ASPEN, Colo. Hunter S. Thompson, the famous writer, ran for sheriff of Pitkin County in 1968, attempting to overthrow what The Aspen Times now says was a "traditional small-town, red-necked law enforcement style."
Thompson lost the race. However, one of his chief collaborators, Dick Keinast, who was to have been undersheriff to Thompson, did get elected in 1976. Once in office, Keinasts "humanistic" approach caused the crew-cut men in uniforms to be steadily replaced by longer-haired people wearing jeans who attended feel-good symposiums put on by John Denver. Rather than career law-enforcement officers, Keinast wanted people from all walks of life as deputies.
Kienast, who recently died of complications from heart bypass surgery, stayed in office until 1986, when he was replaced by one of his longer-haired recruits, Bob Braudis, Braudis remains as sheriff, carrying on in much the same spirit as Kienast. The current undersheriff is also a Keinast recruit. And still another deputy hired during Kienasts tenure, Fred Gannett, later became judge of adjoining Eagle County and is now presiding in the Kobe Bryant case.
So, in a way, Hunter Thompson won.
As sheriff, Keinast was known as "Dick Dove and the Deputies of Love." He appeared on the national television program "60 Minutes" to explain why he would not co-operate with federal drug agents. National attention was also focused on Keinast when, soon into his first term, the serial killer Ted Bundy escaped from a second-story window in the courthouse in Aspen. Bundy was caught eight days later.
Ski tour operators report major gains
MOUNTAIN VILLAGE, Colo. - The Ski Tour Operators Association met slope-side at Telluride in late March, and the polling of members suggests nearly all the larger destination ski resorts in the West gained this winter.
Aspen was among the largest gainers. Also gaining were Vail, Telluride, Steamboat, and Winter Park. So did Jackson Hole, Sun Valley, Big Sky Park City and Whistler or at least thats what the ski tour companies were telling The Aspen Times.
But unlike the gains of 25 to 30 per cent at Aspen and elsewhere, Colorados Summit County seemed to decline. The speculation reported by The Aspen Times was that consumers didnt want to go to the Summit County resorts, because of the crowds from the Front Range. Ironically, the crowds from the Front Range were significantly down this year, because the snow wasnt very good.
As for why Aspen did so well this year? The Aspen Times reports that hoteliers seem to have adjusted their rates downward. The same thing happened in Breckenridge and in Vail in the wake of 9/11, and lodging rates this year didnt march back up.