Hope, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit

Businesses owners, employees and even industries are innovating in the wake of the COVID-19. In our community, we have seen great creativity in the time of crisis – from offering take-out, curbside pick-up and delivery, to online fitness via Zoom and even ways to make personal protective equipment (PPEs) last longer.

We encourage you to do what you can to give back, help others or solve a problem through new means. Here is a collection of imaginative ideas from the valley and beyond.

Aspen Skiing Co / Aspen Snowmass – Chamber member

Food Giveaway

In need of groceries? Stop by our Market Style Food Giveaway tomorrow, March 20 at the base of Buttermilk from 10am-2pm. Fresh vegetables, milk and dairy products, whole fruits and more will be available. Please bring your own bags and adhere to social distancing rules while attending.

Posted by Aspen Snowmass on Thursday, March 19, 2020

Making the most out of a closure with a food giveaway

With the mountain closed, Aspen Skiing Company will host a Market Style Food Giveaway on March 20 at the base of Buttermilk. Fresh vegetables, milk and dairy products, whole fruits and more will be available. 

Earlier, the independent restaurant Gwyn’s High Alpine ended its final season on a philanthropic note. Despite their disappointment of not being able to celebrate the beloved restaurant’s final season the way they envisioned, the family felt it important to end on as positive a note as possible by portioning out its leftover food for its employees and the village community.

Gwyn, Whitney and George said the restaurant’s food also is being dispersed to other Aspen-Snowmass area pickup locations, and that they were more than happy to donate their food to the community they love so much.

“Forty-one years was a great run and we felt this was the most positive thing we could do to end and to help our own,” George said.

Full story: ‘The best run’: Gwyn’s High Alpine family donates food to community to cap final season via The Aspen Times

Valley View Hospital – Chamber member

Extending the life of N-95 masks with repurposed protective materials (and a sewing machine)

Nurses Brady Heuer and Kristen Dirksen knew personal protective equipment would be crucial to keeping medical staff safe during likely exposure to the new coronavirus. They also knew it would be in short supply. So, they came up with an idea.

“We were sitting there and thinking, wait a minute, this item that we use on a daily basis is readily available to us, how can we use this?” Heuer said.

That item was blue wrap cloth used in operating rooms to protect sterilized surgical tools from bacteria and airborne contaminants before surgery.

Full story: Valley View Hospital nurses prepare for COVID-19 with sewing machines via The Post Independent.

Marble Distilling Co (and others) 

Small batch spirits to small batch 75% ABV hand sanitizer

Around the state, Colorado-Proud distillers are mixing up a different type of alcohol-based product – hand sanitizer. There are shortages across the United States and seeing the need, distillers are doing their part by providing a necessary tool in the fight against COVID-19, outfitting the community, as well as those in health care on the front lines, with a quick alternative to handwashing.

Full story: Colorado distilleries switch to making hand sanitizer, and they’re giving it away free via The Denver Post.

And beyond

Steele Canvas Basket – Chelsea, MA

American manufacturer ready to repurpose antimicrobial materials and workers


Netflix Party

Movie night with a twist in a world of social distancing

There is a new free extension for Google Chrome browsers named Netflix Party that allows you to watch Netflix with your friends online. Netflix Party synchronizes video playback and adds group chat to your favorite Netflix shows.

Full story: How to have a Netflix Party via The Los Angeles Times.

Open Source Ventilator (OSV) Ireland

Creating a backup option for ventilators with easy-to-assemble 3D printed technology

The idea for the open source ventilator project arose after Gui Cavalcanti, co-founder and chief executive of Silicon Valley-based company Breeze Automation, posted on social media asking for experts to collaborate to develop much-needed medical equipment that could be built quickly and cheaply. Some 300 computer engineers, scientists, doctors and researchers are now involved in projects globally.

OSV Ireland was formed by Colin Keogh, Conall Laverty & David Pollard, with the goal of building a focused team in Ireland to begin development of a Field Emergency Ventilator (FEV) in partnership with the Irish Health Service. To date OSV IReland has formed a team of engineers, designers and medical practitioners to develop new, low resource interventions, all working collaboratively online. Bag Valve Masks (BVM), 3D printed and traditionally manufactured components are being considered to maximize potential manufacturing capabilities. 

Full story: Irish project for easy-to-assemble Covid-19 ventilators bears fruit via The Irish Times.