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National Champs from Aspen

Two local AVSC and U.S. Ski Team racers took home top honors at the U.S. National Alpine Skiing Championships at Sugarloaf,Maine.

Fan favorite Wiley Maple ripped the fastest lap in Men's Downhill lap topping a stacked field to grab the GOLD. He also finished 5th in Super G.   Glenwood's Alice McKennis shredded to victory in the Ladies Super G securing the highest tier on the podium.

Congratulations to both Wiley and Alice who have worked extremely hard and battled through injuries.  The fruits of victory must feel especially sweet to ASPEN's NATIONAL CHAMPS. 

Wiley Maple National Champ Photo: Scott Sanford via FB.

 Alice McKennis National Champ Super G. Photo: Jamie Walters / Sugarloaf


The Aspen Budget: Tales from the Campaign

Funds accounting, or governmental accounting, or municipal accounting is different than regular book-keeping.  It's pretty complicated. CAFR...what?  The City of Aspen has 6100 registered voters and 3200 actual voters per the last election.  The City of Aspen also has a huge budget.  It's 480 pages and weighs about 8 pounds.  

The total budgeted revenues for 2015 are $123,465,148.  Appropriations are budgeted at $124,206,420.  This includes $31,241,680 in inter-fund transfers.  An inter fund transfer is a double journal entry...so if you subtract that out the total budget is almost $93,000,000.   The operating budget is $60 million. Capital Outlays are $27.5 million and we pay $5.5 million in debt service.  

It doesn't take a Wharton MBA or a C.P.A. to know that is a lot of green.  Any way you slice it...Aspen is overflowing with money.   It's an incredible amount of cash flowing through the coffers of a very small...but high profile mountain town at the end of the road.  Hunter S. Thompson was right when he nick-named Aspen..."Fat City"

To call me a financial expert would be a compliment.  For most of the past 12 years i've been skiing and blogging and FBing and tweeting.  But my spider senses are tingling.  I'll be digging into the 2015 Aspen Budget. Trying to figure out why we need a new 55,000 sq ft City Hall with cost estimates of $40 mil....errrrr $80 mil....errrrr $120 mil.

Just because Aspen has an embarrassment of riches...doesn't mean we should keep making poor decisions about money and growth.  



The Sorrows of Young Mike by John Zelazny

Author John Zelazny networking in Aspen.When one of the young ski bums in Aspen publishes his first novel...AspenSpin reads it. 

The Sorrows of Young Mike by John Zelazny is a valiant first effort.  JZ calls the book a parody and it relates to the classic book The Sorrows of Young Werther by Goethe first published in 1774.  Like Werther... Mike's sorrows are loosely autobiographical...but this time the author is Mike...errrr... John Zelazny.   John skis by day, fits boots, and writes a music column for the Aspen Daily News by day and night...and still finds the energy to hit the Aspen party circuit all while publishing books.

The Sorrows of Young Mike chronicles Mike's social life aboard a giant cruise ship... a cruise for credit...errr semester at sea. As Mike sails the World for college credit he navigates a long distance relationship via text message with his girl back in Boulder.   His magnetism attracts a group of friends on the boat including an available and sexy classmate.

As the story evolves....well I don't want to spoil it. 

The Sorrows of Young Mike is a quick and interesting read.  We highly recommend it.  JZ should be very proud of his work.  We are looking forward to his next publication soon... after ski season.




Aspen Party Week

Every March for the past 50+ years a large group of hearty souls descend on Aspen for Spring skiing and Aspen Party Week.  The core group of about 200 revelers from all over the country visit Aspen to take advantage of the bluebird skies and the POW POW.  Led by the Crawford Brothers from California, The Beradino Brothers and  Mr. and Mrs Gooch from the East Coast and Al Gross from Vegas this group has evolved into the hardest partying, good timingest, mate swappingest group of 60 to 80 year olds you will ever see.

Click 4 pix.  Aspen Party Week

Aspen Party Week's line-up is so chock full of events on and off the mountain that even AspenSpin can't keep up.  The Tamale Party, The Cheeseburger Party, The Mad Hatter Party, The Snowmass Picnic, The Lemondrop Party, The Sneak-a-Peak Party ( paying homage to the infamous Sneaker Ball) The Wine Party, The After-Wine Party and more.  Every day is a different soiree and by the end of the week....there are a lot of bruised livers. The traveling 200 don't ski as much as they used to (many just forgo the shredding) but they party just as hard.  They do love their grog.

This year Aspen kicked off it's annual core party...with a highlight reel show from Chicago jam band Umphrey's McGee who played a free set in the center of town.  Just eye-ballin' it...I'd say it was the biggest core party of all time. Additionally, Aspen Mag hosted their millennial party and Aspen Historical Society threw a ski fashion retrospective to culminate a HUGE week.

Click 4 pix:   ASPEN PARTY WEEK

As always, EPIC fun was had by all.




Kissing Babies and other campaign tales from Aspen.

Office Hours on Ajax. Vote: Andy 4 Aspen.I am now firmly entrenched in a political campaign in Aspen.  I am running for City Council.  There are 2 seats available and 7 candidates running.   

Not just in Aspen...but all over America there seems to be a disconnect between the citizens and their elected officials.  Trust...seems like a thing of the past in our country.  Finally, I am moved to take action.  To stand up and be heard.  I'm not a politician...I'm a ski bum / blogger and a former numbers guy.    Yes my education and experience is exceptional...but in this race that makes me under-qualified...or over-qualified depending on your viewpoint.  But I will tell you one thing...I like it when other people under-estimate me.  

Perhaps you've seen my simple platform:

1) No 7 hour meetings.   Reasonable people do not conduct public businees at 1 am

2) Simplify the Zoning Code.   Lets make one set of rules and enforce them consistently.

3) fiscal Responsibility.  Just because Aspen has a $100+ million budget, doesn't mean we need to waste           money.

I've learned a lot in the first week of my first campaign.  I've learned its easy to be a critic and very difficult to be a leader.  I'm going to do my best, because I believe in the future of Aspen, because I love Aspen and I want to help Aspen be the best Aspen possible, and I'm just the guy to do it.

So I'm out there kissing babies and other stuff.