Posted on November 15, 2019 by Katie Shapiro
@aspenbucketlist / Instagram
The 2019/2020 ski season is so close we can hardly stand it! Aspen and Snowmass open on Thursday, November 28 and Highlands and Buttermilk open on December 7. With more than one million photos tagged #aspen on Instagram and innumerable international media outlets also circulating editors’ picks around the Internet, pre-planning to make the most of your time in Aspen/Snowmass and the Roaring Fork Valley is a daunting challenge.
Enter Aspen Bucket List — an Instagram account curated by an Aspen native, who’s called the Roaring Fork Valley home their entire life. While we can’t reveal their identity, they launched @aspenbucketlist on June 1, 2017 and have since amassed 26,000 followers for stunning photography, insider pro-tips, local knowledge, exclusive partner offers, and more.
Powered by Bucket Listers, a national network of city guides around the world, its local account manager is a friend of founder and CEO Andy Lederman, who started the digital company in Chicago in 2016. Self-described as “the world’s largest adventure club,” each city’s official Bucket List is compiled with reliable, bucket list-worthy events and experiences that admins personally experience to give their stamp of approval. This strategy has garnered 10 million explorers that now follow their lead in more than 15 cities through social media, online, and email newsletters to take their own adventures.
So to help you narrow down your itinerary for the season ahead, we turned to Aspen Bucket List to share their top 10 picks for the ultimate winter in Aspen. And if you’re not already following, find Aspen Bucket List on Instagram @aspebucketlist and tag them in your posts for a chance to be featured using #aspenbucketlist.
1. Ski Highland Bowl
For anyone who's a good enough skier or snowboarder, a powder day Bowl lap (or three) is a must. aspensnowmass.com
2. Winter X Games
Attending X Games or just being in town during the long-running annual competition is a definite winter Bucket List event to attend. The energy around town is infectious. Aspen is alive with extreme things to do around every corner — from seeing live music slopeside to parties celebrating athletes at the Sundeck to watching the Men's Snowboard Halfpipe live (an Aspen Bucket List personal favorite). xgames.com
3. Uphill Traffic
Skinning, aka “uphilling,” at any of the four mountains on an early morning or late afternoon is so fun and gratifying. Start with Tiehack on Buttermilk and progress from there. Dinners at the Cliffhouse on top of Buttermilk are an added bonus and happen periodically throughout the winter on full moon nights. aspensnowmass.com
4. Hike to Weller Lake
Drive to the bottom of Independence Pass and hike with your favorite pal or pet up the road to the Weller Lake trail. Go up to the lake and back while enjoying all of the beauty and serenity that Indy Pass has to offer during the winter months. independentpass.org
5. Snowmobile to the Maroon Bells
You absolutely can't beat the Bells in the winter. Ask a buddy with a sled or book a guided tour with TLazy7 to see the spectacular views without the crowds. tlazy7.com
6. Dine at Pine Creek Cookhouse
This experience is nothing short of incredible. Cross-country ski, walk, snowshoe, or ride a horse-drawn carriage to the Pine Creek Cookhouse in Ashcroft — just about a 15 minute drive from downtown Aspen. Find 5-star everything from the food to the views to the service. And tell 'em @aspenbucketlist sent ya. pinecreekcookhouse.com
7. Aspen Powder Tours
Check out the backcountry terrain on the backside of Ajax and ski powder all day long via snowcat service. Great turns, good vibes, and a private experience that you'll never forget. aspensnowmass.com
Held January 9-12, 2020, this classic Aspen tradition turns downtown into a spirited celebration of the Nordic lifestyle with a parade, fireworks, ice sculpting, and more. aspenchamber.org
9. Dinner at Maru
There’s nothing like fresh sushi and hot saké after a long day in the mountains. Check out Maru, a locally owned hot spot with the highest quality ingredients in town. Chef Taylor Hale brings decades of experience and passion to his food set in a local’s atmosphere. maruaspen.com
10. Avalanche Ranch Hot Springs
For a relaxing day off, or to warm up your bones after completing items #1 — #9 on our Aspen Bucket List, take a drive down to Carbondale and check out Avalanche Ranch Hot Springs. Rejuvenate the body in their private pools along the Crystal River. Differing temperatures provide everyone with a perfect place to decompress and soak in the views. Make sure to make a reservation. avalancheranch.com
Avalanche Ranch Hot Springs, Maru, Dinner, Winterskol, Aspen Powder Tours, Aspen Bucket List, Pine Creek Cookhouse, Maroon Bells, Weller Lake, Uphill, Highlands Bowl, Winter X Games
Posted on October 25, 2019 by Chris Klug
Happy Halloween from Aspen Snowmass! This weekend and upcoming week are filled with events to celebrate the holiday for both families and adults. We’ve picked the best, must-attend parties and events for everyone. Whether you like music, arts and crafts, or want to show off your creative costume, there is definitely something for you.
There are two family-friendly Halloween events, but not to worry! Spooktacular Creepy Crafts and BOO! Bash are held on separate afternoons, offering two chances to show off this year’s Halloween costume.
On Tuesday, October 30th check out Spooktacular Creepy Crafts at Anderson Ranch in Snowmass Village. Anderson Ranch invites kids to come decked out in their Halloween costume to work on crafts, trick-or-treat through the artists’ studios, and enjoy festive snacks and treats. There’s even a costume contest! Prizes will be given to those with the “Most Creative” and “Best Homemade Costume” plus more categories! For more information on this free event, go to www.andersonranch.org
On Wednesday October 31st, head over to the Aspen Volunteer Fire Department for BOO! Bash. This free event offers face painting, art activities, games, clowns, giveaways, candy, and fire trucks! Everyone should come in costume, kids and adults. For more information on this event, go to https://www.aspenchamber.org/event-calendar/boo-bash-0
For the adults out there looking for Halloween fun, check out the Belly Up for An Evening with Lotus. Celebrate Halloween at the Belly Up for two nights with this electronic jam band who happens to be based out of Denver! Belly up is also hosting their annual costume contest. First prize is a $500 gift certificate to Belly Up! For more information on the shows and tickets, head over to https://bellyupaspen.com/an-evening-with-lotus
Enjoy the beautiful, snowy weather and have a fun and safe holiday! Happy Halloween!
Posted on October 11, 2019 by Chris Klug
Happy weekend from snowy Aspen, Colorado! Since early Thursday morning, we have received over 10 inches of snow on the top of Aspen Mountain. We are only 48 days from the start of ski season, but there is still plenty going on off the mountain during this gorgeous off season.
Check out the Harvest Party at Rock Bottom Ranch this Saturday, October 12th from 12pm to 4pm. Enjoy a local-sourced lunch, using ingredients from Rock Bottom Ranch, at this family friendly, all ages party. Celebrate fall with fun events such as pumpkin carving, apple cider pressing, vegetable harvest, hay rides, face painting, arts and crafts with The Art Base of Basalt, photo booth, live music from A Band Called Alexis, and more! Rock Bottom Ranch is a fully functional ranch in Basalt, only 25 minutes from Aspen. It serves as the midvalley hub for Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES), and specializes in environmental education, sustainable agriculture, as well as an educational ranch and wildlife preserve. It’s also one of the best places in the whole valley to buy local products such as meat, eggs, and vegetables.
This long standing event has a newer addition, the Second Annual Pie Contest. Anyone may enter this tasty competition. Pies will be judged on creativity, taste, and appearance. There are three categories: Best in Show, Most Creative, and Best Youth, 12 and under competitors. The third place and second place prizes include harvest baskets of Rock Bottom Ranch goods, and the grand prize of Two Tickets to an ACES Burlap Dinner in the summer of 2020.
For more information on this car-free event, and more information on the Pie Contest- check out www.aspennature.org. Enjoy the snowy, sunny fall weekend!
Posted on October 4, 2019 by Chris Klug
This is the weekend we have all been waiting for, the fall colors in full swing! Get outside and enjoy the golden colors and the sunshine, but beware of cooler October temperatures early in the day. Season is slowly winding down, but local restaurants and hotels are offering off-season specials before the close down to prepare for winter.
Stop in French Alpine Bistro for 40% off fondue, raclette, and other favorite menu items. This popular lunch and romantic date night spot closes Sunday, October 13th until Winter season. Check out the savory and sweet crepes as well. On Sundays, head over to Clark’s Oyster Bar for $20 Fried Chicken night. The price includes fried chicken and sides. Lucky for locals, Clark’s will only be closing for a few days during the off season, October 28th-31st. Another local favorite, Kenichi, is offering 50% off sushi rolls during their daily Happy Hour from 5pm to 6:30pm. For more information on Off Season Hours and Specials, visit www.eataspen.com
Local hotels are also offering discounts and package deals for off-season guests. If you’re looking for a staycation, The Little Nell offers a Colorado resident discount. This spectacular hotel also offers spa add-ons as well as wine cellar packages for the off season as well. The Little Nell’s two restaurants, Element 47 and Ajax Tavern are also offering specials on food. Ajax Tavern has a prix fixe menu of an appetizer, entree, and dessert for only $37. Element 47 has the same offering for $47. For more information, check out www.thelittlenell.com
Another longtime favorite is the Aspen Square Hotel, known for its central location, condominium-style rooms, and breathtaking views of Aspen Mountain. This is the spot to be after a day of leaf peeping, plus 30% off rates! Head over to www.aspensquarehotel.com for more information.
Posted on September 27, 2019 by Katie Shapiro
Welcome to altitude, W Hotels. Where the beloved Sky Hotel once stood, the just-opened W Aspen now marks the spot. And unlike its Kimpton predecessor, you can now call this piece of paradise a part-time home.
As part of W Hotels Worldwide’s first-ever North American alpine destination — the hotel group opened its first Mountain Escape property in Verbier, Switzerland in 2014 — The Sky Residences at W Aspen offer an exclusive shared real estate opportunity with 11 slopeside units. Upon its grand opening celebration in August, the inventory was already 40% sold, indicating a much-needed niche for fractional ownership.
Ski-in, ski-out access to Aspen Mountain is punctuated by a private, Residences-only roof deck with spa, lounge seating, BBQ grills, outdoor kitchen and fire pit, as well as on-property amenities including concierge, 24/7 security, in-residence dining, housekeeping, ski lockers, valet, and fitness center. W’s signature “Whatever/Whenever” service promise provides residents and hotel guests with “whatever they want, whenever they want it!”
The Sky Residences portfolio features five 2-bedrooms (approximately 1,567 square feet; starting in the mid-$500K price range) and six 3-bedrooms (approximately 1,993 square feet; starting in the $800K price range), available for a 1/10th shared ownership interest in real estate. Enjoy five weeks of usage — four of which are guaranteed Planned Vacation Weeks within the winter and summer (two weeks per season). The fifth week of ownership, Space Available Nights, can be either dedicated to the winter or summer season, depending upon ownership preference and availability.
“The Sky Residences at W Aspen feature compelling statements of space and design that defy expectations,” says R.J. Gallagher, Jr. of Forte Aspen, the agency managing sales. “It’s where an owner can get away from it all, while having it all. Effortless ownership, where quality time with family and friends is the only order of the day. And night.”
The building itself — Aspen’s first new luxury hotel in 25 years — was brought to life by locally-based architecture and design firm Rowland + Broughton, resulting in an environmentally sustainable, modern mountain chalet with long, sloping roof lines drawing inspiration from the Rocky Mountain landscape. W Aspen and The Sky Residences at W Aspen are owned and were co-developed by Washington, DC-based Northridge Capital (also owner of the Sky Hotel for 16 years), which financed the buildout and also tapped locally based Sarpa Development as a project partner.
The W brand’s signature luxurious, energetic vibe interior was dreamt up by global interior design firm nemaworkshop that pays homage to Aspen’s storied inhabitants from the silver miners of the late 19th century to the swinging counterculture of the ‘60s and ‘70s to the current crop of globe-trotting billionaires.
Each of the W Aspen’s 11 Sky Residences exude a cozy warmth reminiscent of a Swiss chalet through the use of rustic wood finishes, sloped ceilings and fireplaces, complete with decor channeling Herbert Bayer, Thomas Benton, and the Ute Indian Tribe mixed with modern industrial touches and rich, ski-wear-inspired fabrics.
Gallagher adds, “This shared ownership opportunity offers a unique combination of the hip W brand and the prime Aspen location. All of these amenities right at an owner’s fingertips — in one of the greatest locations, in one of the most desirable towns in the world.
Additional owner benefits include access to the Living Room restaurant and bar, 39 Degrees (a nod to the Sky Hotel’s beloved lounge, and the WET Deck — an open-to-the-public rooftop bar with a pool, cabanas and hot tub. Already proven to be Aspen’s hottest new spot, there’s no closer commute home than to a Sky Residence of your very own.
For more information about The Sky Residences at W Aspen, or to take a tour contact Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty at 970–925–6060 or visit waspenskyresidences.com.
Courtesy Forte Aspen
Posted on September 19, 2019 by Chris Klug
The beginning of Fall is finally approaching! Gorgeous colors are starting to fill the Roaring Fork Valley, and the trendy “leaf-peeping” is about to be in full swing. Check out these exciting events featuring the stunning fall backdrop!
Aspen Ruggerfest returns this weekend. The tournament is a rich piece of recent Aspen history. A local ski instructor, Steve Sherlock, and a friend started the tournament when Wagner Park was an unkempt field filled with litter. In exchange for a permit to host a rugby tournament over Columbus Day weekend, Sherlock promised City Council he would clean up the field. Sherlock recruited local athletes, most of whom had never played rugby prior to the tournament, and put up makeshift goal posts. Fifteen teams showed up to play in the inaugural tournament, and a local tradition was born.
Three years later, the temporary posts were replaced with Spruce trees cut down from Aspen Highlands and carried to town by horses. Recently, the annual tournament was moved to the third week of September to avoid playing in the snow- which is absolutely possible in October! Now in its 52nd year, the tournament spans over four days with Men’s, Women’s, Seniors’, and Kids’ brackets held at Rio Grande and Wagner Parks. The main attraction is the Men’s Final on Sunday, September 22nd at 4pm in Wagner Park. For more information and a complete bracket, head to http://aspen-ruggerfest.com/
In between Rugby matches, head up to Snowmass to check out the Sun Sets in September Art Show in Snowmass Base Village. This free event on Saturday, September 21st from 6-10pm features sixteen local artists showcasing their work in all different types of media, including graffiti and sculpture. Enjoy food and drinks for purchase from local restaurants, the Village Tavern and Venga Venga. The best part? A percentage of proceeds from each art sale will go to Challenge Aspen, a local nonprofit.
Posted on September 13, 2019 by Chris Klug
Another gorgeous Fall weekend is upon us, and it is once again full of enjoyable events! Off season is slowly approaching, and the gorgeous golden colors are starting to appear. There is still plenty to do as the seasons turn.
Starting September 12th through the 15th, Lead with Love hosts their Aspen Retreat at the Aspen Meadows Resort. This popular event is centered around restorative workshops, yoga, and mediation. The retreat also features adventures in and around Aspen, farm to table meals, biking, and even forest bathing! To register and learn more about this retreat, visit https://ileadwithlove.org/aspen2019
One of Snowmass Village’s most popular Fall events is this weekend. Since 1991, the Rotary Club of Snowmass Village has been hosting the Snowmass Wine Festival. The Wine Festival has grown from just the Grand Tasting to a weekend-long event including an exclusive Wine Dinner. This year’s Wine Dinner at the Viceroy Hotel has sold out, but there are still tickets available to the Grand Tasting, on Saturday September 14th! (https://www.snowmasswinefestival.com/) Enjoy the changing fall colors and some of the best views of Snowmass Village from Town Park while sipping wine and savoring delicious bites from various local restaurants. There will be over 35 wineries represented, plus six distilleries for those who don’t prefer wine. Some of our favorite featured restaurants include Home Team BBQ, Il Poggio, Jimmy’s, The Edge, and Toro. Stop by these booths early to get the best portion size, and before they run out of yummy food! In case wine, food, and great views weren’t enticing enough, partake in the stocked silent auction featuring local art, goods, and wine from the participating vendors. This event is a local’s favorite, don’t miss out!
After the Grand Tasting, head up to Snowmass Base Village for the Aspen Snowmass Motoring Classic. Come check out this car show from 9am-12pm on Sunday, September 15th. Swoon over luxury cars from Porsche, Ferrari, BMW, Audi, Corvette, and Viper. This year, the Ducati Club of Denver will be showcasing 30 different types of motorcycles. The best part? This event is FREE and family-friendly.
Some may say off season is here, but it sure doesn’t feel like it! Enjoy the weekend!
Posted on September 6, 2019 by Chris Klug
Happy End of Summer! After a jam-packed Labor Day weekend with beautiful weather and awesome music, we are ready for fall, and even looking forward to winter!
This past Wednesday, Aspen Chamber Resort Association hosted their annual event the Afternoon Blend at the Sundeck on top of Aspen Mountain. Aspen Skiing Company officials spoke to the local business crowd about the past, memorable winter and the upcoming winter season.
Last season was the longest recorded season at Aspen, with 168 days. Two people logged 167 skier days. One skier, not a patroller, logged 115 Highlands Bowl laps. Skier visits at all four mountains were up 20% from last season. Wow! Beyond all of these impressive records, Aspen Skiing Company made history by joining the Ikon Pass last season. This season, Premier Passholders will also have the base Ikon Pass. Passholders must redeem this benefit online by December 12th.
Winter is quickly approaching (only 83 days until ski season!), but there are still plenty of fun ways to enjoy the gorgeous Fall season in Aspen Snowmass. This weekend is filled with classic and soon-to-be classic events in Snowmass.
The 44th annual Snowmass Balloon Festival kicks off on Friday, September 6th. Each morning from 7-10am, over 30 hot air balloons will be on display and launching from Town Park. Balloon Night Glow, the festival’s most popular event, is tonight. Stop by Town Park between 6-9pm to see the balloons all lit up against the night sky, kids activities, pilot games, and enjoy food and drinks from local vendors.
The 2nd annual Cidermass is also this weekend on the Snowmass Village Mall from 1-4pm. Taste hard ciders from over 20 different vendors and enjoy a (hopefully) beautiful fall day. Tickets are available online for $35 or $45 day of and include the tasting plus your own glass.
After Cidermass, take the Skittles Gondola down to Snowmass Base Village to enjoy Snowmass Septemberfest from 4-7pm. Kids and adults alike can enjoy lawn games and activities, plus face painters, a bouncy house, and a petting zoo- just for kids! Enjoy food and beverages from Base Village restaurants, peruse local vendors showcasing and selling goods- there is truly something for everyone at this awesome FREE event!
Posted on June 11, 2019 by Chris Klug
The annual FOOD & WINE Classic (June 14-16) is undoubtedly Aspen’s tastiest… and toughest ticket of the summer. Now in its 37th year, more than 5,000 foodies will descend upon the downtown core to indulge in the three-day culinary celebration. The Grand Tasting Pavilion is the epicenter of the festival, with endless food and wine tastings, while lively cooking demonstrations, interactive seminars and panel discussions are held at additional venues. Snowmass Village plays host to a tour stop from Cochon555, an ongoing series of authentic, hyper-local food events in 15 cities across the country focused on raising awareness for heritage breed pigs. It is unaffiliated with the Classic, but is always a cornerstone of the weekend. The Food & Wine Classic pass has a $1,700 price tag and access is exclusive. But, if you’re a local sans pass or decide on a last-minute weekend getaway, you can still be a part of the action with open-to-the-public events added into the mix of other unofficial festivities. Here are five ways to Food & Wine without a pass:
Heitz Cellar Legacy Dinner
Friday, June 14, 7 p.m., Element 47 at The Little Nell
This evening brings a trio of wine industry titans together for a meal not-to-be-missed. It includes the return of former Little Nell Wine Director Carlton McCoy, in his new role as the CEO of Heitz Cellar, joined by the estate’s winemaker, Brittany Sherwood. Together, they will guide guests on a journey through the decades of the classic wines of Heitz Legacy Collection and share details about the history of The Heitz Cellar, which was founded in 1961 by Joe Heitz whose objective was to make California’s most elegant, well balanced and pure Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines. The evening will be anchored by a seasonal tasting menu from Element 47’s executive chef Matt Zubrod. $1,200, thelittlenell.com
Thursday, June 13, 6:30–8:30 p.m., Snowmass Base Village
The annual Snowmass Free Concert Series has again teamed up with Cochon555 for an ultimate al fresco evening on Fanny Hill to kick-off Food and Wine Classic festivities. Pairing musical guests SEE-I Reggae Funkmasters with culinary experiences curated by the dynamic team behind Heritage Fire. Nationally-acclaimed chefs along with local all-stars, Kyle Wilkins of Home Team BBQ and Michael Coco of Snowmass Tourism, will be loading up wood-fired grills with heritage breed sausages paired with artisanal wines and hand-crafted cocktails from El Tesoro Tequila and Courvoisier. $40 wristband (all-inclusive), free (music only), cochon555.com
Food & Wine Classic 5K Charity Race
Friday, June 14, 7:00 a.m.–9:00 a.m., Rio Grande Park
Earn those extra calories for later during this early morning jaunt through downtown Aspen with your favorite foodies. Proceeds from registration benefit both the Jacques Pépin Foundation and Wholesome Wave, the national non-profit dedicated to supporting small and midsize farms, and making fresh, healthy, locally grown produce available to underserved communities. This year’s fun run is hosted by chefs Richard Blais, Stephanie Izard, and Michel Nischan. $35 (advance), $45 (on site), foodandwine.com
Saturday, June 15, 4:00 p.m.–7:30 p.m., Snowmass Base Village
This epic live-fire feast showcases local pitmasters Andrew Helsley (Aspen Skiing Company), Jim Butchart (Aspen Skiing Company), Eddy Chimal (Venga Venga), Alberto Figueroa (Viceroy Snowmass), Kyle Wilkins (Home Team BBQ), Jason DeBacker (The Edge Restaurant) and Dan Foster (Westin Snowmass) along with more than 50 notable others chefs and butchers who go nose to tail on 3,500 pounds of heritage breed meats en plein-air with plenty of wine and cocktails to wash it all down. $150 (general admission), $200 (VIP), cochon555.com
Farewell Feast: Best New Restaurants
Sunday, June 16, 11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m., Hotel Jerome
Each year, Food & Wine editors embark on an epic year-long road trip, traveling the country in search of America’s most exciting, important and delicious new restaurants. The July 2019 issue of Food & Wine officially reveals the exceptional list, but this culmination of the festival will welcome the winning chefs themselves to offer up a once-in-a-lifetime walk-around tasting for guests—all at the historic Hotel Jerome. $150, foodandwine.com
For the complete schedule, visit: classic.foodandwine.com and cochon555.com and follow all of the action on social media @foodandwine / #fwclassic and @cochon555 / #heritagefire. For lucky pass-holders, don’t forget to download the official Food & Wine Classic app to help you navigate the tents.
Blog Credit to Katie Shapiro, Aspen Snowmass Sotheby's Elevated Living Blog
Posted on June 7, 2019 by Chris Klug
Mud season blues got you down? Think again!
Winter has passed, yet summer is still just over the horizon. While it may seem like a difficult time of year to get outdoors and enjoy all the fun-filled activities Aspen-Snowmass has to offer, spring is actually the most unique time of year in our beautiful valley to combine some of our favorite sports!
Have you ever skied and played golf in the same day? Skied and biked? It’s a rare few who can lay claim to the spring sport trifecta of skiing, golfing, AND biking in one seriously epic day. Aspen Mountain will be opening again for the weekend of 6/8 - 6/9 and rumors are swirling about potentially opening over Food and Wine weekend as well… we’ll have to take advantage of our multi-sport days while we can!
With the recent openings of Maroon Lake and Independence Pass, those who are slightly less ambitious can go for a leisurely yet stunning drive through the lush green of the valley floor up into the white-capped peaks of winter. Zip on up to the top of Independence Pass and watch the backcountry skiers rip up some spring corn snow, or take a drive up to the Maroon Bells to view some of the avalanche paths that carved their way across the road during this record-breaking winter. Swaths of trees hundreds of yards long were flattened in some of the larger avalanche paths- it’s a truly unique sight that you don’t want to miss.
Whatever adventures you chose to pursue this “mud season,” make sure you save some time for a casual stroll around town. While the people watching isn’t yet quite as entertaining as it will be in July, the puppy watching is on point! Keep an eye out for the cute little fuzz balls wagging their tails around the walking malls.
Skiing, golfing, biking, and puppies! Spring just might be the best time of year in Aspen-Snowmass!