Aspen loses one of its iconic locals, one who had more impact than just locally.
He packed a lot of life into his 85 years, 48 of those living in Aspen, more specifically Woody Creek. Bob Beattie, former men’s coach of the CU and US Ski Teams, who co-founded the World Cup and went on to become an important broadcaster, died on Easter Sunday at his son’s house in Fruita, after several health battles. He was 85.
Beattie, from Vermont, admitted he wasn’t a great ski racer himself, but he always wanted to be a coach. He actually began coaching small-college football. He led the CU and US Ski Teams in the late 50’s & early 60’s. Among his athletes, racers who joined him in becoming legendary… like Jimmie Heuga, Spider Sabich, and the man who went on to be the face of Steamboat, Billy Kidd…
Yes, they did… Kidd took the silver and Heuga the bronze in the men’s slalom in the ’64 Olympics. Marolt later coached the Buffs to 7 NCAA titles, also coached the US team, and in the 80’s & 90’s was CU Athletic Director. Wrapping up the World Cup’s golden anniversary season last year, right at home in Aspen, Beattie told KSNO that the Finals being here and annual races like Beaver Creek’s Birds of Prey were the kinds of things he and Serge Lang were shooting for back in 1966…
Beattie not only became iconic announcing the Olympics and other races with Frank Gifford in the 70’s & 80’s, and hosting his Sunday morning “Ski World” show, he was active here in the valley, starting the Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard club’s race programs for the youngest kids. He always felt snow sports should be open to everyone, regardless of finances. He was enshrined in the local Aspen Hall of Fame in 2004. Bob Beattie, gone at 85. His family says they’re working to put together a public memorial to Bob, likely not right away, but later this year. We’ll keep you updated on that, right here.
Other headlines this morning…
This was happening late Monday at the statehouse in Denver, so stay tuned for potential updates. But the Republican Senate may have bowed to pressure from the Democrats, to debate a resolution to expel Senator Randy Baumgardner from that chamber for multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment. Baumgardner, part of whose district includes Garfield County, is accused of grabbing and slapping a former aide’s backside more than once during the session 2 years ago. After the House booted former Representative Steve Lebsock last month, Senate President Kevin Grantham called the case against Baumgardner closed. With a Republican majority, it’s not considered likely that 23 votes in the 35-member Senate could be pulled together between the 2 parties to boot Baumgardner. But Democrats may consider it a victory to even have a floor debate on the possibility.
The Aspen Times reports that ACRA, the Aspen Chamber Resort Association, has locked into its new location. For more than 20 years, the chamber that also handles tourism marketing had been housed in the Rio Grande Plaza building where the local parking garage is now. It had to leave since that’s where the new city government offices are expected to go. ACRA’s successfully made the move a little way north on Mill Street, in November of last year. It went to the “Old Power House,” which actually was the city’s first electrical generating facility, right on the Roaring Fork River, back in the 19th century.
We’ll remind you again– be sure to get those municipal election ballots turned in to your town clerk’s office today. Don’t drop them in the mail, too late for that. They’ll need to be in the clerk’s hands by 7:00 tonight in order to be counted. The valley towns conducting votes today are Basalt, Carbondale, New Castle, and Silt.
The news is brought to you by the Castle Creek Bridge/Hallam Street Improvement Project at the entrance to Aspen. The work began Monday, and conitinues into June, then picks up again in August, going into October. To help figure out exactly where you want to go and when, look up every bit of information there is on the project at castle creek bridge dot com.