Colorado’s resort towns are booming, and not because of the fresh pow. There has never been more to see and do in these so-called “seasonal ski spots” than now, which are evolving into year-round communities. With the increase of telecommuting, and an entirely new generation of employees and business owners working remotely, resort towns are seeing a surge of activity from buyers, not only looking for second-home escapes, but also to set up primary residences in the mountains.
Despite the population increase, much of the state’s resort town charms remain the same – world-class skiing, memorable après-ski, and an abundance of trendy bars, boutiques, and cultural attractions worthy of their own Instagram account. Ask any local and they’ll tell you the same thing, nothing beats Colorado’s mountain lifestyle. Today, we put the spotlight on Aspen.
Originally home to the Ute Indians, Aspen became a silver-mining town by the late 1800s, and later began its cultural renaissance in the 1940s, before becoming the treasured resort town we know and love today. With a vision of community focused on mind, body, and spirit, “The Aspen Idea” came to fruition and has been attracting people from around the globe ever since.
Anchoring the town is Aspen Snowmass, a world-renowned resort consisting of four ski mountains. Aspen Mountain, locally known as Ajax, rises from the center of downtown and epitomizes the ski-in/ski-out lifestyle. Aside from year-round recreation and pristine mountain scenery, the town is revered for its high-end restaurants, luxury boutiques, and celebrity clientele.
Don’t miss out on the Aspen X Games at Buttermilk Mountain, recognized as the world’s best action sports, music, and festival experience on snow! It’s a prime spot for kids, adults, and ski enthusiasts of all levels, as competitions are free and open to the public. For those a bit more skilled, the Aspen Highlands known as “the local’s mountain,” is home to the legendary Highland Bowl. It is touted as “the best inbounds big-mountain skiing in the lower 48” by Powder magazine, but you’ll have to earn your turn.
The ski lift only takes you so far and you have to hike your way to the top, which equates to a 25-minute jaunt on foot. The reward? An unforgettable run that tops many a bucket list in Aspen. If music is more your thing, head to Belly Up, a 500-person live music venue featuring headliners you can’t afford to miss. And you absolutely cannot stay in Aspen without eating your way through its award-winning culinary scene.
The restaurants in this posh mountain town are hotter than ever. A few acclaimed stops include the creative cuisine at Element 47, mind-blowing sushi at Matsuhisa, artisanal charcuterie from Meat & Cheese Restaurant and Farm Shop, and the Zagat-rated J-Bar for a legendary burger and lobster salad. For art lovers, Little Nell is a primary stop. The hotel and art gallery sits at the foot of a ski slope and showcases original abstract works by internationally recognized painters, sculptors, and photographers on full display year round.