Aspen: Bomb threats force evacuations
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN, Colorado ” Bomb threats at two banks in downtown Aspen, Colorado have forced the evacuation of nearby buildings and police have blocked various streets in the resort, which is bustling with activity on the afternoon before New Year’s Eve.
Wells Fargo Bank notified police at about 2:30 p.m. that it had received a suspicious package with a note. Police and Aspen fire department personnel responded. Subsequently, Vetra Bank reported the receipt of a package and note, as well.
“In both cases, a package with a note indicated a credible threat to the community,” according to police.
Alpine Bank also closed down and a signs placed there informed customers the bank was temporarily closed due to an emergency.
Other downtown businesses and residences within two blocks surrounding the affected banks were ordered to evacuate. Authorities placed reverse 911 calls directing occupants to leave nearby buildings. The Aspen Times, on Main Street, received the evacuation call, but next door, the Hotel Jerome’s J-Bar was hopping at about 4 p.m.
Authorities were using police vehicles, Roaring Fork Transportation Authority buses and at least one snowplow to block streets at various intersections, though people continued to stroll through the affected areas and were merely directed to cross the street when passing by Wells Fargo.
The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office, Basalt police, Snowmass Village fire department, FBI and the Grand Junction Bomb Squad have been mobilized to assist in the investigation into the threats.
Anyone who has been evacuated and needs a warm place to go has been directed to the Rio Grande meeting room, located behind the Pitkin County Courthouse in the former Aspen Youth Center building.
Nothing has yet been said regarding the town’s planned New Year’s celebrations, including fireworks displays over Aspen Mountain at 8:30 p.m. and midnight, and an 8 p.m. bonfire and party at Wagner Park.
In addition, restaurants throughout the downtown are planning special New Year’s Eve dinner seatings and nightclubs are hosting parties for the occasion.