Aspen focuses on improving city’s entryway |

Aspen focuses on improving city’s entryway

ASPEN The Aspen City Council split this week over whether to spend nearly $28,000 to increase awareness about one of Aspen’s thorniest issues, the Entrance to Aspen.The council on Tuesday voted 3-2 to proceed with a half-hour videotape on the history of the issue, a newspaper insert, a brochure and a website explaining the issues underlying the Entrance to Aspen, at a projected total cost of $27,500. Councilmembers Rachel Richards and Torre voted against the measure.The goal of the promotional package, which special projects planner Ben Gagnon presented at a work session Tuesday, is to create a body of information to give to focus groups, citizen roundtables and other discussions about the Entrance to Aspen.- John ColsonAspen sales taxes looking strongMarch retail sales in Aspen were up 6.1 percent compared with the same month last year, continuing an upward trend in retail activity that has continued unabated for a year and a half.This year’s first-quarter sales also put the resort on pace to eclipse 2005’s all-time record year for retail sales, according to Paul Menter, city finance director. If current trends follow historic precedent, Aspen would finish 2006 with $488 million in sales, up from $444 million last year, he said in the city’s latest sales report, issued Wednesday.- Janet UrquhartAspen increases flightsDelta Air Lines will double its summertime flights as of July 1, thanks to a “steady demand from customers” even before its service to Aspen begins. The move, announced Thursday, offers passengers a second daily flight between Aspen and Delta’s Western hub in Salt Lake City. Delta will be starting flights between the two cities in June.- John Colson

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