallery. Per state and local mandates, masks are required for all guests and staff, and physical distancing is easy in the large space. Additionally, the ventilation system has been overhauled and several specialized, stand alone filters are positioned around the gallery.

“It’s been a challenging time for artists,” Anne said. “Many techniques in glass require teams working closely with each other; not a very viable situation during a pandemic. And, shipping out of a lot of countries has ranged from difficult to impossible.”

Despite all that, Raven Gallery is expecting fresh and exciting collections from Wesley Rasko of the Czech Republic, Japanese artist Harue Shimomoto, American and Swiss glass blowers Baldwin/Guggisberg and highly collected American cast glass artists Alex Bernstein and John Littleton & Kate Vogle. Additionally, we are thrilled to be receiving important new

oils from American contemporary realists Scott Fraser and Otto Duecker plus delicate new encaustics on Asian paper by Jane Guthridge. All-new work, for an all-new year.