Aspen Special Events & Marketing » Policies & Documents

Download Policy

About the Special Events & Marketing Department

The Special Events Department both produces and permits special events in the City of Aspen that not only benefit event participants but also promote and market Aspen’s vitality to our community and its visitors. Our goal is to instill a sense of pride and excellence in the City’s cultural uniqueness, and in its dedication for maintaining the joy and beauty that is Aspen.

If you are looking to host an event in Aspen, the Special Events Department is here to guide you through the special event permitting process. It is our goal to assist event organizers in planning safe and fun events that remain consistent with our special events principals and policies.

Special Event Definition

Generally speaking, special events bring a group of people together in one or more locations for a limited period of time for a particular activity. A special event is defined as any enterprise or activity held upon public property (or impacting public property) for a limited period of time, for which any of the following is true:

1) City expenditures are contemplated or deemed necessary by the City to maintain public health, safety and welfare
2) A temporary land use approval is needed (including events using private property in a manner that varies from its currently permitted use)
3) Impacts on the site or surrounding area will occur (including but not limited to visual, noise or environmental impacts)

Impacts to Public Property:

Concerts, sporting events held in City parks or using City streets or trails, parades, and outdoor art shows are all examples of special events. “Impacts to public property” include, but are not limited to, impacts on:

Essential public services (emergency services, fire, police, transportation), parks, sidewalks, and roads.

Codes:

City code section 14.20.070 should be consulted for the legal definition of special events. In addition, Section 26.450 of the Code defines temporary land uses.

Event Classifications - Overview

Special Events area classified in large measure by their potential for impacts on the community. The application and review requirements for events change, depending upon the classification of the event. These changes include, but may not be limited to:
Deadlines for application submission
Process for application review
Documentation requirements
Potentially, other requirements such as insurance, bonding and inspection requirements

You can learn more about each of the event classification and their classification triggers by following the links below:

Administrative Approvals:
Small Events that don't meet any of the triggers for a Minor, Moderate or Major Event. These tent to occur over a single day and don't impact public services.

Major Events:
Tend to have several thousand participants, span multiple days, or have a significant impact on essential public services such as transportation, police and emergency services.

Minor Events:
Tend to be smaller in size but still impact major public services by closing a street, diverting traffic, or involves the use of private property requiring land use approval.

Moderate Events:
Tend to have more than 1000 attendees, use public property, close streets, serve alcohol, or impact transportation and parking.

The City will classify events based upon the presence of certain triggers, and they will always be placed according to the highest level of trigger present. For instance, if even one of the triggers for a Major Event is present, the event will be classified as a Major Event.

Special Event Permit Turnaround Times

The application turnaround times will depend upon the nature and classification of your event. The following times are meant to serve as a reference only and are our estimates. Review times can vary due to a variety of circumstances. Please use these estimated turnaround times to effectively plan your event and review.

Major Event Type: 120 Days

Moderate Event Type: 90 Days

Minor Event Type: 30 Days

Administrative Approval: 14 Days

Special Event Principles

Special events held in the City of Aspen will make a positive community contribution.

Events will:

Be consistent with the Aspen philosophy, contributing to growth in mind, body and spirit.
Take precautions to protect the health and safety of participants, residents, businesses and visitors.
Not adversely affect the long-term viability of permanent businesses.
Avoid disruptions to other community events and activities held at the same time.
Build upon and support existing Aspen community assets when possible.
Seek to minimize adverse impacts on neighborhoods and essential public services.
Create a positive experience for visitors and residents.
Be consistent with community needs and priorities.

Special Event Policies

1) The City requires special event applicants to demonstrate they have the capacity and experience necessary to successfully carry out the event they propose. Applicants must have a proven track record of successfully hosting special events, or must be able to otherwise demonstrate their capability to host a successful special event.

2) The City requires special event applicants to demonstrate they have the financial resources necessary to carry out their event successfully.

3) The City requires special events applicants to demonstrate they have taken steps to mitigate potential harm, negative impacts on essential public services and liability associated with their event. To that end, applicants must:
Provide adequate insurance and bonding for their events.
Provide adequate event design, security services, emergency services, transportation services and other services and precautions necessary to support a safe event with minimal negative impacts upon the community.

4) The City requires applicants to seek out and coordinate with others who may be hosting events or activities elsewhere in the community at the same time.

5) The City will have a preference for special events who use local suppliers to the extent reasonable. Local suppliers include for-profit and non-profit businesses located 1) within Aspen or 2) within the Roaring Fork Valley.

6) The City requires special events to be in keeping with community norms regarding event saturation. In determining whether events have reached the saturation level, the City will consider criteria such as the number and size of events scheduled within a particular time frame, noise, the season, the likelihood of disruption of normal transportation patterns and the level of other activities going on in the City at the same time. In addition, the City will consider whether proposed events are intended to enhance the experience of visitors who are already here, or whether they are intended to bring in an influx of additional visitors.

7) The City requires applicants to comply with special events approval processes and requirements, including:
The securing of special event and other required permits prior to the time the event is held.
Completion of all required inspections.
Resolution of issues that may arise as a result of inspections.
Participation in after-action review.

City Sponsored Events

The City of Aspen Special Events staff is dedicated to producing unique events throughout the year that appeal to a wide variety of visitors and locals alike. We invite you to browse our event site to find out more information about each of these fun-filled opportunities! Visit aspenspecialevents.com to learn more.

Open Space Rental Policy for Special Events

Open space properties such as Cozy Point and Marolt Open Space are considered separately from parks and other city-owned facilities in regards to hosting special events.

Future management plans currently under development for open spaces such as Cozy Point will address special event use in more detail in that management plan.

All special event requests related to open spaces would require the review and approval of Staff, the special event committee, the City of Aspen Open Space & Trails Board (OSTB) and Aspen Valley Land Trust (AVLT) when appropriate.

Special Event Parking Space Rentals

The following parameters outline the Parks Department's policies on renting parking places in front of stores for event purposes:

Parking is open except for holiday blackout dates.

Blackout dates include all dates through Labor Day weekend (so the option to reserve spaces would only be available after Labor Day) and all holidays.

Reserving parking spaces for events is not an option to for restaurants.

For a store to rent a parking space for an event, either a front door or window must face the requested parking spaces.

No food or alcohol is allowed outside (in the parking spaces).

Available space is limited to 2 adjacent parking spaces.

Events cannot last more than 3 hours. Weekdays and evenings are preferred.

All outside displays must be a sampling of what the store sells and contain full merchandise displays or racks.

Use of Parks & City Owned Facilities for Special Events

Staff's highest priority is to ensure that the general public has substantial access to park an public facilities.

The calendar of events for Parks and City Owned Facilities includes certain blackout dates (June 23rd - 1st week of August) each year. These dates were chosen for the blackout period because they are the busiest occupancy time for Aspen, and there are currently historical events on the calendar that use the parks during this time. Due to existing heavy use during this time, staff feels that additional use should be limited so that the parks can be used for general public enjoyment. If a user group highly desires to host a special event during the blackout period, staff has the option to approve the event at double the cost, provided the event does not negatively impact park health.

Major holidays are non-negotiable blackout dates as well since the town is already at maximum capacity on these dates and cannot absorb further use. In addition, all holidays will be event free except for the 4th of July.

All current park special events and long standing community events (Ducky Derby, Motherlode...etc.) are grandfathered in, however, staff retains the right to rotate parks as they see fit.

Parks staff has the authority to give priority status to short term (defined as lasting two days of less, including setup/breakdown), local events in regards to determining scheduling and location within facilities and parks.

Priority will also be given to community events involving locals gathering together in enjoyment of the parks as opposed to corporate sponsored events. Events that are good for the community, or have a community benefit, or a community health impact would also receive higher priority.

Local low impact events for non-profit groups will not be charged any parks use permit fees (park rental fees) unless they request exclusive use of the park.

Staff is in charge of determining which events best meet the public's needs, which parks work best for an event, and how to best protect the sustainability of each park.

Anytime a park is impacted for more than four days, City Council approval is required.

Covenant Not to Sue and Assumption of Risk

Please read carefully before signing. This is a legally binding agreement.

Through your purchase of the activities and use of the facilities as referenced herein, you agree to all the terms and conditions contained herein and give up your right to bring a course of action to recover compensation or obtaining any remedy for any injury to yourself of your property or for your death, however caused, arising out of your participation in the activities referenced herein or in use of City of Aspen facilities, now or anytime in the future.

Acknowledgement of Risk

I hereby acknowledge and agree that the activities referenced herein and the use of associated City facilities for those activities has inherent risks, including the risk of serious injury, paralysis and death. I have full knowledge of the nature and extent of all risks associated with my use and participation of the activities referenced herein and the use of City owned facilities.

Release/Indemnification

In consideration of my participation in the activities referenced herein and the use of City owned facilities, I, the subscribing user and participant, agree to release and on behalf of myself, my heirs, representatives, executors, administrators and assigns HEREBY DO RELEASE, the City of Aspen, its officers, agents, sponsors and employees from cause of action, claims, or demands of any nature whatsoever, including, but not limited to, a claim of negligence, which I, my heirs, representatives, executors, administrators and assigns may now have, or have in the future on account of personal injury, property damage, death or accident of any kind, arising out of or in any way related to my participation in the activities referenced herein or in the use of City owned facilities, whether that participation or use is supervised or unsupervised, however the injury of damage caused, including, but not limited to, the negligence of the City of Aspen, its officers, agents and employees. In consideration of my participation and use of City owned facilities, I ,the subscribing user and participant, agree to indemnify and hold harmless the City of Aspen, its officers, agents and employees from any and all causes of action, claims, demands, losses or costs of any nature whatever arising out of or in any way related to my participation or use of City owned facilities. The terms of this Agreement shall be in full force and effect on the date hereof, the date(s) upon which I participate in the activities referenced herein, and on any other occasion when I may participate or use City owned facilities to participate in the activities referenced herein.

Department Vision & Philosophy

Vision

To preserve, enhance and provide access to our recreational facilities, parks, open space and trails.

Philosophy

Scenic views of the natural environment are one of the community’s greatest assets and the reason many people choose to visit or make the Aspen area their home. Maintaining and improving easy access to public lands throughout the UGB is equally important.

The City and County have made great strides in the acquisition of open space during the last 40 years. The further acquisition of open space parcels should focus on wildlife habitat, the protection of scenic resources, trail connectivity and recreational uses.

The City and County have dramatically expanded the regional trails network in recent decades. Further trail development should focus on connections between existing trails to further improve this outstanding network for the purpose of supporting an outdoor lifestyle, easy access to outlying public lands and to provide increased opportunities for the use of trails by commuters in both summer and winter.

The City’s recreation programs and facilities have become a valuable asset for year-round residents as well as building on the community’s reputation as a center for high quality recreation. These programs and facilities must be constantly reassessed and revitalized in order to maintain one of the most valued features of the Aspen area.

Privacy and Cookies Policy

Collecting your personal information helps the Aspen Parks & Recreation Department (APR) to better understand what you need from us. We use your information to:

  • Manage and improve the Website.
  • Personalize our services to you.
  • Administer and operate your account.
  • Process your orders.
  • Tell you about important changes to the Website and our services.
  • Understand your shopping behaviour to develop and improve our products and services.
  • Manage promotions, competitions, customer surveys and questionnaires.
  • Check and verify your identity, and prevent or detect crime.

We may share your personal information across the Aspen Parks & Recreation Department (APR) so we can provide you with relevant products and services.

Your personal information is safe with us and will never be released to companies or organizations outside of APR.

We may use and share anonymised information outside of APR. However, we would like to reassure you that this never includes your personal information.

AspenRecreation.com ("the Website"), and AspenParks.com, AspenGolf.com, AspenIce.org, and/or AspenParksandRec.com, etc. ("the Portals") are owned and operated by The Aspen Parks & Recreation Department (APR) of the City of Aspen, located in Aspen, Colorado. This policy, together with our Terms and Conditions, explain how APR may use information we collect about you, as well as your rights over any personal information we hold about you. Please read this policy and our Terms and Conditions carefully; by accessing the Website you confirm to have understood and agreed to them.

Information we collect about you

We collect information about you when you:

  • Visit the Website, and other sites accessible from the Website.
  • Register with and/or buy any passes, classes, events, products or services on the Website.
  • Take part in promotions, competitions, customer surveys and questionnaires.
  • Contact us eg in writing, call customer services.

We may supplement the information we collect about you with information we receive from other sources eg public registers such as the electoral roll. This allows us to assess the accuracy of the information we hold about you in order to send you relevant offers and information.

Using your information

Collecting your personal information helps APR to better understand what you need from us. We use your information to:

  • Manage and improve the Website.
  • Personalize our services to you.
  • Administer and operate your account.
  • Process your orders.
  • Tell you about important changes to the Website and our services.
  • Understand your shopping behaviour to develop and improve our products and services.
  • Manage promotions, competitions, customer surveys and questionnaires.

We may share your personal information across the APR Department so that we can provide you with relevant products and services. Your personal information is safe with us and will never be released to companies outside of APR.

We may use and share anonymised information outside of APR. However, we would like to reassure you that this never includes your personal information.

Fun Pass (Membership Card) information

We access the information recorded through the use of your Fun Pass (Membership Card) to help us improve our service to you and to make our communications more relevant.

Marketing and research

If you agree, we may contact you:

  • With offers and information about APR products or services
  • With offers and information about APR partners' products or services
  • For customer research eg to help improve our services

Of course, the choice is entirely yours, but if you say you do not want to receive marketing information from us this will prevent you from receiving great offers or promotions that may be of interest to you.

When you register online you can access a "Contact Preferences" page that allows you to tailor our communications to your preferences. To change your contact preferences simply click "Your Account" in the top frame and click "Your Contact Preferences". If you do not want to receive communications from us, select your choices by using the boxes available on that page.

We like to hear your views to help us improve our service. From time to time, we may contact you to ask your opinions. Again, if you do not want to be contacted for this purpose, make your choice on the "Contact Preferences" page.

Cookies

In order to comply with new rules, we use a system of classifying the different types of cookies which we use on the Website. The classification explains more about which cookies we use, why we use them, and the functionality you will lose if you decide you don't want to have them on your device. Please be reassured that we are always working on privacy and cookie-related improvements to the Website.

What is a cookie?

Cookies are text files containing small amounts of information which are downloaded to your personal computer, mobile or other device when you visit a website. Cookies are then sent back to the originating website on each subsequent visit, or to another website that recognizes that cookie. Cookies are useful because they allow a website to recognize a user's device.

Persistent Cookies - These cookies remain on a user's device for the period of time specified in the cookie. They are activated each time that the user visits the website that created that particular cookie.

Session Cookies - these cookies allow website operators to link the actions of a user during a browser session. A browser session starts when a user opens the browser window and finishes when they close the browser window. Session cookies are created temporarily. Once you close the browser, all session cookies are deleted.

Cookies do lots of different jobs, like letting you navigate between pages efficiently, remembering your preferences, and generally improve the user experience. They can also help to ensure that adverts you see online are more relevant to you and your interests.

You can find more information about cookies at allaboutcookies.org

Cookies used on the Website

A list of all the cookies used on the Website by category is set out below.

Strictly necessary cookies

These cookies enable services you have specifically asked for. For those types of cookies that are strictly necessary, no consent is required.

These cookies are essential in order to enable you to move around the Website and use its features, such as accessing secure areas of the Website. Without these cookies services you have asked for, like online purchases via our shopping cart, cannot be provided.

Functionality cookies

These cookies remember choices you make to improve your experience. By using the Website, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device.

These cookies allow the Website to remember choices you make (such as your user name, language or the region you are in) and provide enhanced, more personal features. These cookies can also be used to remember changes you have made to text size, fonts and other parts of web pages that you can customise. They may also be used to provide services you have asked for such as watching a video or commenting on a blog. The information these cookies collect may be anonymised and they cannot track your browsing activity on other websites.

Targeting cookies

These cookies collect information about your browsing habits in order for us to make offers that are relevant to you and your interests.

These cookies are used to determine information relevant to you and your interests. They are also used to limit the number of times you see any of our offers, as well as help measure the effectiveness of an offering campaign.

Using browser settings to manage cookies

The Help menu on the menu bar of most browsers will tell you how to prevent your browser from accepting new cookies, how to have the browser notify you when you receive a new cookie and how to disable cookies altogether. You can also disable or delete similar data used by browser add-ons, such as Flash cookies, by changing the add-on's settings or visiting the website of its manufacturer.

However, because cookies allow you to take advantage of some of the Website's essential features, we recommend you leave them turned on. For example, if you block or otherwise reject cookies you will not be able to add items to your Shopping Cart, proceed to Checkout, or use any of our products and services that require you to Sign in. If you leave cookies turned on, remember to sign off when you finish using a shared computer.

Disclosing your information

We will never disclose your information to anyone outside APR except where we have your consent or where we are required or permitted to do so by law.

Other websites

The Website may contain links to other sites which are outside our control and not covered by this policy. The operators of these sites may collect information from you that will be used by them in accordance with their policy, which may differ from ours.

Changes to our policy

This policy replaces all previous versions and is correct as of November 2014. We reserve the right to change the policy at any time.

Contacting us

If you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected]

Last update: 11/11/2014

Refund Policy

Patron must present a receipt in order to be considered eligible for a refund.

Refunds for a daily admission purchase will only be given on the same day of purchase.

Cash refunds will only be given if the patron presents a receipt with cash as the original payment method and if the refund is requested on the same day of purchase.

Refunds onto the customer's original credit card must be requested and processed within 120 days of the original purchase to abide by industry standard credit card practices. If a refund is necessary past the 120 day mark, customers will receive a credit on their account to be used toward future purchases. 

A supervisor must approve of all refunds of memberships before they are processed.

Membership extensions due to injury or illness will only be given once we are provided with a doctor’s note explaining that the injury or illness prevented the guest from using our facility.

Membership refunds due to a sudden move out of the valley will only be given once we receive proof of the move such as a lease or offer of employment in the new location.

Credit on a customer's account resulting from a refund is non-transferable. The credit can only be used by individuals within that account.