Castle Creek Bridge, Armory and Airport

What's happening...

(ACC - Aspen City Council, BOCC - Pitkin Board of County Commissioners)

🌉 The Bridge to Renovation Investigation 

The ACC approved a $639,829 contract with Jacobs Engineering to expand the investigation of the aging Castle Creek Bridge, which was built in 1961 and is nearing the end of its 75-year lifespan. This extensive study will include project management, development of traffic models, and an economic impact analysis to evaluate potential effects on local businesses and tourism during construction. Additionally, the council has scheduled two more discussions before August to finalize decisions on the bridge's potential replacement and its implications, ensuring these align with Aspen's long-term mobility plans.

Jason Charme/Aspen Daily News

🍽️ The Armory: A Food Hall after all? 

The ACC is debating whether to focus exclusively on a food hall for the remodeled Armory building or include additional community uses. While a food hall was the top priority of respondents, with votes of almost 3 to 1, Mayor Torre and other council members prefer a more versatile space that includes gathering areas, visitor centers, and retail. City staff are preparing detailed plans for both a food hall-exclusive option and a multi-use space, which will be presented to the council for further discussion and a final decision at an undetermined date.

🛫 Aspen Airport's Future

The BOCC approved the revised Airport Layout Plan (ALP) on May 1, 2024, with a 4-1 vote, advancing it toward submission to the FAA. The updated ALP includes shifting the runway 80 feet to the west to meet FAA safety standards and address airfield concerns, while incorporating community recommendations on safety, reducing emissions, managing growth, and noise reduction. However, this week the commissioners were asked to consider placing this decision on the November ballot, following a request from Citizens Against Bigger Planes, who oppose runway expansions for larger aircraft due to quality of life concerns. The commissioners are gathering more information and have not yet made a decision.

💲Tackling Tobacco Tax Funds 

Aspen City Council received information on Aspen Family Connections (AFC) use of the Aspen Tobacco Tax funds. This information included AFC’s future plans with the tobacco tax dollars and their continued commitment to addressing “substance misuse and mental health challanges in our community.” The majority of council members have requested a future work session to further discuss uncommitted tobacco tax revenues. This discussion will take place during the June 10th work session.

🗣️ Heard around town

In the past two ACC meetings, parents of young children and a representative speaking on behalf of multiple local businesses who operate in the Aspen Core have shared their concerns about the increased number of transients engaging in disruptive behaviors. Proposals from the business community include:

  1. 🚫 Remove Benches: To reduce loitering and associated disturbances.
  2. 🚓 Enforce Panhandling Laws: To ensure the business district remains welcoming and safe.
  3. 🚷 Remove Illegal Signage: To ensure all city permitting rules are applied fairly and consistently.

This proposal raised during public comment is part of ongoing discussions to find balanced solutions that respect the needs and rights of all community members while ensuring public spaces remain attractive and secure.

🍉 Summer is here!

🏔️ Independence Pass is now open for the Summer season!

🥐 Swedish Hill Aspen is now open at the top of the Aspen Art Museum serving coffee, pastries, salads, sandwiches as well as an expanded menu of cocktails, wine, and beer. Operation hours will be 8 am to 5 pm Tuesday-Sunday. MML Hospitality's latest addition to the Aspen F&B scene, operating Clark's Oyster Bar, Las Montanas and having purchased the Mountain Chalet in 2021 with plans to begin renovations in 2025.

🤝 Engage with Us

We value your insights and are eager to enhance our summer programming! If you'd like to get involved or have any questions, please email us at Thank you for your continued support!

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Jamie Larson