I’ve been getting calls almost every day asking me what the vibe is like in Aspen these days. We’re starting to get back to the picturesque summer in Aspen vibe that people are craving, as the community and economy open up based on Pitkin County’s Roadmap to Recovery. All in all, the vibe around here is still very positive!

Local Business Right-of-Way Expansion

One step in the right direction is currently being passed by the Aspen City Council. The new initiative will allow local businesses to expand outdoor services that will help with social distancing while not hindering the quantity of people they can serve. Aspen restaurants and retail shops will have the opportunity to utilize public “right-of-way” street space. As of Monday afternoon, they are already accepting applications from any local businesses who want to start implementing their expanded outdoor service plans.

Until further notice, dine-in service at restaurants will continue to stay limited in order keep customers more socially distant. Now, they will be able to use the streets, sidewalks and parking areas in front of their establishments. Some blocks may be granted a full street closure, which would only retain a 20-foot wide access lane for emergency response vehicles. Other streets might only have partial closures with concrete barriers set up to denote business private business space versus public walking and driving lanes.

How Long Will Street Closures Be in Effect?

As of now, this plan is geared toward the summer season when we have a lot of visitors and outdoor dining makes more sense. By early October, the barriers would be removed and things would return to how they were before the outdoor expansions. Of course, it’s impossible to predict what anything will be like in another few months, so all businesses and community leaders are doing the best they can to continually adapt given the COVID-19 situation.

“This is going to be a program that evolves,” said Aspen Mayor Torre.

A Popular Trend

We are seeing similar outdoor expansion concepts being discussed and implemented in cities all over the country. Basalt has already started started a similar program. Miami Beach has already closed Ocean Drive and other major streets to help local businesses. Towns everywhere from California to the East Coast are exploring this idea, as well.

Even though it might make driving through certain parts of town more difficult and parking will also be less plentiful, I think this is a good idea to inject some new life into the local stores and restaurants that have experienced so many struggles these past few months. As our summer population arrives back in residence, this will hopefully allow the service and options people appreciate. Meanwhile, it will help keep people spread out.

Positive Vibes

So, getting back to the original question… I think the vibe of Aspen is as good as it can be, all things considered. I, for one, am looking forward to enjoying some more outdoor dining and visiting my favorite local hotspots this summer!

What do you think about this new initiative? I’d love to hear from you. And of course, if you have any Aspen/Snowmass real estate questions, I’m here to help. Call me today at (970) 366-0891 or email me at  brittanie@brittanierockhill.com

Brittanie Rockhill
Aspen Real Estate

brittanierockhill.com
DRE # FA.100019229

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