ASPEN, Colo. — City Manager Sara Ott has named Austin Weiss as the City of Aspen’s new Parks and Recreation Director, effective immediately.
“This position requires a leader who understands Aspen’s mountain culture and how it influences the community’s recreation needs.,” said Assistant City Manager Diane Foster, assistant city manager. “We’re thrilled for this opportunity to promote Austin, who has an extensive background in managing some of our city’s greatest assets – our parks and open space system. His forward-thinking approach, enthusiasm about Aspen, and his ability to engage the community played strongly into his selection.”
Weiss is not new to Aspen, calling this area home for the past 23 years. He began his career with the city in 2001 as the Trails Manager for the Parks Department. Since then, he was promoted to Open Space and Natural Resources Manager (2014) and Parks and Open Space Director (2017). Most recently, Weiss has served as the city’s Interim Parks and Recreation Director, filling the vacancy left by Jeff Woods, who retired in June after serving as director since 1997. Additionally, he holds a Bachelor of Arts from Prescott College, Arizona, in Outdoor Education and Recreation.
“I’m excited for this next phase of my career with Aspen, and to build upon the amazing legacy that Jeff (Woods) left us,” shared Weiss. “At this critical time in history, many are turning to our services and public spaces to support their mind and body well-being. I plan to preserve the natural beauty of our community through continued open space management and by providing the incredible parks and recreation opportunities that our community is famous for.”
Woods expressed his confidence in Weiss filling this role: “Austin’s strong background in parks and open space, combined with his passion for recreation, make him the ideal leader for this team. Austin and his amazing team will continue to provide the high level of service and innovation that Aspen has come to expect from the Parks and Recreation Department.”
As Parks and Recreation Director, Weiss will be responsible for overseeing the city’s parks and open space system, including the development of Galena Plaza and the Dolinsek Gardens as a part of the Lift One Corridor project. He also will supervise the city’s recreational programming, including how best to restore services impacted by the pandemic and serve those in our community who traditionally may be underserved. Along with these responsibilities, Weiss will oversee the Special Events and Golf departments along with the Red Brick Center for the Arts.
For information about the City of Aspen Parks and Recreation services and projects, please visit aspenrecreation.com.