With state milestone achieved, 5-Star program can begin in Pitkin County

Staff report

Colorado reached a significant vaccination milestone this week that allowed the 5-Star State Certification Program to begin Wednesday, according to a news release from Pitkin County.

The program holds local businesses that apply to a higher standard of COVID-19 safety precautions in exchange for allowing them to operate at the next lower color-coded level of restrictions than is currently in place in the county. For example, while Pitkin County currently operates under the Yellow-level restrictions, 5-Star certified businesses are allowed to operate under Blue-level restrictions.

Under Yellow restrictions, most businesses were allowed 50% capacity restrictions. Blue restrictions also limit most businesses to 50% capacity, though those limits increase depending on space available, according to state guidelines.

Yellow restrictions allowed restaurants, for example, to operate at 50% or as many as 50 people. Blue restrictions allow 50% capacity or as many as 175 people. Some restaurants, depending on size, can use a distancing space calculator to allow as many as 225 people under Blue-level restrictions.

“5-Star gives businesses another tool to help navigate COVID,” Michael Goldberg, co-owner of Matsuhisa and BellyUp Aspen, said in Wednesday’s news release. “It won’t work the same for everyone, but it gives us a degree of predictability in an otherwise unpredictable environment. Every additional customer is a benefit, and certification under 5-Star recognizes that, and gives us a path to more operating flexibility.”

5-Star certified gyms can operate under Blue restrictions at 50% or as many as175 people, according to the guidelines, while personal services can operate at 50% or as many as 50 people, according to the state guidelines.

The 5-Star program could not begin under Blue restrictions until 70% of Colorado residents 70 years and older were vaccinated. Gov. Jared Polis announced Tuesday that Colorado had achieved that metric.

In the Aspen and Snowmass Village areas, 44 businesses have been 5-Star certified, according to Pitkin County officials.

5-Star Program establishments

The following Pitkin County businesses have been certified as part of the 5-Star program:


7908 Aspen; 3 Peaks Snowmass Club; Ajax Tavern; Alux Spalon; Aspen Gymnastics; Aspen Mountain Club; Aspen Recreation Center; Bumps; Campo De Fiori; Caribou Club; Cliffhouse; Cloud Nine; French Alpine Bistro; Full Circle Salon; Hickory House; Hooch; Ice Garden; Jimmy’s Restaurant; L’Hostaria Ristorante; Limelight Hotel Aspen; Matsuhisa Mawa’s Kitchen; Merry-Go-Round; Mezzaluna; Plato’s at Aspen Meadows; Red Brick; Tatanka; The Sundeck; The W Hotel; Velvet Buck at St. Regis Aspen.


Elk Camp; High Alpine Restaurant; Limelight Snowmass; Lynn Britt Cabin; Sam’s Restaurant; Snowmass Kitchen at Westin; Snowmass Recreation Center; The Village Tasting Room; Two Creeks; Ullrof; Up 4 Pizza; Toro and Nest at Viceroy.


Vimana Yoga


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