Posted on September 9, 2022 by Chris Klug
Temperatures in Aspen are finally starting to cool from the Indian summer we’ve experienced over the last two weeks, and with the cooling temperatures comes arguably the prettiest time of year in the valley! As locals, we are so lucky to welcome the changing of leaves every year. With how amazing the winters and summers are, we often take the off seasons for granted. It’s good to remind ourselves and acknowledge that people not only travel to Aspen to ski in the winter and hike in the summer but some travel solely to see the mountains in the fall as they catch on fire with vibrant yellows, oranges, reds, and every color in between. This year, we can expect the hills to really light up given the amount of rain we saw this summer. We are already starting to see tinges of yellow at higher altitudes so be ready to get out there over the next 3 weeks to experience the colors in full form. Keep reading for our team’s favorite drives, hikes, and sweet spots to take it all in!
The two most obvious and well-known leaf-peeping drives are up Maroon Creek and Castle Creek. They are easily accessible, not far from town, and almost any vehicle can make it up just fine as the gradient is not steep. These drives are iconic on their own. Add in the fall colors and you’re in for a drive you won’t soon forget! Independence Pass also offers fantastic views and colors, but it is steeper and a bit more treacherous than the previous drives. If heights and steep cliff drop-offs aren’t for you, stick to Maroon and Castle. For those with vehicles equipped to handle an off-road adventure, try Little Annie’s Road up the backside of Aspen Mountain or Express Creek up to Taylor Pass for an exceptionally rocky ride. Worth it for the views, though!
If you want to hike to some great views points but don’t want to deal with steep grades, difficult terrain, or venturing far from town, try Smuggler Trail to BTS (Behind the Sign) Trail in Hunter Creek or Sunnyside near Cemetery Lane! Both offer gradual and smooth gradients while leading you to some great viewpoints where the Town of Aspen is visible among the colors. For those wanting to get farther from town, American Lake Trail, Capitol Lake Trail, and Crater Lake Trail are some of the most gorgeous yet still easily accessible trails in the Aspen Snowmass area. Seeing the fall colors reflect off the glassy alpine lakes is one of the most beautiful sights our valley has to offer.
If multitasking is your thing, it’s hard to beat fly fishing in the gold-medal Frying Pan River while taking in the colors all around. Something about the meditative nature of fly fishing combined with the vibrancy of the trees makes life feel rather surreal as the water rushes past you. On the other hand, if the opposite of multitasking is your thing, enjoy a leisurely ride up Silver Queen Gondola and relax as you soak up the colors surrounding Aspen. However you decide to take it all in, we hope you have a rejuvenating and pleasant start to the off-season. Have fun and stay safe!
Posted on September 1, 2022 by Chris Klug
Labor Day Weekend in Aspen Snowmass might be our team’s favorite weekend during the warmer months, and not just because of Jazz Aspen Snowmass (JAS). Aspen and Snowmass both have so many events happening that even if you missed your chance to get a ticket for JAS, you could still fill the whole weekend with fun, family-friendly activities. Keep reading for information on some of our favorites!
Motherlode Volleyball Classic: August 31 – September 5 @ Wagner Park
What started as a small barbecue in 1972 is now in its 49th year as one of the oldest outdoor pro/am volleyball tournaments in the country! Don’t let the lack of beaches in Aspen fool you, the volleyball scene during Labor Day weekend is world-class. Teams come from all over for a chance to compete against other athletes with one of the most beautiful backdrops volleyball has ever seen, Aspen Mountain. Grab your friends, some camping chairs and a cooler and head to Wagner Park in Downtown Aspen to enjoy the action through September 5th!
Motherlode Volleyball Classic Web Page
Concerts at Belly Up: September 2 – September 4 @ The Belly Up
JAS isn’t the only place to enjoy incredible live music this weekend! Belly Up always books a myriad of top-quality artists to compliment JAS. This year, you can catch The Kid Laroi on Friday, Sam Feldt on Saturday, and Zach Bryan & Friends on Sunday. Tickets are still available to head to the link below before they disappear.
Belly Up Tickets
Bluegrass on Ajax: Sunday 12:00 – 3:00 pm @ The Sundeck at the Top of Aspen Mountain
Again, no shortage of great music this weekend! Head up the gondola, hike, or drive up the front or back side of Aspen Mountain on Sunday after breakfast to take in some of the best views Colorado has to offer while listening to extremely talented local bands get down! The restaurant and bar are open during the concerts so grab a slice and a beer and enjoy!
As always, the Saturday Market will be in full swing on Saturday morning so be sure to stop by to experience all the art, food, and culture from our beloved valley. Also, there will be plenty of pop-up tents, yard games, outdoor bars, etc. throughout the weekend in both Aspen and Snowmass. So, if you can’t figure out what to do, just head into one of the town centers and start walking. You’ll find plenty of entertaining activities to be a part of. We hope to see you out there! Have fun and stay safe.
Posted on August 18, 2022 by Chris Klug
It is no secret that Aspen has some incredible culinary experiences that complement the attractions that made this town famous such as skiing, hiking, fishing, biking, etc. At this point, the food scene is as much a part of the list of attractions as anything else. With so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming trying to fit the best meals in during a short trip. Please enjoy the list below of some the best dishes in town according to our team of three long-time locals!
White House Tavern – Crispy Chicken Sandwich
Don’t just take it from our mouths – anyone who has spent a decent amount of time in town will recommend the crispy chicken sandwich from White House Tavern as a must-have! It is seriously impressive how many of these the kitchen cranks out on any given day. When seated, take a look around. It is almost a guarantee that each table will have at least one of these in front of them. Every ingredient could stand on its own from the house-made torta to the spicy slaw to the aioli. Each bite is better than the last.
The Monarch – Table Side Caesar
If presentation, along with taste, is important to your dining experience then look no further than the table side caesar salad at The Monarch. You could write a book on the atmosphere alone, but we’re talking dishes here. With fresh ground anchovies, freshly picked romaine and a sharp but smooth parmesan, this salad is one of the best in town.
BOSQ – 7-Course Meal
The special thing about BOSQ, aside from the exquisite dishes, is that it’s one of the last chef-owned restaurants in Aspen. Chef Barcley Dodge and his wife, Molly, have owned BOSQ since 2016 and welcome their guests as if BOSQ is an extension of their home. They include local ingredients from farms and foraging and the menu is constantly changing to reflect the best this valley has to offer. My last meal there included mushrooms hand-picked from up Independence Pass. How cool! We won’t recommend just one dish here as they are all delicious. Go for the 7-course meal and let them curate the experience for you. The drink pairings are also worth exploring.
Ellina – Halibut & Wine List
Ellina is a contemporary Italian-American restaurant with meals for everyone and an award winning wine cellar. I recently had the Alaskan Halibut and it was one of the most flavorful yet subtly complex pieces of whitefish I’ve ever tasted. To us, Ellina is a must while in Aspen. Ask to sit in the lower level. The atmosphere is intoxicating. We would also recommend letting the expertly trained staff pair your food and wine. What an experience!
J-Bar or Ajax Tavern – Burger
No Aspen foodie list would be complete without mentioning the best burgers in town at the Hotel Jerome’s J-Bar or The Little Nell’s Ajax Tavern. It’s hard to say which one is better. We go back and forth. You’ll just have to decide for yourself. What we can say, however, is don’t miss out on the truffle fries if you go to Ajax Tavern. They pair perfectly with the burger. Also, try sitting at the bar at J-Bar and ask to see “the drawer” and the history behind it. It’s a fun little piece of Aspen’s culture.
We could go on listing 100 more meals to try, but these are some of our favorites. For more recommendations, feel free to give us a shout. Happy to talk food, wine or real estate anytime! Enjoy the rest of August and we hope to see you out and about enjoying some of the best culinary experiences in the world.
Posted on August 5, 2022 by Chris Klug
Jazz Aspen Snowmass (JAS) is one of the most iconic summer events in the entire Roaring Fork Valley and is known as the last full-blown summer music event before the colder temps start setting in. It’s brought some of the world’s biggest artist to our small mountain community such as: The Allman Brothers. B.B. King, The Black-Eyed Peas, The Doobie Brothers, Journey, Sheryl Crow, and many more. This year, the big names include Leon Bridges, Chris Stapleton, Zach Bryan and Stevie Nicks! If you plan on attending, there are some rules and best practices to be aware of to have the best JAS weekend possible that we would like to share with you.
The first thing you’ll want to do is download the JAS App prior to attending. This will give you the most up-to-date information about set times as well as event maps, vendor info, contests and more! The app will be your best friend and help you to navigate as efficiently as possible while not missing out on any exciting events. Secondly, know about parking and how it works. On-site parking is only available to Donor (VIP) ticket holders. Anyone with a GA ticket will park for free at the Brush Creek Intercept Lot and take a free shuttle service to the venue. It’s a quick 5-minute ride and they have plenty of busses operating, so you won’t be waiting for long!
With the exception of the JAS Deck and Donor tickets, the experience is a lawn-seating/general-admission venue with a first-come first-serve system. Concertgoers are permitted to bring blankets up to 40” x 60” maximum (no tarps) and ground level chairs no more than 6” above the ground. If getting a prime spot is important to you, be sure to show up early and claim a section with great views of the stage, as they tend to go quickly. Directly in front of the stage is standing-room-only section where blankets and chairs are prohibited. This is a great place to experience the concerts if you don’t have a seating area picked out early on.
Possibly the most important part about the festival is staying hydrated! JAS now has reusable water stations placed throughout the venue that allow attendees to have access to free, cold water at all times as long as you bring a reusable bottle or purchase one of the JAS reusable bottles. Plastic bottles will be available for purchase, but JAS encourages using the water stations to cut back on waste. Kids under the age of 3 are permitted for free and children 4-12 get discounted tickets. Lastly, just be prepared! The experience is at high altitude and temperatures can fluctuate rapidly so bring extra sunscreen and layers to stay comfortable. The music typically happens rain or shine, so you’ll want to be ready for anything.
VIP tickets are sold out, but GA tickets are still available. Check the link below for more information about tickets and pricing. We hope to see you out there! Should be some great performances.
Posted on July 15, 2022 by Chris Klug
So far this summer, it has felt like every weekend has been filled with a large, extravagant event. From Food & Wine, Fourth of July, Aspen Ideas and more, it’s been hard to find time to breathe during it all. With a relatively quiet weekend on the horizon, we want to share some events that don’t garner attention from the whole town of Aspen and are repeatable throughout the rest of summer on slower weekends.
Historic Downtown Walking Tour (10:30 am, Wheeler Opera House)
A guided walking tour of historical buildings in downtown Aspen, with interesting stories around every corner. This tour begins in front of the Wheeler Opera House and ends at the historic Hotel Jerome. This tour lasts 1.5 hours, register here.
Garden Tours at The Little Nell (4:00 pm, The Little Nell)
Join a weekly garden tour from 4 – 4:30 pm led by The Little Nell’s head gardener Arabella of Busy Beavers Gardening. Recognized for being both beautiful and sustainable, The Nell Gardens include Aspen’s only living wall, an herb garden, a cutting garden and more. Learn about high altitude gardening plus pick up tips for maintaining your own garden at home. This complimentary tour is open to all; no need to register.
Aspen Chamber Symphony (5:30 pm, Benedict Music Tent)
Discover an exciting new artist in a piano tour de force and hear an enigmatic symphonic swan song in this concert conducted by AMFS Music Director Robert Spano. Click here for more information.
Community Bike Ride Series (9:00 am, AspenX Store)
ASPENX and Ventum are pleased to announce a community bike ride series this summer. Join every Saturday at 9:00 AM at the ASPENX store in gondola plaza. A ride leader will then take you on a ride of your choice, spirited or no drop, with a different route each day. This event is free to all who join. Ride duration is about 2 hours total. Routes will be posted each week on Instagram @ASPENX.
Saturday Classical Music atop Aspen Mountain (1:00 pm, Sundeck)
Relax at 11,000 feet in a glorious meadow overlooking Mount Hayden and take in the beauty as students of the world-renowned Aspen Music Festival & School perform a repertoire of their own choosing. Bring a picnic (or build one at the Sundeck) and a lawn chair and enjoy. Located just a short walk out Richmond Ridge from the top of the gondola.
Live Bluegrass Music (12:00 pm, Sundeck)
Sunday's this summer season locals and tourists alike get down to some of Colorado's best bluegrass bands on the top of Aspen Mountain. With the Elk Mountain Range as a backdrop, great drinks and great food from the Sundeck and lots of activities for the kids, this is a perfect way to relax, unwind and spend an afternoon with friends and family.
Sunday Sunset Dance Party at AAM (5:00 pm, Aspen Art Museum)
Join the Aspen Art Museum Sundays from 5–9 PM for their new weekly Sunday Sunset Dance Party on the Aspen Art Museum’s rooftop! They will be featuring cocktails from The Slippery Slope, snacks from the Rooftop Café, and music by Golden, the resident DJ for the summer. Expect parties weekly, so mark your calendars!
Posted on July 1, 2022 by Chris Klug
The 4th of July is one of the biggest and busiest days of the year in Aspen! The Old-Fashioned Parade has been a staple of the Aspen community for decades and locals take pride in how it has stayed relatively the same over the years. It’s quite the spectacle to see the old-school hot rods get dusted off for their big day. The combination of old cars, horses and floats we see year after year epitomizes a lot of what Aspen holds dear and what makes this town so special. As must-see as the parade is, it isn’t the only way to enjoy the 4th in town. Keep reading for info on fun events around town including the all-new Community Village.
Community Village: 10am – 2pm
This year, Aspen will be hosting a Community Village along various downtown streets and Wagner Park from 10am – 2pm. This celebration is free to the public and fetures a parked car show, live music and dance, plus community organizations that help Aspen maintain its magic.
Boogies Buddy Race: 8am
Boogie’s Buddy Race is one of the most widely anticipated activities of the Fourth of July week in Aspen. The event includes a 5-mile, 5K, and a 1-mile Family and Canine run/walk. Start your Fourth of July off right with this family-friendly event that supports the Buddy Program’s four youth mentoring programs! Join at the link below.
AVSC 4th of July BBQ: 12pm – 3pm
Join the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club for a day of games, activities, burgers from Ajax Tavern, beer, wine and margaritas, live music and more. Immediately following the 4th of July parade, people will gather in Koch Park for a fun afternoon celebrating our country and community!
Aspen Music Festival and School 4th of July Concert: 4pm
-Benedict Music Tent
The annual free 4th of July celebration brings the AMFS band to the tent stage with stirring patriotic favorites. A beloved tradition.
Laser Light Show: 9:15pm
Last but certainly not least, Aspen’s Independence Day tops off the night with a spectacular Laser Light Display in Wagner Park. As much as we may miss the actual fireworks, it is extremely important to respect the local laws and protect our environment. It’s been a hot summer already and conditions are dry. The laser show will still be a sight to behold! Have a safe and fun holiday weekend! We hope to see you in town.
Posted on June 17, 2022 by Chris Klug
Please enjoy a look into the Aspen Snowmass market as of May 2022.
Aspen Snowmass Market Snapshot as of May 31, 2022:
- SF $ Vol. up YTD in Aspen 21% and 5% in SMV
- SF transactions down 22% in Aspen, 29% in Snowmass & 42% in Basalt.
- Avg. SF sold $ in Aspen up 54% at $19.5 mill. and 47% in SMV at $7.7 mill.
- Avg. SF sold $/SF in Aspen up 58% at $3,280 and 36% at $1,645 in SMV.
- Aspen Condo $ Vol up 16% while transactions down 41%, SMV condos $ vol. down 31% and transactions down 55% YTD.
- Aspen Condos avg. sold $ up 97% at $4.8 mill., and avg. sold $/SF up 61% at $2,856.
- Snowmass Condos avg. sold $ up 54% at $2 mill., and avg. sold $/SF up 62% at $1,455.
- Aspen inventory overall down 50% from May ’21 and 20% in SMV.
- Aspen SF DOM 317 5/31/21 vs. 162 5/31/22
- Aspen Condo DOM 180 5/31/21 vs. 84 DOM 5/31/22
- SMV SF DOM 234 5/31/21 vs. 156 DOM 5/31/22
- SMV Condos DOM 168 5/31/21 vs. 93 DOM 5/31/22
- Single-family sold vol. up 21%, transactions down 22%, avg. sold price up 54% at $19.5 mill., sold $/SF up 58% at $3,280. DOM down 49% from May ’21, inventory down 38%.
- Condo sold vol. up 16%, transactions down 41%, avg. sold price 97% at $4.8 mill., avg. sold $/SF up 61% at $2,856, ADOM down 53%, inventory down 59%.
- Single-family sold vol. up YTD 5%, transactions down 29%, avg. sold price up 47% at $7.7 mill., avg. sold $/SF up 36% at $1,645, ADOM down 33%, inventory up 25%.
- Condo sold vol. down 31%, transactions down 55% YTD, avg. sold price up 54% at $2 mill., avg. sold $/SF up 62% at $1,455, ADOM down 44%, inventory down 31%.
Posted on June 17, 2022 by Chris Klug
It’s officially one of the biggest weekends in the culinary and wine world as the Food & Wine Classic is underway in Aspen! When the most famous chefs and winemakers from around the globe commune in one location, scoring tickets is bound to be difficult. Passes have been sold out for weeks leading up to this weekend, but you don’t necessarily need a pass to enjoy town and get some delicious treats and drinks. Here are some ideas for how to spend your weekend.
The Aspen Art Museum (AAM) will be open all weekend featuring their new “Mountain/Time” exhibition exploring the ideas of re-mapping, migration, Indigenous geographies, storytelling and time in themes inspired by the intertwined histories and geographies of the mountains and their ecological systems. Grab a glass of wine from the rooftop café and explore the exhibit for your own personal, air-conditioned wine tasting event.
Kemo Sabe, the little hat store with a huge reputation, will be open all weekend offering drinks and hors d’oeuvres for those shopping and browsing their intimate western collection. If you don’t already have a branded Stetson from Kemo, this is a great weekend to stop in and get one as the sun will only continue to get hotter over the next month.
The Aspen Saturday Market will be open tomorrow morning starting at 8:30am. You may not be able to walk around with wine in-hand, but there is no shortage of food to be had. Our favorites are the pastries from Louis Swiss Bakery and the kettle corn stand!
Views and rooftops more your speed? Stop by the W rooftop for a delicious watermelon mojito and look over the Food and Wine tents as you laugh about having better views!
Lastly, depending on what kind of food you are looking for, almost every restaurant in town offers custom menus featuring fantastic wine pairings this weekend. Finding a table might be difficult at peak hours, but if you look for reservations between standard lunch and dinner times, you can probably find a seat and enjoy the specialty pairings while they last. However you spend your weekend, please be safe and enjoy the start of summer in our special mountain town!
Posted on May 20, 2022 by Chris Klug
We are just two days away from the 28th annual Ride for the Pass taking place at 10:00 am this Sunday, May 22nd. We are extremely proud to sponsor this event and support the work done by the Independence Pass Foundation. For decades, the foundation has been doing the important work of restoring and protecting the ecological, historical and aesthetic integrity of the Independence Pass corridor. Without foundations like these and without the support they receive from our community, so much of what we enjoy in this valley would not exist. We would like to give a big thanks to the foundation and everyone who has signed up to ride on Sunday. Keep reading for more information about the event.
If you haven’t already signed up, you still have time! However, there will be no day-of sign ins. So, be sure to sing up now and secure your spot. Registration costs $25 for adults and $10 for kids 12 and under. For timed riders, the race starts at 10:00 am and for recreational/e-bikers it starts at 10:10 am. There is parking available at the large pullout across from Difficult Campground, along highway 82 pullouts and very limited parking at the winter closure gate, which is where the race starts. There will be two finish lines: The first at Weller Lake turnout, just over two miles from the starting line for families and recreational riders, and the second at the traditional Independence ghost town site ten miles from the start (climbing 2,300 feet and topping out at 10,800’ in elevation). Winning times are usually around 40 minutes with most riders finishing under two hours. There will also be trucks taking your warm clothes to the appropriate finish lines. Just bring a bag labeled with your name and have it loaded by 9:45 am.
After the race, there will be a barbecue and raffle at the start gate. Enjoy some well-earned burgers, brats and beers and mingle with fellow racers in support of the Independence Pass Foundation. There will be no awards ceremony since riders will be finishing at different times, but preliminary results will be available just a few hours after the event with official results emailed to riders in 24 hours. This is going to be a great day for a great cause. We have always enjoyed participating in the race and look forward to seeing you out there!
Posted on May 13, 2022 by Chris Klug
Summer is right around the corner! This means there will be events almost every week in Aspen Snowmass ranging from concerts, speakers, races and plenty more. While there won’t be a shortage of things to do, you’ll want to plan ahead for some of the big events that have been staples in our small mountain town for years. If you want to experience an Aspen summer in full form, don’t miss out on the following events.
Aspen Food & Wine Classic – June 17-19 – Tickets Here
The Aspen Food & Wine Classic is the ultimate foodie and oenophile event. For just three days out of the year, the top names in food and beverage gather for this incredible festival. Attendees get to meet celebrity chefs, taste incredible dishes and frequent a mix of more than 80 classes and talks. Currently only wait-list tickets are available, but they typically add more tickets as we get closer to June.
Aspen Ideas Festival – June 25-July 1 – How To Attend
For over 60 years, the Aspen Institute has been the nation's premier gathering place for leaders from around the globe and across many disciplines to engage in deep and inquisitive discussion of the ideas and issues that both shape our lives and challenge our times. With topics ranging from sustainability, health, energy, mindfulness, politics and much more, anyone can find speakers and events that interest them. It’s special that we get such a diverse group of intellectuals in our small mountain town. We are very excited to attend!
Jazz Aspen Snowmass (JAS) – September 2-4 – Tickets Here
If you haven’t heard about JAS and you live in the valley, get your head out of the sand! Every summer this is the biggest music event from Aspen to Rifle. Located in Snowmass, JAS has brought names such as B.B. King, The Black Crowes, Steve Miller Band, Hozier, Mumford & Sons, and many more! This year you can see Stevie Nicks, Chris Stapleton, Leon Bridges, Little Big Town, Zach Bryan and Black Pumas among others. This is a family friendly event with delicious food, drinks merchandise from local vendors.
Aspen Music Festival – June 30-August 23 – Tickets Here
Founded in 1949, the Aspen Music Festival and School is regarded as one of the top classical music festivals in the United States, noted both for its concert programming and its musical training of mostly young-adult music students. The typical eight-week summer season includes more than 400 classical music events—including concerts by five orchestras, solo and chamber music performances, fully staged opera productions, master classes, lectures, and children’s programming—and brings in 100,000 audience members. You’ll also find music students scattered throughout town as they showcase their talent.
Bonus: Free to Attend: Snowmass Concert Series & Aspen’s Saturday Farmers Market
Starting June 16, Snowmass will be kicking off the much-anticipated FREE summer concert series with band Hot Buttered Rum. These free afternoon concerts are beloved by locals and always deliver. Just be sure to bring an umbrella because it almost always drizzles on Thursdays in the summer. Don’t ask us why! Lastly, the Saturday Farmers Market starts on June 11 and features the best in local food, clothing and wares. Start your Saturday off with a hike up Ute or Smuggler then walk into town to enjoy the market. At least that’s how we prefer to do our Saturday mornings! Happy springtime and we hope to see you soon.