After the SIA Snow Show, we headed to Aspen. When we were booking back in January, it was the only area with nearly all of its double black diamond terrain open (none of the other Colorado resorts had much, if any, steeps open given the low snow). While we were there, it snowed 2″. After we left, it really started to come down. The snow depth at their four mountains now measures: 47″ at the top of Snowmass (13″ new in the last 7 days), 29″ at the top of Aspen (11″ new in the last 7), 47″ at the top of Aspen Highlands (9″ new in the last 7) and 36″ at the top of Buttermilk (8″ new in the last 7). It was a good week to be in Aspen: The week after X Games is always much less crowded. We stayed in the West End of town. A large post-modern 2 bedroom apartment rental with >1000 sq ft for $150/nt. Surely, this is the best rental deal in Aspen so book this on Flipkey while you can. We highly recommend it.
You’ll be glad you saved money on lodging when you see some of the Aspen area’s other prices: adult 1 day lift ticket = $114 (buy online for a small discount); Snowmass’ Up4Pizza cookie $4.50, fancy pizza slice $17.25 or pizza pie $40 – see the video below) … skiing Aspen with Chris Davenport and Dean Cummings = priceless but more on that later. So you get the picture. Consider it the price of admission to some of the best times you’ll ever have in a ski town. Be sure to have lunch at Aspen Highlands’ Cloud Nine (located at the top of the Cloud Nine chair) – the food is great (best steak tartare I’m told) but the music, dancing and energy are even better. Sample the fun in the video below. If you need to demo and service your skis, head to The Ski Shop (video below) located next to Starbucks below the Aspen Gondola. Then, go apres ski at Sky Bar in the Sky Hotel. Aspen has countless good restaurants and many offer a less expensive bar menu. Our friend, KK, took us to FinBarr, an Irish pub restaurant that’s a local fav. We also stopped in at Campo di Fiori and Jimmy’s for drinks afterwards. The hot clubs are now Escobar and the Regal. The location for live music hasn’t changed for decades but it’s undergone a couple of name changes and is now called Belly Up. I remain convinced that if you’re looking for a hip, fun and upscale ski town, there’s nothing in N. America like Aspen. Yup, we’ll be back for sure.
If you’re driving, here are some tips for parking in the area. Generally, parking is free at Buttermilk and free for HOV (4 or more) at Aspen Highlands and Snowmass. See aspensnowmass.com for ski area parking info. If driving to Aspen Mon.-Sat. 10am-6pm, the best parking deal is a free carpool (2 or more) parking pass or an $8/day residential parking permit. Both permits are available weekdays from the drive thru Airport Parking Kiosk located at the airport’s Airport frontage road from 6-11am or, after those hours, at the Aspen Parking Dept., 540 E. Main St. which is open weekdays until 5pm. The residential parking permit can also be purchased at Aspen’s City Market and Wheeler Opera House. More parking info for Aspen is available here. Otherwise, you can short term park in Aspen at any meter ($2, 5, 8 or 12 for 1-4hrs respectively).