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Colorado Mountain College Aspen

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Colorado Mountain College Aspen is located at 0255 Sage Road, in Aspen, Colorado.One of seven campuses of the college, it provides associate degrees and certificate programs.Associate degrees are offered in Arts, General Studies, Accounting, Business, Computer Networking, Microcomputer Support Specialist, and Webpage Developer.Certificate programs include Accounting, Business, CISCO Certified Network Associate, Emergency Medical Technician, Microcomputer Specialist, Microsoft Office Specialist, Real Estate, Creative Arts, and Outdoor Education. The campus emphasizes computers, liberal arts, and fine art.In addition to academics, the campus has facilities for the arts. The Morgridge Family Academic Center, opened in 2001, is a 34,000-square-foot facility with classrooms, computer labs, "smart rooms," exhibition spaces, and art studios.Noted for its architecture, the Academic Center reflects the community's ranching heritage.Colorado Mountain College Aspen is a community campus with its prime focus the working adults in the neighborhood. There is no residential facility in the campus.Further, the campus overlooks three skiing and snowboarding mountains, provides a scenic environment, and a well-suited place for learning.


Colorado Mountain College 50th Anniversary

From the beginning, Colorado Mountain College has flourished because local citizens have valued the way education can enliven their communities. In the early 1960s, visionaries sought approval for a college district. Taxpayers caught the vision and overwhelmingly voted to fund it.

The two original campuses were built simultaneously with modular buildings transported from Denver.

Classes opened on October 2, 1967 to the sound of carpenters’ finishing cuts.

Within five years, classes were also offered in Aspen, Rifle, Salida, Eagle County and Summit County.

Colorado Mountain College now offers the third most affordable bachelor’s degrees in the nation.

It’s home to the Isaacson School for New Media and is planning to add programs in avalanche technology and action sports in fall 2017.


Registration Period Start End
Registration Mar 28 May 15
Summer Semester                           May 16 Aug 5
Memorial Day - No Classes May 30  
Independence Day - No Classes Jul 4  
Commencements Aug 5 Aug 6

Vision: Our desired future

We aspire to be the most inclusive and innovative student-centered college in the nation, elevating the economic, social, cultural, and environmental vitality of our beautiful Rocky Mountain communities.

Mission: Why we exist, what we do, and what we offer

Colorado Mountain College offers a dynamic, innovative, and high-quality teaching and learning experience serving a diverse population in a student-centered, inclusive, and personalized learning environment. Committed to both affordable and accessible education, CMC offers a comprehensive array of undergraduate programs and lifelong learning opportunities helping all students meet their individual educational goals. 

Values: The basis for ethical action

We believe higher education and lifelong learning provide a vital and necessary foundation for an egalitarian society.

We care about each other and treat everyone with civility, dignity, and respect.

We encourage open and honest communication and honor all ideas and opinions.

We embrace diversity in its many forms and work actively to create an inclusive and welcoming college community.

We act with integrity to build trust in our personal and professional relationships.

Guiding Principles: Decision-making and resource allocation

We collaborate with one another and with external partners.

We apply the principles of sustainability to foster social equity, economic vitality, and environmental health.

We strive for excellence and innovation in all we do.

We create a positive working environment and a stimulating and enjoyable teaching and learning experience.

We hold ourselves responsible and accountable for our actions.

We maintain the public trust through responsible stewardship and fiscal transparency. 

We meet challenges with thoughtful deliberation and purposeful action.


Colorado Mountain College celebrates 50th anniversary through exhibit

“Meknes,” a large watercolor by former Colorado Mountain College art instructor Isa Catto Shaw, is one of more than 50 works that will be on display at “Reminisce: A Tribute to 50 Years of Art,” CMC Aspen’s 50th celebration and art opening on April 7.

Public invited to view ‘Reminisce: A Tribute to 50 Years of Art’ in Aspen April 7

This year Colorado Mountain College is celebrating 50 years of serving the educational needs of people living in the state’s mountain towns. On April 7, the celebration arrives at CMC Aspen. Community members, current students, alumni and employees are invited to a Colorado Mountain College 50th Anniversary Celebration followed by an opening reception for an exhibit of artwork from CMC’s faculty and staff.

The festivities begin at 3 p.m. with a 50th anniversary program focusing on the history of Colorado Mountain College in Aspen, and then the opening reception for “Reminisce: A Tribute to 50 Years of Art.”

“These celebrations are a gift back to the communities that Colorado Mountain College

In 1979, Ann Harris was the secretary and assistant to Janet Landry, then director of Colorado Mountain College’s Aspen campus. Harris would be the next campus dean of CMC Aspen, eventually becoing CMC’s top academic administrator collegewide. Photo Doug Rhinehart

serves,” said Kristin Colon, CMC Foundation CEO and vice president for advancement. “Each on-campus celebration is focused on something that makes that particular campus stand out. In Aspen, for example, our art program is such a draw for the community that we wanted to honor the faculty and staff who have shared their expertise with students for decades.

“CMC is here today, educating students and training our local workforce, because of our community members,” said Colon. “We are here because of you.”

The free celebration continues until 6 p.m. with an opening reception for the exhibit “Reminisce: 50 Years of Art,” a survey of artwork by CMC’s western region faculty and staff, past and present, and featuring refreshments and anniversary cake. The exhibit will run through May 9.

“Our students in painting and printmaking are able to take advantage of extraordinary equipment that is rare at many colleges and universities, creating large-scale prints on our new state-of-the-art etching press,” said K Rhynus Cesark, assistant professor of art and gallery director at Colorado Mountain College Aspen, who is organizing the exhibit. “It is also an exciting time for the Aspen ceramics program as students can experiment and create work using our newly acquired 3D ceramic printer, which we have obtained collaboratively with our college’s Isaacson School for New Media.”

John and Carrie Morgridge are the honorary chairs of Aspen’s celebration, selected because of their support of the college and of CMC Aspen’s Morgridge Family Academic Center, which serves as an educational hub for Pitkin County and surrounding areas.

In 1977, Aspen’s Colorado Mountain College campus opened for classes, sharing the building with the Aspen School District during the days. The building, adjacent to Aspen High School, ended an era of holding classes at various businesses and offices around town, giving Aspen students a central place to take dance classes, first aid courses, and a variety of continuing education and credit classes. Photo courtesy Doug Rhinehart

Colorado Mountain College Aspen circa 1970s: a moveable feast

Colorado Mountain College and Aspen go way back. In 1965, voters approved the formation of the five-county CMC district. Plans were laid to establish two residential campuses, the East Campus in Leadville and the West Campus at Spring Valley near Glenwood Springs.

In addition to these two campuses, CMC administrators realized that more opportunities would be needed to serve the educational needs within the far-flung communities in the 100- by 75-mile-wide district.

In 1967, plans began forming to open a campus in Aspen, and George Stricker was recruited to make it happen. A story is told among early CMC staff that, during a meeting, then-college president Joe Davenport tapped Stricker on the shoulder and said, “George, you’re in charge of continuing education.” Reportedly, Stricker turned to someone and said, “Continuing education? What’s that?”

Stricker soon caught on. It was in 1968, a year after the East and West campuses opened their doors, that Stricker set up shop behind the night desk at the Aspen Police Department. Over 150 Aspenites signed up for such classes as catering, creative design, sculpture, mountaineering and something called “The New Left.”

For a few years, without a permanent home, classrooms and offices were a moveable feast. There was a brief move to the Aspen Ski Company lift ticket office across the street from Wagner Park.

Steve Mills took over from Stricker in 1969 and opened the CMC office in the old Beck and Bishop grocery store in the Wheeler Opera House. Classes met all over town, wherever there was space.

During a typical year in the ’70s, the Aspen campus offered about 20 courses that ranged from belly dancing to business. In 1976, CMC partnered with the Aspen RE-1 school district to build a 14,000-square-foot building next to Aspen High School. The high school used the classrooms during the day and CMC took it over for night classes.

By the ’80s, Colorado Mountain College had come of age in Aspen. The focus was on adult students seeking associate degrees or certificates to prepare them for resort-related jobs.

Enrollment continued to grow, and the high school building was straining at the seams. By 1995, it was apparent that a new building was needed. CMC hired noted Aspen architect Harry Teague to design the light-filled building.

The college launched a capital campaign, receiving seven-figure donations from Jessica and Henry Catto and family and the Morgridge Family Foundation. For the Morgridges’ support of the Aspen campus as well as the support of technology and construction of “smart” classrooms throughout the college, the new Aspen campus building was named in their honor.

On Jan. 3, 2001, CMC opened the doors of the 30,000-square-foot Morgridge Family Academic Center at the Aspen Airport Business Center.

Today, Colorado Mountain College Aspen serves almost 2,000 students each year, including high school scholars, traditional-aged college students, English as a second language students and lifelong learners of all types and, in a nod to the arts- and physical-activity-focused nature of its most popular courses, the campus is home to the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet.

Colorado Mountain College is celebrating its 50 th anniversary throughout 2017, thanks to presenting sponsors Alpine Bank, Jim and Connie Calaway, Holy Cross Energy (a Touchstone Energy Cooperative), Morgridge Family Foundation and Sodexo. Support is also being provided by Atlantic Aviation Terra Energy Chevron FCI Constructors, Inc. Grand River Health Marble Distilling Co. Mountain Town Coffee Obermeyer Wood Investment Counsel, LLLP Premier Party Rentals Sopris Engineering and Mountain Temp Services LLC.


Colorado Mountain College graduates one of its largest classes ever

Commencement at Colorado Mountain College is always a special day, but this year was different.

And, not different because students wore masks or because they had to physically distance. Different, in that commencement was not just a fleeting moment of joy. It was a triumphant celebration for hundreds of students who overcame hardship after hardship to get to this point.

CMC Leadville’s ski area operations graduates celebrate commencement by cranking some turns down the nearby Dutch Henry Hill just off campus on May 7. Photo by Andy Colwell

Students, who in the face of a devastating pandemic, ruthless wildfires and divisive civil unrest, had the courage to push forward and make this one of the largest graduating classes in the history of Colorado Mountain College.

Many students took advantage of more flexible class offerings and the CMC Responds initiative, which included waiving tuition, books and fees for the summer 2020 semester to help those affected by the pandemic.

“Life sometimes takes its turns unexpectedly, but it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish,” said Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser, president & CEO of Colorado Mountain College. “I’m so proud of our students. They really turned a curveball of a year into a home run!”

College-wide, hundreds of students crossed the graduation stage to earn a variety of associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees and certificates.

CMC Summit County: May 7 commencement

Colorado Mountain College Summit County graduate Javiar Pineda bumps elbows with CMC President Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser while receiving his bachelor’s degree in sustainability studies May 7 at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge. Photo by Matt Litt

Javier Pineda took his first college course through CMC’s concurrent enrollment program at Summit County High School. Later, Pineda applied to the sustainability studies program at the Summit campus and discovered a passion for the coursework and its real-world applications.

“I did not know the impact this degree would have on my life,” he said. “At first, I thought: just get a degree. Now, I have a scholarly affection for this field.” Now, Pineda plans to take an LSAT course next fall and apply to law school.

“Whatever I decide to do, CMC has prepared me well for the next chapter of my life,” he said.

Cyndy Dzib Ciau has always loved working with children. The Summit County native graduated with an Associate of Applied Science in early childhood education after becoming a CMC Mountain Scholar in 2019, an honor that connected her to a scholarship and a mentor for the rest of her academic career.

“Even when the pandemic hit, my mentor always found a way to meet with me and [Jennifer Besser] my counselor helped me be sure I was getting all the classes I needed,” said Ciau.

CMC Leadville: May 7 commencement

Fabian Jimenez, a Lake County High School senior, graduated with an Associate of Science degree. “I was able to pick more specific classes and be more school oriented,” said Jimenez. “It allowed me to figure out I wanted to be an engineer and know I was interested in environmental engineering.”

Jimenez was awarded the prestigious Boettcher Scholarship, a four-year, full-tuition and partial living expenses merit-based academic scholarship awarded to graduating Colorado high school students. He will attend Colorado School of Mines this fall.

From left, CMC Leadville graduates Christian Bueng and Caitlin McCarthy during tassel turning the 2021 commencement ceremony on campus on May 7. Photo by Andy Colwell

After Caitlin McCarthy graduated high school in Massachusetts, she moved to Colorado to help build trails in the Salida area. That led to an AmeriCorps college scholarship and the Rocky Mountain Land Management internship at CMC.

The partnership program with the U.S. Forest Service allows CMC students to work a part-time paid internship while pursuing a related degree. McCarthy graduated on May 7 with an Associate of Applied Science in natural resource management and a certificate in advanced geographic information systems.

For Johnathan Rogers of Centennial, an experience as a summer camp counselor and the idea of being an outdoor recreation instructor is what brought him to CMC Leadville, where he instantly connected with faculty and staff.

“My biggest surprise was how easy it was to get involved with the CMC staff and instructors,” said Rogers, who earned an Associate of General Studies in outdoor recreation leadership “My previous concept of college was like the larger universities and not having personalized instruction. It was the opposite with CMC.”

CMC Vail Valley: May 7 commencement

Toby Baldwin, 48, of Gypsum, served in the U.S. Army Reserves in Iraq in 2004-05. But before he joined the military, Baldwin went to technical school and became a master electrician. He owned and then later sold a business.

“I wanted to do something that made a bigger difference,” Baldwin said.

He earned a certificate at the Colorado Law Enforcement Training Academy at CMC Spring Valley in 2009 and an associate in criminal justice in 2018. Baldwin worked for the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office for three years before joining the Avon Police Department.

He earned a Bachelor of Applied Science in leadership and management at the Vail Valley campus in the fall of 2020 and was included in the spring graduate list.“I thought CMC would be tough, and it can be,” Baldwin said. “But a lot of what I learned came from the practical hands-on things. I’m a very visual learner, and that worked well for me.”

Elena Fundureanu could barely speak English when she arrived in the US from Moldova in 2006. At the CMC Vail Valley commencement on May 7, she was the top bachelor’s degree graduate. Photo by Dave Watson

Elena Fundureanu is originally from Moldova and is CMC Vail Valley’s top four-year degree student. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in accounting. That’s an impressive achievement, especially since she arrived in the United States in 2006 and barely spoke English.

Becoming fluent in English was important to her, so in 2008, she began taking a few language classes at the Vail Valley campus. “I struggled at first with learning English. My tutors saw how hard I was working and supported me all the way.”

When she decided she wanted more, her next goal was to earn her bachelor’s degree.

“I’ve worked hard, honestly,” she said. “I’ve had a great experience at CMC. Larry [Dutmer, college counselor] guided me in what I needed to do. And the faculty has been so helpful.”

CMC Spring Valley: May 7-8 commencements (included Aspen, Carbondale and Glenwood Center locations)

Commencement student speaker Adele Craft, 21, of Carbondale, is no stranger to CMC. She took classes at the Aspen, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs and Spring Valley campuses and received her Bachelor of Arts in Sustainability Studies.

Craft’s primary and secondary education consisted of a mix of public education, home- and self-schooling, with CMC playing a big part.

“I was 12 when I took a geology course with my dad at CMC and I was hooked,” Craft said.
Her first credit classes followed at 13. She graduated from Bridges High School with an associate degree in hand in 2017.

Spring Valley student commencement speaker Adele Craft started taking classes at CMC when she was 12. She graduated with a bachelor’s in sustainability studies on May 8. Photo by Stephanie Stocking

“After these last eight to nine years of taking CMC classes, it’s both exciting and sad to graduate,” Craft added. “CMC has definitely helped shape who I am now.”

Born in California, Norma Avila, 43, grew up in Mexico. Her son, David, 23, has a learning disability and worried he would not get the support he had at Aspen High School if he went on to college. “So, I told him I would go to CMC with him,” Norma said. “We helped each other.”

A second son, Abraham, 21, also graduated from CMC. He plans to continue his education at the University of Denver.

At Spring Valley, all three Avilas – Norma, Abraham and David – earned degrees. Norma Avila received an associate degree in bookkeeping and plans to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at CMC. “Going to college has changed my life and I hope my story helps inspire other parents,” Avila said.

Physically distanced and masked up at one of four commencement at CMC’s Spring Valley campus. Photo by Ed Kosmicki

Cody Andrew first enrolled in CMC classes in 2012. “I was on my own financially, and I came in without much drive and motivation to finish,” he said.

The first thing Andrew did was secure a full-time job at the Spring Valley campus dining hall. While working toward a degree in graphic arts, he also learned to cook.

In 2015, he left CMC to cook professionally though art, his true calling, compelled Andrew to returned to CMC to complete his degree in professional photography.

“Making fine art is a passion,” he said. “The amenities of the photography department at CMC are the best in the state, and the teachers always pushed me to do better.”

CMC Steamboat Springs: May 8 commencement

Eleysa Schofield received her bachelor’s degree in business administration and an associate degree in Business. A first-generation student, Schofield credited the financial assistance she needed with making her college education possible.

“As a scared teenager trying to figure that out, it was hard to navigate,” Schofield said. “But CMC really helped.”

Schofield considered her two years as the Student Government Association’s student body president as a highlight. And, she capped off her CMC experience by being named as this year’s student commencement speaker for bachelor’s degree recipients.

Schofield hopes to earn a master’s degree in the near future. “Being part of CMC has been priceless.”

Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser, Janisha Williams and Steamboat campus dean Dr. JC Norling at CMC Steamboat’s 2021 commencement on May 8. Photo by Dave Watson

Janisha Williams, from Miami Florida, is earning an associate degree in ski and snowboard business. “Growing up, my parents were very supportive of me,” said Williams, who now calls Steamboat Springs home. “When I had an interest in snowboarding, they didn’t put up barriers.”

As a non-traditional student, she enrolled at CMC Steamboat Springs and will walk this May, but she has a few credits to finish up this fall. Once her degree is official, she will be the first female African-American student to graduate from the ski and snowboard business program.

“Diversity in this industry is very important to me and I hope my example can be an inspiration for others,” said Williams. “But I also think the cultural shift in this industry needs to come from a place of kindness. We need to learn to treat each other with respect.”

When Pike James Wipperfurth graduated from Steamboat Springs High School, he was ready for a change. Immediately after graduation, he flew to Uganda on a service trip.

“I was dropped into an environment where everything was completely different,” said Wipperfurth. “That kind of woke me up.”

Pike James Wipperfurth gave the student speech at the CMC Steamboat Springs commencement on May 8. Photo by Dave Watson

The experience ignited a passion in Wipperfurth to help others, which lead him to CMC Steamboat Springs. He earned his EMT certificate in 2017 and then began working as a ski patroller. A few years later he made the choice to switch careers, earning degrees at CMC in political science, anthropology and outdoor education this May. He was also named a student commencement speaker.

After graduation, Wipperfurth is transferring to Colorado State University, where he will pursue a bachelor’s degree in political science. “You don’t necessarily have to follow pathways that may have been built for you in your past,” he said. “Take control of your own destiny.”

CMC Rifle: May 8 commencement

Bianca Godina of Silt graduated on May 8 with an associate degree in communication. “It was really important for me to make a connection with my professors because I learn better that way,” she said. “I like to ask questions, so the small class size at CMC Rifle made it easier.”

Economics played a role as well. While working two jobs, Godina was able to receive scholarships and grants, which helped her purchase her first computer.

Over the course of the past year, Godina has served as a campus peer mentor and has also been a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society. She graduated with a 3.9 grade point average.

MaDonna McAllister, 54, of Parachute worked as a hairdresser for 20 years until she was offered a scholarship at CMC. Taking classes part-time, McAllister earned her Associate of General Studies degree.

However, her biggest challenge was dealing with past trauma as a survivor of domestic violence as a youth. “The abuse affected my language and my writing, so I had to work really hard on that,” she said.

McAllister excelled at CMC Rifle, even finishing some semesters with a 4.0 GPA. “I made it through with help from some great instructors,” she said.

“We have been cheering for MaDonna since she first walked through our doors in 2015,” said Tinker Duclo, vice president and campus dean at CMC Rifle. “Her unrelenting dedication and perseverance have earned her a college degree.”


Colorado Mountain College celebrates 50th anniversary with Aspen art show

This year Colorado Mountain College is celebrating 50 years of serving the educational needs of people living in the state’s mountain towns. On April 7, the celebration arrives at CMC Aspen.

The festivities begin at 3 p.m. with a 50th anniversary program focusing on the history of Colorado Mountain College in Aspen, and then the opening reception for “Reminisce: A Tribute to 50 Years of Art.”

“These celebrations are a gift back to the communities that Colorado Mountain College serves,” said Kristin Colon, CMC Foundation CEO and vice president for advancement. “Each on-campus celebration is focused on something that makes that particular campus stand out. In Aspen, for example, our art program is such a draw for the community that we wanted to honor the faculty and staff who have shared their expertise with students for decades.

The free celebration continues until 6 p.m. with an opening reception for the exhibit “Reminisce: 50 Years of Art,” a survey of artwork by CMC’s western region faculty and staff, past and present, and featuring refreshments and anniversary cake. The exhibit will run through May 9.

“Our students in painting and printmaking are able to take advantage of extraordinary equipment that is rare at many colleges and universities, creating large-scale prints on our new state-of-the-art etching press,” said K Rhynus Cesark, assistant professor of art and gallery director at Colorado Mountain College Aspen, who is organizing the exhibit. “It is also an exciting time for the Aspen ceramics program as students can experiment and create work using our newly acquired 3-D ceramic printer, which we have obtained collaboratively with our college’s Isaacson School for New Media.”


Colorado Mountain College graduates one of its largest classes ever

Commencement at Colorado Mountain College is always a special day, but this year was different.

And, not different because students wore masks or because they had to physically distance. Different, in that commencement was not just a fleeting moment of joy. It was a triumphant celebration for hundreds of students who overcame hardship after hardship to get to this point.

Students, who in the face of a devastating pandemic, ruthless wildfires and divisive civil unrest, had the courage to push forward and make this one of the largest graduating classes in the history of Colorado Mountain College.

Many students took advantage of more flexible class offerings and the CMC Responds initiative, which included waiving tuition, books and fees for the summer 2020 semester to help those affected by the pandemic.

“Life sometimes takes its turns unexpectedly, but it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish,” said Carrie Besnette Hauser, president and CEO of Colorado Mountain College. “I’m so proud of our students. They really turned a curveball of a year into a home run.”

Collegewide, hundreds of students crossed the graduation stage to earn a variety of associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees and certificates.

At CMC’s Spring Valley campus outside of Glenwood Springs, students from the college’s campuses throughout the Roaring Fork Valley celebrated with family members and friends on Saturday during several ceremonies.

Shaped by CMC

Commencement student speaker Adele Craft, 21, of Carbondale, is no stranger to CMC. She took classes at the Aspen, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs and Spring Valley campuses and received her Bachelor of Arts in Sustainability Studies.

Craft’s primary and secondary education consisted of a mix of public education, home- and self-schooling, with CMC playing a big part.

“I was 12 when I took a geology course with my dad at CMC and I was hooked,” Craft said. Her first credit classes followed at 13.

“By my junior and senior years, I was taking more CMC classes than high school classes,” Craft added.

That allowed her to graduate from Bridges High School with an Associate of Arts degree already in hand in 2017.

“After these last eight to nine years of taking CMC classes, it’s both exciting and sad to graduate,” Craft added. “CMC has definitely helped shape who I am now.”

Going to college changed my life

Education runs in the Avila family of Aspen. Born in California, Norma Avila, 43, grew up in Mexico, worked at Alpine Bank and now for Pitkin County. Her son, David, 23, has a learning disability and, after graduation from Aspen High School, worried he would not get the support he had in high school if he went on to college.

“So, I quit my job and told him I would go to school with him,” Norma Avila said. “We took a few classes together at CMC and helped each other.”

A second son, Abraham, 21, will also graduate from CMC. He earned the Alpine Bank First Generation Scholarship and plans to continue his education at the University of Denver.

At Saturday’s ceremonies, all three Avilas – Norma, Abraham and David – earned degrees. Norma Avila received an associate degree in bookkeeping and plans to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at CMC.

“Going to college has changed my life and I hope my story helps inspire other parents,” Avila said.

Making fine art is a passion

Cody Andrew first enrolled in CMC classes in 2012 after graduating from Denver Academy, an alternative high school. “I was on my own financially, and I came in without much drive and motivation to finish,” he said.

The first thing Andrew did was secure a full-time job at the Spring Valley campus dining hall. While working toward a degree in graphic arts, he also learned to cook.

In 2015, he left CMC to cook professionally but soon discovered that life in the kitchen left no room for his art, his true calling. So, Andrew returned to CMC to complete his degree in professional photography.

“Having a day job is great, but making fine art is a passion,” he said. “The amenities of the photography department at CMC are the best in the state, and the teachers always pushed me to do better. That’s something I’m going to miss.”

Colorado Mountain College’s 2021 Roaring Fork Commencement included several ceremonies on Friday, May 7 and Saturday, May 8. In total there were four ceremonies held: Colorado Law Enforcement Academy (CLETA), Nursing, Career/Technical Certificates/Degrees, and Associate of Arts/Associate of Science/Associate of General Studies/ Bachelor’s Degrees.

Due to Garfield County COVID-19 restrictions each graduate could invite two guests. Ceremonies were also livestreamed, so those not in attendance could watch live from home.

Phil Dunn works as public information manager for Colorado Mountain College.


Historic Mountain Chalet in downtown Aspen sold to new ownership group

The Mountain Chalet, the oldest owner-built lodge in Aspen, has been sold to a partnership that specializes in boutique hotels and high-end restaurants.

The sale of the 67-year-old hotel on Durant Avenue closed Wednesday for an undisclosed amount. The sale price will become public when the transaction is recorded with the Pitkin County Clerk and Recorder .

The new owners are part of a partnership, led by Zach Kupperman and Larry McGuire.

McGuire is co-founder and managing partner of Austin, Texas-based McGuire Moorman Hospitality. Kupperman is the founder of New Orleans-based Kupperman Companies, which develops and invests in boutique hotels and other real estate assets.

McGuire’s firm, which specializes in the development and management of restaurants and hotels, made its mark on Aspen in 2017 .

Mountain Chalet owner Marian Melville and son Craig Melville, who is the general manager, sit in a room in the lodge in Aspen on Tuesday, March 30, 2021. (Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times)

A guest swims laps in the Mountain Chalet’s heated pool behind the main lodge in Aspen on Tuesday, March 30, 2021. (Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times)

Mountain Chalet owner Marian Melville stands in the back of the lodge in Aspen on Tuesday, March 30, 2021. (Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times)

Snow covers the entrance of the Mountain Chalet in downtown Aspen on Tuesday, March 30, 2021. (Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times)

A caption in The Aspen Times with this image from Feb. 10, 1955, reads: "One of Aspen's newest lodges is the Mountain Chalet which was built last fall by Ralph Melville at the corner of Mill and Durant Streets. Constructed of pumice block, Mountain Chalet has a full basement and two full floors above. Skiers can ski right to the front door since the lodge is located about midway between the chair lift and the Constam T-bar lift."
Courtesy Aspen Historical Society, Ringle Collection

The Mountain Chalet Ski Lodge, seen here in the late summer or fall of 1955, stands alone with some old wooden cabins to the right.
Courtesy Aspen Historical Society, LeMassena Collection

The Mountain Chalet circa 1965 shows the expansion.
Courtesy Aspen Historical Society, Aspen Skiing Co. Collection

A look at the Mountain Chalet with Christmas decorations in 1960.
courtesy Aspen Historical Society, LaVinia Meeks Collection

“Our team has fallen in love with Aspen after opening Clark’s Oyster Bar in the Little Annie’s location,” McGuire said this week. “We hope to continue to help preserve the Aspen spirit while taking on the challenges of renovating and stewarding iconic businesses like the Chalet into the future.”

The Melville family, founders of the Mountain Chalet and the only owners for nearly 70 years, will continue to have some ownership stake in the new partnership and will continue operating the lodge until at least May 2022.

The patriarch of the family, Ralph Melville who passed away in 2016 , built the original lodge in 1954 and opened with three rooms.

He bought the two lots at the base of Aspen Mountain for $2,000 in 1953, and three more parcels in the ensuing years as he continued to build out the lodge to its existing 60 rooms.

The property will be renamed the Aspen Mountain Chalet and will undergo a full renovation, which will include at least two new restaurants.

McGuire said he envisions a traditional alpine restaurant where the lodge’s breakfast room is currently located, and a bar on the fifth floor, which is now used for conference space and community events like memorials and celebrations.

“We want to keep the heart and soul of it being a European-inspired chalet, that’s the goal and what drew us to the project,” McGuire said. “They run it as a very family-oriented chalet but lacks the services and the food and beverage experience that we’re going to bring to it, so I would say it’s going to be a luxury chalet but will retain a lot of its quirk and personality and design features like hand-painted murals, but we are definitely going to trick out the rooms and add (food and beverage).”

Marian Melville, 91, who married Ralph in 1956 when the lodge had eight rooms, said this week the building’s Alps-style design was inspired by a visit to Garmisch, Germany.

“People would ask ‘why did you build it this way?’ and he would say ‘they have these buildings in the Alps and they do very well in the snow,’” she said Tuesday while sitting in the fifth-floor space with her son Craig, who is the lodge manager, and her daughter, Susan.

If the walls could talk

The lodge has a storied history and is one of the last affordable places to stay in Aspen, with room rates this week at $250 a night and in the offseason around $150, Craig said.

For decades, the Mountain Chalet has been the go-to place for ski groups and many skiers who met at the lodge during après wine and cheese gatherings, or the famous Monday gluhwein parties, and began to vacation together here.

“Our guests have been fantastic,” Susan said. “We’ve got an incredible clientele. It’s one of the things that has made running the place pretty nice … they are very forgiving of our quirkiness.”

Marian recalled the time when then-Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara stayed at the lodge during the 1960s.

“We had a switchboard and we had a direct line from the president,” she said. “For a little place like this it was pretty important and very exciting.”

Susan said when she and family members met with McGuire and Kupperman last fall during negotiations, they were assured that the 47,000-square-foot building would be preserved.

“Mom came to the meeting and they were talking about what they were going to do and her question was to them, ‘will you keep what Ralph Melville built?’ and they said ‘our plan is to keep your building’ so that made her heart feel good,” Susan said.

Preserving history

McGuire said the plan is a renovation and rejuvenation of the property and will keep the key count the same as today.

“We’ll keep the same square footage and just play within the building envelope,” he said.

Craig said the lodge’s ownership, of which there are 20 shareholders who are all family members, has received numerous offers to sell over the years but there was never a majority who wanted to let go of the historic property.

But this deal felt right, and since there was no interest from the family’s third generation to operate the lodge in the future, the new partnership was the best path forward, Craig said.

“They came to us, and we actually liked what they had envisioned better than anything we’d seen, and we still said no,” he said, adding that after Kupperman and McGuire’s pitch, a majority of shareholders started agreeing that it was time to sell. “It was not the highest offer we got, but we liked their vision and what they wanted to do with the place.”

The redevelopment team includes Kupperman, McGuire, the Melvilles and partners Elle Florescu, Tom Moorman and Liz Lambert.

The chalet will continue to be independently owned and will be operated by McGuire Moorman Hospitality.

“One of the things we are really looking forward to and has been impressive is seeing how their family for the last 60-odd years has run this, built this and served the Aspen community, and we are looking forward to keeping that tradition alive in a reimagined state and working with them,” Kupperman said. “It’s really an incredible location. It’s an incredible history that the Melville family has built and maintained over the years, and we’re excited to bring it forward and celebrate what they’ve done.”

The Melvilles plan to remain in Aspen and in the hotel industry.

“In addition to remaining partners in the Mountain Chalet Aspen, we are still operating the Cristiana Guesthaus in Crested Butte, which is operated by our niece Hannah Carballo, and the Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs,” Craig said.

They also are looking to acquire other hotels and investment properties with the proceeds from the sale.

“We are actively exploring other properties both in this area and around the country,” Craig added. “We’re getting closer to retirement age, but we’re not there yet.”


Historic Mountain Chalet in downtown Aspen sold to new ownership group

The Mountain Chalet, the oldest owner-built lodge in Aspen, has been sold to a partnership that specializes in boutique hotels and high-end restaurants.

The sale of the 67-year-old hotel on Durant Avenue closed Wednesday for $68 million, according to the Pitkin County Clerk and Recorder .

The new owners are part of a partnership, led by Zach Kupperman and Larry McGuire.

McGuire is co-founder and managing partner of Austin, Texas-based McGuire Moorman Hospitality. Kupperman is the founder of New Orleans-based Kupperman Companies, which develops and invests in boutique hotels and other real estate assets.

McGuire’s firm, which specializes in the development and management of restaurants and hotels, made its mark on Aspen in 2017.

Mountain Chalet owner Marian Melville and son Craig Melville, who is the general manager, sit in a room in the lodge in Aspen on Tuesday, March 30, 2021. (Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times)

A guest swims laps in the Mountain Chalet’s heated pool behind the main lodge in Aspen on Tuesday, March 30, 2021. (Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times)

Mountain Chalet owner Marian Melville stands in the back of the lodge in Aspen on Tuesday, March 30, 2021. (Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times)

Snow covers the entrance of the Mountain Chalet in downtown Aspen on Tuesday, March 30, 2021. (Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times)

A caption in The Aspen Times with this image from Feb. 10, 1955, reads: "One of Aspen's newest lodges is the Mountain Chalet which was built last fall by Ralph Melville at the corner of Mill and Durant Streets. Constructed of pumice block, Mountain Chalet has a full basement and two full floors above. Skiers can ski right to the front door since the lodge is located about midway between the chair lift and the Constam T-bar lift."
Courtesy Aspen Historical Society, Ringle Collection

The Mountain Chalet Ski Lodge, seen here in the late summer or fall of 1955, stands alone with some old wooden cabins to the right.
Courtesy Aspen Historical Society, LeMassena Collection

The Mountain Chalet circa 1965 shows the expansion.
Courtesy Aspen Historical Society, Aspen Skiing Co. Collection

A look at the Mountain Chalet with Christmas decorations in 1960.
courtesy Aspen Historical Society, LaVinia Meeks Collection

“Our team has fallen in love with Aspen after opening Clark’s Oyster Bar in the Little Annie’s location,” McGuire said this week. “We hope to continue to help preserve the Aspen spirit while taking on the challenges of renovating and stewarding iconic businesses like the Chalet into the future.”

The Melville family, founders of the Mountain Chalet and the only owners for nearly 70 years, will continue to have some ownership stake in the new partnership and will continue operating the lodge until at least May 2022.

The patriarch of the family, Ralph Melville who passed away in 2016, built the original lodge in 1954 and opened with three rooms.

He bought the two lots at the base of Aspen Mountain for $2,000 in 1953, and three more parcels in the ensuing years as he continued to build out the lodge to its existing 60 rooms.

The property will be renamed the Aspen Mountain Chalet and will undergo a full renovation, which will include at least two new restaurants.

McGuire said he envisions a traditional alpine restaurant where the lodge’s breakfast room is currently located, and a bar on the fifth floor, which is now used for conference space and community events like memorials and celebrations.

“We want to keep the heart and soul of it being a European-inspired chalet, that’s the goal and what drew us to the project,” McGuire said. “They run it as a very family-oriented chalet but lacks the services and the food and beverage experience that we’re going to bring to it, so I would say it’s going to be a luxury chalet but will retain a lot of its quirk and personality and design features like hand-painted murals, but we are definitely going to trick out the rooms and add (food and beverage).”

Marian Melville, 91, who married Ralph in 1956 when the lodge had eight rooms, said this week the building’s Alps-style design was inspired by a visit to Garmisch, Germany.

“People would ask ‘why did you build it this way?’ and he would say ‘they have these buildings in the Alps and they do very well in the snow,’” she said Tuesday while sitting in the fifth-floor space with her son Craig, who is the lodge manager, and her daughter, Susan.

If the walls could talk

The lodge has a storied history and is one of the last affordable places to stay in Aspen, with room rates this week at $250 a night and in the offseason around $150, Craig said.

For decades, the Mountain Chalet has been the go-to place for ski groups and many skiers who met at the lodge during après wine and cheese gatherings, or the famous Monday gluhwein parties, and began to vacation together here.

“Our guests have been fantastic,” Susan said. “We’ve got an incredible clientele. It’s one of the things that has made running the place pretty nice … they are very forgiving of our quirkiness.”

Marian recalled the time when then-Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara stayed at the lodge during the 1960s.

“We had a switchboard and we had a direct line from the president,” she said. “For a little place like this it was pretty important and very exciting.”

Susan said when she and family members met with McGuire and Kupperman last fall during negotiations, they were assured that the 47,000-square-foot building would be preserved.

“Mom came to the meeting and they were talking about what they were going to do and her question was to them, ‘will you keep what Ralph Melville built?’ and they said ‘our plan is to keep your building’ so that made her heart feel good,” Susan said.

Preserving history

McGuire said the plan is a renovation and rejuvenation of the property and will keep the key count the same as today.

“We’ll keep the same square footage and just play within the building envelope,” he said.

Craig said the lodge’s ownership, of which there are 20 shareholders who are all family members, has received numerous offers to sell over the years but there was never a majority who wanted to let go of the historic property.

But this deal felt right, and since there was no interest from the family’s third generation to operate the lodge in the future, the new partnership was the best path forward, Craig said.

“They came to us, and we actually liked what they had envisioned better than anything we’d seen, and we still said no,” he said, adding that after Kupperman and McGuire’s pitch, a majority of shareholders started agreeing that it was time to sell. “It was not the highest offer we got, but we liked their vision and what they wanted to do with the place.”

The redevelopment team includes Kupperman, McGuire, the Melvilles and partners Elle Florescu, Tom Moorman and Liz Lambert.

The chalet will continue to be independently owned and will be operated by McGuire Moorman Hospitality.

“One of the things we are really looking forward to and has been impressive is seeing how their family for the last 60-odd years has run this, built this and served the Aspen community, and we are looking forward to keeping that tradition alive in a reimagined state and working with them,” Kupperman said. “It’s really an incredible location. It’s an incredible history that the Melville family has built and maintained over the years, and we’re excited to bring it forward and celebrate what they’ve done.”

The Melvilles plan to remain in Aspen and in the hotel industry.

“In addition to remaining partners in the Mountain Chalet Aspen, we are still operating the Cristiana Guesthaus in Crested Butte, which is operated by our niece Hannah Carballo, and the Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs,” Craig said.

They also are looking to acquire other hotels and investment properties with the proceeds from the sale.

“We are actively exploring other properties both in this area and around the country,” Craig added. “We’re getting closer to retirement age, but we’re not there yet.”


Contents

The mine's surface facilities are located in a 9.7-acre (3.9 ha) area enclosed by a chainlink fence off Smuggler Mountain Road (Pitkin County Route 21), on the northeast fringe of Aspen just outside city limits. It is at the base of Smuggler Mountain, at an elevation of 8,000 feet (2,400 m) above sea level. The slopes of the mountain, to the north and east, are intermittently wooded with scrubby evergreen trees, eventually becoming part of White River National Forest, with the shafts of other mines, now defunct, amongst the trees. [3]

Silverlode Drive runs along the southwest, below the mine, leading to an area of large modern houses on the mine's northwest. Directly to the west, with some open space between them and Silverlode, are two rows of attached condominium-style units on Free Silver Court and Nicholas Lane. On the southwest, across Park Circle, are seven tennis courts, buffering a densely developed residential area on their west.

The mine property consists of a lower area at the foot of a large tailings pile, with a large circular unpaved road along which many vehicles and truck trailers are parked. A two-lane road curves around to the north to climb to a small complex of buildings uphill near a smaller tailings pile. Both piles are considered to be contributing resources to the mine's historic character. [4]

At the base of the larger pile is a small corrugated metal building with a gabled roof and a smaller gabled wooden shed. A watchman's trailer is in the woods near the property's northwest corner. At the top is another corrugated metal building with a trailer attached to it and a wooden shed with a gabled roof. They are non-contributing, as is a modern reconstruction of an original wooden ore chute. Next to it is section of track with seven ore cars, two from the Smuggler and five from other mines of the Silver Boom era they are contributing. [4]

The entrance to the original Smuggler Shaft is fenced off just to the north of the base of the larger pile. The Clark Tunnel is near the upper tailings pile. Both are contributing, as are the sandstone blocks that remain from the foundation of the original gallows frame and house near the Clark. The two tunnels lead to 38 underground levels, half of which are flooded. [4]

Although prospectors were aware very early of Smuggler's potential, they were unable to fully exploit it for a variety of reasons until the late 1880s. When they did, it became wildly productive for a few years, until the Panic of 1893 ended the Colorado Silver Boom. The mine remained open, even as miners continued to leave Aspen, until closing in 1917.

1879: Discovery Edit

In the late 1870s, shortly after Colorado became a state, prospectors began crossing the Continental Divide at Independence Pass in search of silver deposits in the Roaring Fork Valley. Many set up their tents about ten miles (16 km) below the pass at the confluence of the Roaring Fork and its tributary Castle Creek, the first area they found suitable for large-scale settlement. It was called Ute City at first for the dominant local Native American tribe, but the prevalence of aspen trees in the forests soon gave it the name it has had ever since. [5]

The first prospectors to find Smuggler, Edward Fuller and Con Allbright, are believed to have sold the claim very soon afterwards for necessary supplies. Details are few since they never officially filed the claim, but it is believed that they arrived in the area sometime during June 1879 from the south, along Maroon Creek. During a forest fire, they lost their blankets and, possibly, their mules. They found the camp of some other prospectors, who resupplied them, and then found what became Smuggler the next day. According to legend, they both sold their halves of the claim to the prospectors who had resupplied them, and then left the area, never to return. [6]

According to legend, Allbright's price for his half included a mule, who supposedly died the next day. A variant has it that another, unnamed prospector discovered Smuggler while hunting deer when an errant shot revealed silver inside a rock he struck, and he sold the claim the next day for $50 and the ill-fated mule. This legend was reported as early as 1881, in the first issue of what has become The Aspen Times, although in that account the mule did not die so quickly. [6]

It is equally unclear how the first recorded claimant, Charles Bennett, came into possession of Smuggler. One report says his party came across the claim around that same time, June 1879, and found it abandoned (which would suggest that prospectors were exploring the valley earlier than is commonly accepted today). This is unlikely because Fuller and Allbright's presence in the area is dated to the same time. Bennett may simply have considered the claim abandoned because it had not been fully developed, even though the required 60 days to file the claim had not yet passed. Bennett's account, in which it was he who named the claim "Smuggler", may be suspect as it omits mention of his partners. [6]

1880–1886: Early years Edit

Bennett added to his mining claims a ranch on the area of the valley floor being used as a camp. In 1880 he sold them all to B. Clark Wheeler and Charles Hallam, who with their partners, among them David Hyman, the Cincinnati man who had first hired them to search for business opportunities in Colorado, formed the Aspen Town and Land Company to survey and plat the 282-acre (114 ha) of ranch land. They subdivided it, named the streets after themselves and sold the lots for $10 ($270 in modern dollars [7] ), an event which brought the city of Aspen into existence. [8]

Hyman eventually assumed control of Smuggler and the neighboring Durant Mine. The vein of silver ore, so pure the silver was visible, that ran through both mines also went into mines owned by Jerome B. Wheeler. No relation to Hyman's former partner, Wheeler, at the time co-chairman of Macy's, had discovered Aspen and its opportunities in 1883, when he moved to Manitou Springs for his wife's health. In the late 1880s, Hyman and Wheeler sued each other over which of them owned the greater rights to the Smuggler node, a legal battle, which captivated the boomtown while tying up money that would otherwise have been used to develop the mines. Legal bills for both parties reached a combined $1.5 million ($43.2 million in modern dollars [7] ), and was settled with the opening of Compromise Mine high up the slopes of what is known today as Aspen Mountain). [9]

1887–1893: Boom years Edit

Their legal differences aside, Hyman and Wheeler collaborated to bring the railroads to Aspen, increasing the value of their holdings and their profits, later in the decade. Smuggler went from a total of $12,414 ($358,000 in modern dollars [7] ) in production for the entire year of 1886 to $1,500 ($43,000 in modern dollars [7] ) in daily production four years later. [9] The onetime legal adversaries would both leave their names on Register-listed buildings in Aspen from the era, the Hyman–Brand Building and Hotel Jerome, Wheeler Opera House and Wheeler–Stallard House respectively.

The passage of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act in 1890, increasing the federal government's required purchase of that metal, contributed considerably to the prosperity of the city, whose population reached its all-time peak that year at over 10,000. The new Compromise Mine produced $11 million ($317 million in modern dollars [7] ) of silver ore. [9] Smuggler produced one-fifth of the world's silver. [2] The mines also produced lead and zinc, as well as the coal that heated and lit the city in wintertime, at the price of covering it with a sulfurous haze. [10] For a time in the early 1890s Aspen was producing even more silver than Leadville. [11] Smuggler employed over 200 miners. [12]

That prosperity came to an end in 1893. In the wake of that year's economic crisis, Congress repealed the Sherman Silver Purchase Act. With that, the price dropped, and many of Aspen's mines had to close. Smuggler ceased most operations and laid off 70 of its miners. [13]

1894–1917: Post-boom years Edit

At first it looked as if the bad times would be temporary. In 1894 the largest silver nugget ever was mined from Smuggler's depths. Originally, it weighed 2,340 pounds (1,060 kg), but was too large to be brought from the mine intact. It was broken into three pieces, the largest weighing 1,840 pounds (830 kg). [1] The price of silver began to rise slightly in 1895, due to China's agreement to pay its reparations for the First Sino-Japanese War in that metal, at an amount larger than it was expected would be available on the international markets. [14] In 1897 a fire caused the lower levels to flood. To get the pumps operating again, deep-sea divers were hired to go and repack them. [15]

By 1900 business seemed to be improving. Smuggler produced about 250 short tons (230 t) of low-grade ore daily. It was not what it had been during the boom, but it was steady. Even after the price of silver dropped to even lower levels in 1902, the mine announced it would be doubling its workforce and leasing out two other, smaller, closed mines it owned. A local newspaper predicted "The Return of the Good Times" the following year. [16]

But Aspen's mines never completely turned around. The flooding almost closed Smuggler down in summer 1904, and it took a group effort by all the mine owners to keep its pumps on and prevent it. [16] As of 1905 300 miners were still working at Smuggler. [4] But the city's population continued to decline, and at the 1910 census it was down to around 2,000, less than a half of what it had officially been during the boom's peak. In 1912 Smuggler's miners briefly went on strike over a wage cut to the timbermen and their helpers. [17]

It was settled within two weeks, with a partial restoration of the reduction. While in its peak years the hard rock mining at Smuggler had been dangerous enough to kill a miner roughly once a month, [10] and the miners had organized in response, becoming one of the founding locals of the Western Federation of Miners union, Smuggler and Aspen generally avoided the kind of violent labor unrest, such as the Ludlow massacre, that characterized such disputes elsewhere in the state during this period. The miners who had remained from the boom years were more solidly established in the community, and had an incentive to keep what had become Aspen's largest employer running. Therefore, they often worked closely with the mine owners toward that end. [17]

More silver had been mined after 1893 than before, yet the industry could not sustain itself forever. In the years after the strike the cost of pumping out the mine cut into the Smuggler's profits and discouraged further investment. In 1917 Smuggler reached the bottom of the vein that had been the mine's main source of ore to that point. While there might have been other sources in the area that could have been worked, David Hyman decided to shut down the mine, as much because of a dispute over rates with the owner of the local electric utility as because of the shortage of ore. [18]

Although Hyman continued to lease out the mine's upper levels to any willing concern, the effect of the mine's closure was economically disastrous for the community. The period since the boom's end in 1893 had become known as "the quiet years" with Smuggler shut down, the 1920s, prosperous in much of the rest of the country, became quieter still. Many of the mine's original buildings either collapsed from neglect, or were dismantled for their building materials. [4] Aside from the little mining remaining, there was only farming and ranching in the area. By 1930, less than a thousand people were living in Aspen. [18]

1918–present: Mining in a post-mining Aspen Edit

Mining resumed at Smuggler after World War II as the city's decline finally reversed, but not because of the mine. In the late 1930s, some leftover mining equipment had been used to create the first primitive ski lift up crude trails on Aspen Mountain across the valley. After the war it had been replaced with Ski Lift No. 1, the longest chairlift in the world at that time. Its opening ceremony, in 1947, drew one of the state's U.S. senators and its governor-elect. [19] The quiet years were over, [20] and a new industry was replacing mining. The mine's original buildings had not survived the long years of neglect, so new buildings were constructed on the site after 1950 of wood and metal that was generally salvaged from other abandoned mines in the area. [21] Timber taken from the demolished 1885 Kit Carson stage stop in the city was used to build the wooden shop at the top of the lower pile. [4]

Aspen continued to grow again, becoming a popular destination for corporate executives and celebrities through the 1960s and '70s. In 1981 soil samples taken by a college student doing a study of soil nutrients showed elevated levels of lead and cadmium on the mountain. As these were hazardous waste from the mining operations in the area, the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was notified and mining stopped pending its investigation. [22] The following year Hyman's descendants sold the mine's operating rights to Stefan Albouy, a mining enthusiast who hoped to make it productive and profitable again. [23] He instituted a tradition of firing a cannon from the mine at 6 a.m. every Independence Day (July 4), continuing a similar tradition from the earlier mining era where explosives would be set off at that time. It is sometimes discharged on other special occasions, such as touchdowns scored by the high school football team. [24]

During the next two years the EPA, in conjunction with the developer of the nearby Hunter Creek Condominiums, took further samples of the affected soil. It began a feasibility study for possible remediation efforts. [25] In 1986, over the strenuous objection of many local residents, [26] it added the mine and mountain to its National Priorities List (NPL), making it eligible for cleanup under the Superfund program. [22]

Despite the ongoing cleanup efforts, in which the EPA eventually removed soil from the area, Albouy was able to restore the mine to functionality, but he and his partners struggled financially. Silver was trading at even lower levels than it had earlier in the century, and he was rarely able to turn a profit. The mine had to run tours. He later acquired Compromise as well, and after some battles with the county was able to operate it and run tours there as well. [23]

Frustrated with how his plans had largely failed, Albouy killed himself in 1992. [23] The mine was later acquired by two of Albouy's partners, Aspen natives Chris Preusch and Jay Parker. Honoring his wish, they formed the New Smuggler Mining Corporation and continued mining and guiding tours. [1] [10]

In 1999, the EPA judged the remediation successful and removed the mine and mountain from the NPL. It continues to monitor the situation, producing reports every five years. [22] Thirteen years later, in 2012, Parker and Preusch were forced by the majority of shareholders to put the mine up for sale, listing it with Sotheby's for $9.5 million. A new owner has the option of continuing to operate the mine, which is estimated to contain 890,000 pounds (400,000 kg) of recoverable silver, or shutting it down for good. Should it choose the latter, New Smuggler has posted a bond for the cleanup of the site. [1]


Watch the video: TV Production at the X Games Aspen (August 2022).