Anyplace else, this would be considered four separate vacations, but not in Aspen, where skiers will find more than 5,300 acres of terrain between Snowmass, Aspen Mountain (Ajax), Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk. Beyond the skiing there is endless dining, nightlife and shopping that the town of Aspen is known for, providing more than enough reasons to visit one of the world's most famous and exciting ski resorts. There's no better time to experience "The Power of Four."
Aspen is definitely a bit harder to get to than other Colorado resorts, but it is well worth it. The ski area is located about four hours from Denver and one and a half hours from Eagle County Regional Airport. You can also fly directly into the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport (ASE), which is three miles from downtown Aspen. There are several shuttle carriers, or you can catch the bus that goes between Aspen and Snowmass if you want to ski multiple areas.
Aspen/Snowmass is one of the most accessible Rocky Mountain resorts, with hundreds of nonstop and connecting flights weekly into Aspen, Eagle and Denver airports. Serviced by United and Frontier, the Aspen airport is just three miles from Aspen and six miles from Snowmass Village. Located 70 miles from Aspen and Snowmass Village, flights into Eagle are offered on major airlines, permitting one-stop connections from across the globe. Visitors can also choose to fly into Grand Junction (125 miles from Aspen/Snowmass) and then take ground transportation to reach Aspen/Snowmass. Make sure the fare difference is worth the 220-mile drive (or shuttle ride) from Denver to Aspen, if you choose to fly into Denver International Airport.
Colorado Mountain Express (CME) offers door-to-door airport ground transportation service in the form of shared ride shuttles, charter vans and CME Premier privately-chauffeured vehicles. Aspen/Pitkin County and Eagle County Regional airport shuttles offer schedules that are flight specific while multiple daily shuttles are provided to and from Denver International Airport.
Available at the Aspen Airport, Alamo, Enterprise, Avis, Budget, Hertz and Go Rentals all offer 4x4 and SUV rentals for Aspen’s winter weather. http://www.aspenairport.com/grndtrxprtn_rental_cars.asp
Many lodging properties offer complimentary airport transfers.
Aspen boasts an incredible public transportation system that is efficient and convenient. While most of the lodges and hotels are within walking distance to downtown, you may want to venture beyond the city's borders on a RFTA bus or via local taxi. Transportation to and from the airport is also effortless and affordable via ground shuttles, taxis, limousines and local buses.
The Roaring Fork Transit Authority (RFTA) represents an unparalleled community commitment to public transportation in the Roaring Fork Valley. Today, RFTA provides a wide range of transit services to more than three million annual riders throughout the entire Roaring Fork Valley. RFTA operates free skier shuttles to all of the area ski mountains during the winter.
Local Aspen shuttles operate year-round serving shopping, dining and recreation destinations. Buses to/from Aspen to the Pitkin County Airport are free, as are The Village Shuttles in Snowmass Village.
Jon Barnes' yellow cab features a rainbow of luminescent fiber optics on the ceiling, laser projectors, a webcam, a recording studio complete with keyboards and drum machines, a mirror ball, a roller-coaster simulator, and more.
Aspen accommodations run the gamut from the glamorous, over-the-top luxury hotels to quaint, affordable bed and breakfasts. Intentionally absent are cookie-cutter lodging properties, and while hotel chains do have a presence in town, their Aspen outposts are the one-of-a-kind, crown jewels of their hotel groups.
St. Regis Aspen
Undergoing a renovation of grand proportions, the St. Regis reopened in late 2011. With 179 guest rooms and suites, heated outdoor pool, all new Remède Spa, and 20,000 square feet of function space, the St. Regis offers classic luxury. The impeccable St. Regis standard of service includes airport transport by Mercedes Benz, twice-daily housekeeping service with evening turndown, 24-hour room service and personal butlers for all suite guests. Non-holiday nightly rates begin at $749.
315 East Dean St.
Aspen, CO 81611
The Little Nell
Situated at the base of Aspen Mountain, the 92-room Little Nell is Aspen's only ski-in, ski-out lodge and only Mobil five-star and AAA five-diamond hotel. Blending the virtues of a small country inn with the personalized services and amenities of a grand hotel. The Little Nell celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2009, following an $18 million guest room renovation by famed designer Holly Hunt. Non-holiday nightly rates begin at $860.
675 E. Durant Ave.
Aspen, CO 81611
The Sky Hotel
This 90-room Kimpton property was renovated in November 2007 and sports a post-modern-meets-Alice-in-Wonderland design finished with Aspen touches including faux fur accents throughout. The 39 Degrees Lounge, known for its irresistible cocktails, legendary outdoor pool, and model-esque guests, is the center of Aspen's see-and-be-seen scene. Non-holiday nightly rates begin at $469.
709 E. Durant Ave.
Aspen, CO 81611
Built in 1889 at the height of the silver boom and restored to its original Victorian splendor in 1985, the Hotel Jerome is famous for its history, boasting the first electricity, elevator and running water west of the Mississippi River. The Jerome is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and retains its elegance today. Non-holiday nightly rates begin at $634.
330 E. Main St.
Aspen, CO 81611
Reopened fall of 2008 after a complete demolition and reconstruction, the family-owned, 126-room hotel is moderately priced with rates starting at $149 during the offseason and $155 in the summer. Although it is a limited service inn, the Limelight Lodge offers value-added amenities including complimentary breakfast, in-room kitchenettes, an unbeatable location, expansive windows and balconies, and a hip outdoor pool with two hot tubs. Non-holiday nightly rates begin at $149.
355 South Monarch St.
Aspen, CO 81611
Viceroy Hotels & Resorts’ first mountain resort—Viceroy Snowmass—opened in time for the 2009/2010 winter season. Bringing the Viceroy brand’s signature fusion of glamorous style, provocative design and innovative culinary experiences to the mountains, Viceroy Snowmass features inspirational interiors by acclaimed designer Jean-Michel Gathy of the Malaysia-based architectural powerhouse Denniston International and a pool café and pool terrace by celebrated designer Kelly Wearstler. Occupying a premier ski-in/ski-out location at the base of the Assay Hill chairlift and minutes from downtown Aspen. Non-holiday nightly rates begin at $635.
130 Wood Rd.
Snowmass Village, CO 81615
Condo/House Rental Options
Frias Properties of Aspen
With a stunning collection of rental properties ranging from centrally-located townhomes to expansive, ski-in/ski-out estates, Frias Properties offers visitors a plethora of luxury lodging options in Aspen. Whether preparing the pantry prior to arrival to securing dining or activity reservations, the Frias staff doubles as your personal concierge.
730 E. Durant Ave.
Aspen, CO 81611
Aspen Mountain has been offering black diamond skiing directly above the town of Aspen since 1947. Though somewhat small in size, Aspen Mountain offers every kind of terrain in a compact, accessible package. The knowledgeable skier can maximize vertical by linking together fall line runs all over the mountain. From steeps to bumps to trees, Aspen Mountain is a terrain smorgasbord, accessed by a state-of-the-art gondola (iTunes docks included) and eight lifts.
The total elevation is 11,212 feet with a base elevation of 7,945 feet and a total vertical drop of 3,267 feet. The breakout is 0% beginner, 48% intermediate, 26% advanced and 26% expert. The longest run is 3 miles. There is a total of 673 skiable acres and 300 inches of snow bolstered by snowmaking on 31% of the area.
Aspen Mountain boasts 76 runs. The steepest one, Silver Queen, sits at an angle of 42 degrees. Aspen Mountain isn’t ideal for beginners, but it’s possible to ski the upper mountain while avoiding Spar Gulch and Copper Bowl, the two main top-to-botton funnel runs, which tend to intimidate families and beginner skiers. Ski off Chairs Seven, Three or Six to find some intermediate terrain at the top of the mountain. Don’t miss Ruthie’s Run, quite possibly the most consistent, fall line groomer in Colorado. The entire family will enjoy Bonnie’s, a midmountain restaurant serving legendary white bean chili and apple strudel with homemade whipped cream. Its famous two-tiered outdoor deck is a favorite hangout spot.
Snowmass is actually the larger of the four mountains with a base elevation of 8,104 feet and a top elevation of 12,510 feet for a total of 4,406 feet of vertical. It also features 3,132 skiable acres serviced by 21 lifts. Unlike Aspen Mountain, there is some dedicated beginner terrain, breaking out 6% beginner, 50% intermediate and 44% expert. Like Aspen Mountain, it also receives 300 inches of snowfall each year.
Snowmass has a total of 94 runs with 3 terrain parks, including a Superpipe and a minipipe.
Snowmass is known for its family-friendly activities as well wide-open, groomed areas. It is consistently rated a top skiing destination for families. If you don't want to ski the whole time, the entire family can enjoy the Breathtaker Alpine Coaster and the Ullr Nights.
Bar Menu Secret
Visitors on a budget can enjoy Aspen's culinary offerings by sitting in the bar at nearly every restaurant in town. Patrons can sample some of the food served from the regular menu at a fraction of the price, in a more relaxed setting.
Woody Creek Tavern
Frequented by the late Hunter S. Thompson and a lively local crew, this home-cooked hideaway in Woody Creek Canyon is an eclectic museum of underground Aspen history. The restaurant in a rustic cabin serves up burgers, tacos, soups, salads and more - all of which go well with the house-specialty drink - fresh-squeezed lime juice margaritas made with 100% blue agave tequila. 2858 Upper River Road, Woody Creek, CO 81656