Presidents' Weekend and Valentine's Day in Aspen Snowmass

Posted on February 12, 2021 by Chris Klug

Happy Friday from Aspen Snowmass! We are certainly excited about this long, holiday weekend here in mountains. With almost two feet of fresh snow last week, and more on the way this weekend, the skiing and riding couldn’t be better right now. Aspen Mountain is now 100% open after last week’s storm. Snowmass, Buttermilk, and Aspen Highlands are about 95% open. This weekend’s storm is expecting up to 14 inches of fresh snow over the three day weekend, which will make for epic shredding conditions across all four mountains! This Saturday, February 13th also marks the point in the season where lifts stay spinning later in the afternoon. Lifts spinning until 4pm daily will include Silver Queen Gondola, FIS Chair, and Ajax Express at Aspen Mountain, Exhibition and Cloud 9 at Highlands, Summit Express at Buttermilk, and Village Express, Elk Camp Gondola, and the new and improved Big Burn Chair at Snowmass. We are certainly ready for longer ski days!

If you find yourself on any of our four mountains this weekend, be sure to of course wear your mask, stay socially distanced, and keep your ears perked up for Bud Light’s Music on the Mountain! This concert series is continuing the local favorite tradition of Hi-Fi Concerts, but in a safe manner. Local and regional artists will be featured every weekend through March at various locations on and at the base of each mountain. For the most up-to-date artist announcements, concert locations, and set times, follow @aspensnowmass on social media.

Are you looking for last minute Valentine’s Day plans this weekend with that special someone? Yes, Valentine’s Day is this weekend too! Sunday to be exact. If you’re hoping to support a fantastic cause, be heart healthy, and get outside, you are a great candidate for Ski for the Pass race on Sunday, February 14th. This is a 7K classic race on Independence Pass beginning at 10am, starting at the Winter Closure Gate on Highway 82 and finishing at the Lincoln Creek Road turnoff. There are new rules for this year’s race, which include no spectators, 30 second interval starts for proper social distancing, and a cap on the number of racers. Registration is still open and can be found at utemountaineer.com, along with more information. This is a family favorite, and friendly, event that benefits the Independence Pass Foundation. I hope to see you up there! I’ll be racing with my daughter this year.

If you’re hoping to have a more low-key plan with your Valentine, or want to avoid the hustle and bustle, as well as pressure of Sunday plans, treat your Valentine to Dinner and a Movie at Ajax Tavern! Continuing the popular Dinner and a Movie Under the Stars from this past socially-distanced summer, Dinner and a Movie at Ajax Tavern’s outdoor heated tent. Dinner starts at 6:30pm and features the fabulous regular menu at Ajax Tavern and Moet Chandon packages. Showtime is at 7:30pm. This week’s movie is the Chris Farley classic Tommy Boy. For more information, reservations, and upcoming movie showings, visit thelittlenell.com

Pitkin County is expected to move up to the State’s new dial, and into yellow restrictions, on Saturday, February 13th. This would mean restaurants can operate at 50% capacity for indoor dining, and move the last call for alcohol from 10pm to 11pm. Other businesses such as retail, offices, gyms, and personal services can also move to 50% capacity. Aspen Snowmass is (more) open! Have a fun and safe holiday weekend! Think snow!

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Winter X Games 2021

Posted on January 29, 2021 by Chris Klug

Happy X Games weekend from Aspen Snowmass! We received some much-needed snow across all four mountains over the last week, and we are ready for the action! Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, this year’s X Games will be different than years past. This year’s events will focus entirely on the athletes and the competition at Buttermilk. Fans have the opportunity to enjoy this year’s event completely virtual. Read on to review the history and evolution of X Games, highlights from past events, and why X Games have become a favorite event for locals, spectators, and competitors.

ESPN’s Winter X Games first debuted at Buttermilk Mountain in the Winter of 2002, and has been a January staple in Aspen Snowmass ever since. This year marks the 20th anniversary of X Games in Aspen. When X Games first came to town, there were around 40,000 spectators over the entire weekend. Local schools took the long weekend off, and students took field trips with their class to the competition venue at the base of Buttermilk Mountain. While the local kids aren’t getting time off from school or busing to Buttermilk this year, X Games has evolved and the show will go on, just from the comfort of our homes, like many events this year. The Games normally command tens of thousands of fans daily, but not this year. Recent evolution in X Games programming include X Fest, a village of sponsors and vendors at the base of the Super Pipe, where we have hosted our Chris Klug Foundation booth in past years together with our volunteers. The biggest attraction, besides the competition, are the concerts at the base of Buttermilk. Past performances include The Chainsmokers, Rapper Lil Wayne, and DJ Calvin Harris. I joke that X games used to an action sports fest with a little music. The past years it became a weekend long concert with some action sports.

With what’s happening in our world today, there will be no concerts or X Fest village this year. X Games 2021 is going back to the original attraction, and will entirely focus on the competition and the athletes. Shawn White, The Flying Tomato, is making his return to X Games this weekend along with Chloe Kim? Shaun White dazzled in X Games Snowboard Superpipe contests in years past by revolutionizing freestyle snowboarding, and wowing crowds in the process. Only 500 executives, producers, and event staff are allowed on the grounds, including about 100 athletes. With Canadian snowboarder Mark Morrison, the most decorated X Games athlete, out due to Covid-19, all eyes are on Aspen local freeskier Alex Ferreira who is going for his third consecutive X Games Gold Medal. Ferreira is not the only local skier to compete. Basalt native Torin Yater-Wallace first took the X Games stage in 2011 and has won four medals since. Good luck Torin and Alex. We will be cheering you both on this weekend!

Looking back on how the Winter X Games has evolved in Aspen Snowmass, it’s easy to be amazed at the weekend-long event jam-packed with winter fun. X Games is celebrating 20 years in Aspen, and will definitely be a memorable anniversary. Here are a few reminders and tips to enjoy X Games safely this year.

  • The event is entirely closed to the public. Buttermilk Mountain will still operate during normal hours for skiers and riders during the day, and only the Terrain Park will be closed. Aspen Snowmass’s College Pass is not a ticket option this year.
  • This year’s events include skiing and snowboarding Superpipe, Big Air, and Slopestyle. All programming will be on ESPN and its sister networks. There will be 17 hours of X Games programing on each day throughout the weekend.
  • There will be no live concerts or X Fest village for Winter X Games 2021. Instead, fans are invited to attend Virtual X Fest. This is an immersive, interactive experience online. Basically, it’s like a video game of the traditional X Fest, where one normally visits with sponsors and vendors to interact and even receive great swag. Did we mention Virtual X Fest is free?

Have a fun and safe X Games weekend! Remember, the best place to watch the competition and get in on the action is at home. No masks, no social distancing, and no cold feet from the comfort of your couch!

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Categories: Lifestyle and Events

Ullr Nights, 5Point Film Fest, New Aspen Restaurants

Posted on January 17, 2020 by Chris Klug

Happy snowy Friday from Aspen Snowmass! With today’s snowstorm (hopefully) carrying into this evening, the weekend looks ideal for bluebird skiing! There are a lot of exciting events this weekend, and great opportunities to try Aspen’s hot new restaurants. Read on for all the activities you do not want to miss! 

After a fabulous day on the slopes, check out Ullr Night at Elk Camp Restaurant in Snowmass Village. This winter wonderland party on select Friday nights during the winter season is in honor of Ullr, Norse God of Snow. Take an evening gondola ride up to Elk Camp for tubing, a raging fire with s’mores (of course), the Breathtaker alpine coaster, snowbiking, and delicious cuisine. Pro Tip- try the mac-n-cheese and prime rib, they’re absolutely heavenly on a cold winter night. For upcoming Ullr Night dates and more information, head over to www.aspensnowmass.com

This weekend welcomes back local favorite 5Point Film Festival at the Wheeler Opera House. 5Point curates programs rooted in the outdoors and the human experience with special guests adding an additional dimension of inspiration and stoke to the night. Rooted in five guiding “points”—Purpose, Respect, Commitment, Humility, and Balance—the non-profit is known for bringing people together in a unique and dynamic way to celebrate the outdoors and the people whose stories encourage us to find our best selves. Enjoy short films both Friday, January 17th  and Saturday, January 18th. For a full list of films, special guests, visit www.5pointfilm.org

The Aspen restaurant scene is offering some new options, as well as the return of an old favorite. Duemani is a new coastal Italian restaurant that took over Rustique’s old space, on the corner of Aspen’s infamous restaurant row. Their tostadas and aragosta pasta are not to be missed! New this season is Almresi in the Dancing Bear building. This intimate, Austrian restaurant is perfect for an authentic alpine dining experience. Back by popular demand, Over Easy is back with the same, favorite menu and a new location. Head over to the former Scarlett’s building for the traditional style “with a twist” breakfast, brunch, lunch and extensively creative cocktails! For more information on these and other Aspen restaurants, go to www.eataspen.com

Sunset over Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk

Happy Long Weekend! Enjoy the beautiful winter weather!

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Categories: Lifestyle and Events

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