Posted on October 1, 2021 by Chris Klug
With the rapid changing of both color and temperature, it is glaringly apparent that Fall in Aspen is in full swing! You will hear the phrase “off-season” get thrown around over the next month but don’t let that fool you into thinking there is nothing to do. Fall brings in a myriad of fun and adventurous options to those who know where to look. Let us point you in the right directions.
Undoubtedly, the main attraction of Fall in Aspen is the changing of the colors. Luckily for us, some of the best views in all of Colorado exist just a short drive up the illustrious Castle Creek Road. Leaf peepers travel from all over just to experience this drive. From the second you exit the round-a-bout you will be overcome with a sense of autumnal splendor that cannot be fully experienced through pictures alone. For those looking for a bit of a challenge, biking up is a great alternative. Just be sure to wear gloves and dress for temperatures ranging in the 50’s.
Road biking not your thing? The good news is, the Snowmass Lift and Mountain Bike Park with over 50 miles of trails is open for one last weekend from October 1-3. Once the lift closes, you can still spend the rest of October mountain biking paths such as Government Trail and Airline. You’ll just have to “earn your turns” as the locals say.
Both mountain and road biking not for you? Take a hike! Sunnyside trail starts just outside of downtown Aspen and offers views of all four ski areas and Independence Pass to fully take in the colors. You can also take Sunnyside to the top of Red Mountain and link to the Hunter Creek Trail, ending the hike back in downtown Aspen.
If leisure is more your speed, try taking the legendary Silver Queen Gondola to the top of Aspen Mountain for a bowl of chili or a warm cocktail to shake off the seasonal chill at the Sundeck. This weekend from October 1-3 will be the last time the gondola is in action until ski season so get up there while you can!
With off-season comes some restaurants shutting their doors until the holiday season gets closer, but there are still plenty of exquisite culinary experiences to be had. At the top of the previously mentioned Castle Creek Road exists the famous Pine Creek Cookhouse. Take advantage of still being able to drive up to the front door as cross-country skiing is the only way to access the restaurant once the snow starts falling. The Cookhouse is open daily but is also hosting a special event on October 10th at 11:00 am to celebrate the life of one of the most beloved musicians and humanitarians of the Aspen community, John Denver. For $95 you can take in the views of the Elk Mountain Range while listening to a live band cover the famed musician. The price includes meal, gratuities, and entertainment. Reservations are first come, first serve. To make reservations or for more information e-mail Suzanne at email@example.com.
Looking for a more casual experience to watch football this weekend? Zane’s Tavern is a local’s favorite for American sports bar eats and drinks. Don’t miss out on their wings! Brunelleschi’s will also be airing the games all weekend with one of the best drink deals in town: $5 for a shot and a beer!
Looking to get involved in the community this Fall? You won’t want to miss the last two weekends of the Aspen Saturday Market which has been a staple of the Aspen community since 1998. Whether you’re looking for the latest handmade local fashion or fresh produce and pastries, you can find it there! The market is open from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm.
If music is what moves you, Grammy Award-winning R&B recording artist and songwriter Leon Bridges will be performing at the world-renowned Belly Up venue on October 5th. Visit bellyupaspen.com for tickets and information regarding other fall events.
Lastly, the Wheeler Opera House is always hosting interesting and community-involved events. On October 9th, put on by the same people as the John Denver celebration at Pine Creek Cookhouse, the Wheeler hosts “A Tribute to John Denver” with Chris Collins and Boulder Canyon. Not going to be here until late October? On October 22, catch Birdtalker, a Nashville-based indie-folk five piece that’s ready to delight your ears with their most raw and immersive music yet! Visit https://wheeleroperahouse.com/ for tickets and information regarding other fall events.
Aspen is certainly quieter in the fall, but it is far from "sleepy". Locals love riding and hiking the trails and paths emanating from downtown. Meanwhile, many restaurants and shops stay open into October, with concerts and films at the Belly Up, Wheeler Opera House and other venues continuing right up until the slopes open. After all, our cultured residents need their culinary and arts fix year-round!
Posted on August 6, 2021 by Chris Klug
Summer is in full swing in Aspen Snowmass. If you’re looking for a full week, jam-packed with activities for the whole family in Snowmass Village— this one’s for you! Read on for a rocking Snowmass schedule for your weeknights.
Monday: Take the Elk Camp Gondola up to the Lost Forest for a full day of adventuring the ropes course, Alpine Coaster, rock climbing wall, disc golf, hiking trails, and mountain bike park. Fuel up at the Elk Camp Restaurant with tasty treats and delicious meals. The gondola runs daily from 10am to 5pm. Elk Camp Restaurant is open from 10:45am to 3pm. Head over to aspensnowmass.com for tickets and more information.
Tuesday: If you didn’t get enough of Elk Camp yesterday, definitely check it out on Tuesday evenings for extended hours. Last ride up is extended to 7:30pm and last ride down is 8:30pm. Tuesday nights at Elk Camp include Farm to Table Dinners and Bonus Bike Night, which features racing the Snowmass Mountain Bike Park, as well as all of the other one mountain activities. This Tuesday, August 10th is the last Tuesday evening event at Elk Camp for the summer. For more information, check out gosnowmass.com
Wednesday: The middle of the week is of course reserved for the Snowmass Rodeo. This is one of the longest running rodeos in the state of Colorado at almost 50 summer seasons! On summer Wednesdays, the appropriately named Rodeo lot becomes packed with Western flair. The gates open at 5pm, and the rodeo begins at 7pm. There’s kids activities, a cash bar, food, and even a bonfire, complete with marshmallow roasting, at the end of the night. For tickets, head over to snowmassrodeo.org. This season’s last rodeo is Wednesday, August 18th.
Thursday: Kick off the almost weekend with free live music on Fanny Hill! This longstanding Snowmass tradition (29 years in the making!) is back after last summer’s hiatus. Bring the family, friends, a blanket, some chairs, and a picnic dinner for a guaranteed good time. A few friendly reminders: no dogs, doors open at 5:30pm, and no outside alcohol. Looking for a list of performers for the remainder of the summer series? Check out gosnowmass.com
Friday: Ah, the end of the week is here. Celebrate the start of the weekend in Snowmass! Enjoy Fridays on the Mall and the artisan market in the Base Village rink. Fridays on the Mall feature dining and retail specials, plus live music and kids activities on the main mall all evening long. Take the Skittles gondola from the mall to Base Village for the artisan market, open from 4-7pm. You can find local produce and handmade goods from local retailers; including art, jewelry and fashion accessories.
Have a great week in Snowmass Village!
Posted on July 2, 2021 by Chris Klug
Happy Friday and Happy Fourth of July Weekend from Aspen Snowmass! There are so many summer events and holiday celebrations in full swing this weekend. One of our favorite summer (and winter) activities recently underwent a much needed repair, and will open this weekend. The Silver Queen Gondola received a new cable. Read on for the history of our beloved Silver Queen, the process of installing a new cable, and what you can expect for opening weekend!
The Silver Queen Gondola debuted during Aspen Mountain’s 40th ski season, in December 1986. At the time, it was only one of three gondolas in the state of Colorado and the longest gondola in the world. The installation of the gondola allowed foot passengers to the access the top of Aspen Mountain for the first time ever. The ride to the top was cut down by half. In 2006, the original cars were replaced. This past off-season, the cable was replaced for the first time.
After 35 years of no major damage, it was time to replace the cable. It took an effort from Aspen Skiing Company, Knight Equipment Company of Missouri, and Fatzer from Switzerland to complete the project the last few months. The new cable is almost five miles long and weighs 97 tons. It is 54 millimeters, a little over two inches, in diameter and weighs over eight pounds per linear foot. The cable rope was so long it arrived to town on two separate spools, to be connected on Aspen Mountain.
Now that the Silver Queen Gondola is ready for her new and improved summer debut, we can’t wait for all of the activities! The Sundeck will be open for outdoor dining, sightseeing, and hiking every day until September. While the cable replacement project was underway, Buttermilk operated the Summit Express for on mountain summer activities. Three of our four mountains are fully operating for summer activities! For a rundown between Aspen, Snowmass and Buttermilk happenings and lift tickets, head over to aspensnowmass.com
Posted on June 25, 2021 by Chris Klug
Summer is officially in full swing in Aspen Snowmass! Musical, cultural, and outdoor events and activities are back. Fourth of July is just around the corner, and is one of the best holidays to celebrate in Aspen. There won’t be the longstanding tradition of the Old-Fashioned Fourth of July Parade through the downtown core. Instead, there will be a reverse parade. How exciting to start a new tradition! Here are six more activities for a memorable Fourth of July weekend in Aspen Snowmass. These events also run through most of the summer. Check them out!
- Shows at the Belly Up: Live music was definitely a most missed event in the last year and a half. The Belly Up is back at 100% capacity with a jam packed lineup. Deadmau5 will kickoff the holiday weekend with a two night set on July 1st and July 2nd. Big Gigantic will play on Saturday, July 3rd. On July 4th, Kygo will perform a highly anticipated show to a sold out crowd. Blues Traveler will end the epic weekend on Monday, July 5th. For tickets and show updates, head over to bellyupaspen.com
- ParkRun at Aspen Golf Club: Group running is back! ParkRun is a global movement to get local communities active and outside. This particular ParkRun is a free, weekly event at the Aspen Golf Club course, which is a 5k. While it is a free event, participants are encouraged to sign up online in advance at parkrun.us/aspen. Meet on Saturdays at 9am.
- Aspen Farmer’s Market: Since 1998, our local farmer’s market has been a summer staple for locals and visitors alike. Whether you’re looking for the latest handmade local fashion or fresh produce, you can find it here! Farmer’s Market runs on Saturdays through September from 8:30am to 2pm.
- Aspen Art Museum Events: The Aspen Art Museum hosts weekly workshops, live music events, and screenings. On Saturday July 3rd, head over to the rooftop for a screening of The Sandlot, a baseball themed photo station, and a craft for the kids. For the full summer schedule of events at the Museum, go to aspenartmuseum.org
- Live Bluegrass Music at Ajax Tavern: We really missed live music! Be sure to grab lunch at one of the most gorgeous outdoor patios in town at Ajax Tavern for delicious food and great bluegrass music. Dave Notor Band plays every Saturday and Buffalo Joe plays every Sunday. What a perfect treat after hiking and biking Aspen Mountain!
- Dinner and a Movie at Ajax Tavern: New as of 2020, Ajax Tavern has brought the movie to you outdoors! Reserve a table at their gorgeous patio for dinner and be treated to a show! This week’s screening is Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. This event runs through September. For a list of weekly movies, head over to thelittlenell.com
Posted on June 18, 2021 by Lilly Thiemann
As off-season came to a halt in May and many of the Roaring Fork Valley’s restaurants and businesses opened their doors to a surge of visitors and locals, life is back to normal! The hiking trails, mountain biking paths and rivers are bustling once again, and along with this change, restaurants, stores and offices now have the option to operate in full capacity. Below, find the best way to experience the valley with an action-packed week of activities to enjoy now that our favorite mountain towns are back in business! We have curated the most iconic week in the Roaring Fork Valley, including events in arts, culture, food and music. No matter which day or night of the week it is, you can find an amazing experience to enjoy with friends, family, and even pets!
Start your week off with a bang at Belly Up Aspen! As one of Aspen’s most beloved nightlife locations which hosts various talent sets and live musical performances each year, it has become the tried and true location for a great night. On Monday, June 28, see Eli Young Band perform at 8:00 pm. At $55 for a general admission ticket, this is an affordable, entertaining opportunity to enjoy with friends, families and others, after providing either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. Other artists who will perform later in the summer at Belly Up include Kygo, LeeAnn Rimes, David Spade, Louis the Child and The Beach Boys.
Photo: Matoma performs at Belly Up in 2018 and rocks the house (Belly Up Aspen).
If your Monday night calls for relaxation with family and friends, head to Ajax Tavern! On their dining patio with stunning mountain views, Ajax Tavern will offer dinner and a movie every Monday evening. Films include something for everyone at every age, with choices ranging from Finding Nemo to Men in Black to Catch Me if You Can (Aspen Snowmass).
Photo: Patrons gather to enjoy dinner and watch a movie on the dining patio at Ajax Tavern (Aspen Snowmass).
For more music and culture appreciation, attend the Composition Program Readings on Tuesday, July 20. The Aspen Conducting Academy orchestra, consisting of staff members Robert Spano, Alan Fletcher, Stephen Hartke, and Christopher Theofanidis, will perform works for students of the Aspen Music Festival and School (Aspen Music Festival and School). These students will provide commentary on the compositional structure of the pieces. Truly understanding the discipline and dedication of the students at the Aspen Music School allows for an even further appreciation of the music they create and offer to the public each summer.
Photo: An orchestral performance at the Aspen Music Festival in 2017 (Aspen Sojourner).
If you find yourself a little dreary halfway through the week and need a burst of energy this summer, the combination of comedy, live music, and artistic talent at Wednesday Night Live in Basalt is for you! This event originally took the place of Basalt Chamber’s Wednesday concert series during COVID-19 due to restrictions on gatherings and the enforcement of social distancing, but the community embraced it so much that it will become a permanent installation. Add a little spice to your hump days from June 23 - August 11, 2021 and observe the various street performances, ranging from musicians to magicians to jugglers to comedians. Distributed throughout Basalt’s two main business districts, this event is both convenient and entertaining!
Photo: A performer in last summer’s Wednesday Night Live entertains the crowd while playing with fire (Aspen Daily News).
Start your weekend and your summer off right with the free concert series in Snowmass Village on the Fanny Hill Concert Stage. Beginning June 10, 2021, Snowmass JAS will welcome artists to perform each Thursday evening from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. These concerts are a tradition 29 years in the making, and this is a local favorite! During the summer, each Thursday evening consists of a different musical performance with an incredible, mountainesque backdrop! (Go Snowmass).
Beginning July 5, head up the mountain for a yoga session with instructor Jayne Gottlieb. Stretch out on The Sundeck and learn new poses, sequences, and increase your overall flexibility and peace of mind. Following your workout, grab a prepared meal from the restaurant packaged especially for you. Classes will respect CDC guidelines for social distancing, and be sure to bring your own yoga mat!
Photo: Participants enjoy an hour long yoga session atop Ajax Mountain with instructor Jayne Gottlieb (Aspen Snowmass).
After your weekend morning coffee at Paradise Bakery, support local farms and small businesses at the Aspen Saturday Market! Lasting through the summer into the fall season, the Aspen Saturday Market is in business from June 12 until October 9. This long-time tradition has held its own in Aspen since 1998, and empowers Colorado farmers by encouraging purchase of their locally-grown produce and artisan products. The market is open from 8:30 am to 2 pm, and includes fresh produce, breads and pastries, as well as an exhibit with llamas!
Photo: The village of white tents that houses the products of local farms and small businesses on summer/fall Saturday mornings and afternoons (Aspen Daily News).
When you’ve completed your rounds through the white tents and decided on a few delicious options to enjoy from the farmers market, head up toward the mountain with your snacks for Live Bluegrass Music at The Little Nell.
Head to the Aspen Art Museum to discover the full realm of your artistic abilities! At this family-friendly event, the workshop will focus on various forms of artistic expression and create opportunities for artists of all ages. Gallery tours will also be offered in American Sign Language, Spanish and English. This workshop occurs twice a month on the third level of the Aspen Art Museum. See the AAM website to register and learn more. (Aspen Art Museum).
Photo: The Aspen Art Museum flaunts its unique architecture on a gorgeous Aspen summer day (Aspen Art Museum).
No matter which events you choose to attend, the Roaring Fork Valley is back in action and filled to the brim with options for a lively, non-quarantined summer! Please keep in mind that admission to certain events requires proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test, as county guidelines still advise social distancing for non-vaccinated individuals. For a full calendar of more events and activities to enjoy throughout the summer, visit the chamber websites for Aspen, Snowmass, Basalt, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs.
Posted on June 11, 2021 by Chris Klug
Happy Friday from Aspen Snowmass! School is out for summer. The last official day of the school year was this past week, and the kids are certainly ready for summer break. With life returning to some degree of normalcy, that means the return of summer day camps. There is truly something for every activity and for every kid. Here are this year’s Klug Kid top five summer camps in Aspen Snowmass:
ACES (Aspen): Aspen Center for Environmental Studies has any options for kids of all ages. The camps are nature based and include hiking, exploring, building forts and much more with exceptional instructors. Older kids can even do overnight camps! https://www.aspennature.org/activities?f%5B0%5D=field_age%3A229
Roaring Fork Cycling (Snowmass): This day camp features really great instructors that are passionate about mountain biking at all levels. The instructors do an awesome job encouraging young riders, exploring all the amazing trails around Snowmass Mountain and Sky Park. Something unique about this camp is that it’s 3 days a week; which is a nice change to the busy summer day camp schedule. https://roaringforkcycling.org/programs/
Anderson Ranch Art Center (Snowmass): Anderson Ranch offers exceptional small group art classes with fun and experienced instructors and artists. The instructors and mediums change weekly, as do the age groups. At the end of each workshop, there is a fun art show that coincides up with the famous Friday luncheon and auction on the Ranch. They work on many different projects and create a ton of cool art using many mediums. https://www.andersonranch.org/workshops/
Camp Elevation at Snowmass Club: This is a fun, active camp. They use the pool, tennis, golf course and surrounding lawn for many group activities. Some weeks the kids go rafting and jeeping in the Roaring Fork Valley. For more information, call 970-923-0959.
Mountain Kids Academy (Aspen): This is organized and run by our local PE teacher and adventurer, Jared. Kids have so much fun! The Academy is an all sports camp and culminates in making a rocket and launching it. It is conveniently located right on the Aspen School District campus. Due to Covid-19, the camp will only be offered to full time local children. https://mountainkidsacademy.com/
Some honorable mention summer day camps include Camp Aspen Snowmass, Aspen Junior Golf, and Radio Skateboard Camp in Aspen. Wishing you and your kids a great summer ahead in Aspen Snowmass.
Posted on June 4, 2021 by Chris Klug
Happy Friday from Aspen Snowmass! Summer is here in the mountains, despite what the calendar might say. Masks ordinances and social distancing requirements have been lifted in Aspen and all of Pitkin County, as of yesterday. Just like all of the weekly changes in health ordinances, the local live music scene has evolved drastically since our last blogpost about live music this summer in Aspen Snowmass. Read on for everything you need to know, with the most recent updates, in local live music!
Weekly live music events will start to happen as soon as next week— yahoo! Snowmass announced in February that there will be no Thursday Night Concert Series this summer due to Covid-19 concerns. However, this decision has been reverted. Snowmass Thursday Night Concert Series will start on Thursday, June 10th and happen every Thursday through August 26th with a Fourth of July bonus concert. The Fanny Hill venue will open at 5:30pm and the shows begin at 6:30pm. Bring a picnic setup, and be sure to support the local food and beverage vendors inside the concert grounds. For lineups, head over to gosnowmass.com.
The Belly Up has been announcing concert dates starting as soon as the end of June. Latest musical acts to adorn the Belly Up calendar include Kygo on the Fourth of July, Eli Young Band, Fisher, Leann Rimes, and local favorite Big Wild. Belly Up will open at 100% capacity with no mask restrictions. However, 80% of the crowd must prove to be fully vaccinated. The other 20% must show a proof of negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of the show. For the most up to date announcements on Belly Up’s concert scheduling, head over to their website bellyupaspen.com or check out their social media @bellyupaspen. Be sure to sign up for their newsletters for the best ticket options.
Jazz Aspen Snowmass’s June Experience is back for 2021. This year’s event will be held from June 24th through June 27th at various locations in downtown Aspen, including The Little Nell, Hotel Jerome, Belly Up, and Here House at Local Coffee. VIP Passes and General Admission Passes are currently sold out due to capacity restrictions. Singe admission tickets are still available at jazzaspensnowmass.org. Do not miss out on this event! There will be 18 performers, including The Family Stone, George Porter Jr., The Motet, and Juanito Pascual. Like Belly Up, there will be no mask guidelines. JAS June Experience is one of the summer kickoffs in Aspen for 2021.
Labor Day Weekend is the traditional end of summer, and a fabulous weekend of Live Music in Snowmass Village. Jazz Aspen Snowmass hosts their Labor Day Festival in Snowmass’s Town Park for the entire weekend. The event was cancelled in 2020 due to the ongoing pandemic, but all of the musical acts booked for that year committed to performing in 2021. These acts include the one and only Stevie Nicks, Kings of Leon, Eric Church, and Maren Morris. There will be two more acts announced later this summer. Tickets from 2020 will be honored in 2021, but there are still available at axs.com/jasaspen. This is one of our favorite events of the year, so do not miss out!
Have a great weekend! We can’t wait to see you all this summer, and hope to see you at the first Thursday Night Concert on Fanny Hill next week!
Posted on May 28, 2021 by Chris Klug
Happy Friday from Aspen Snowmass! I hope you are doing well and enjoying a great kick-off to summer. Memorial Day Weekend is upon us. Summer in Aspen normally “starts” in Mid-June with the Food and Wine Classic. With that event postponed until Mid-September this year, when is the true start to summer in Aspen Snowmass? Will there be an immediate onslaught or a trickle before the Fourth of July? Let us know what you think! While most activities, restaurants, and events are slated to start Mid-June, some will open this weekend. Check out the available options below.
- Restaurants: Some our favorite Aspen restaurants are opening TONIGHT Friday, May 28th, including BOSQ and Campo De Fiori. Other restaurants to open this week include Ajax Tavern, and Casa Tua. For a full list of restaurants and operating hours, head over to eataspen.com. Most Snowmass Village restaurants will not open until Mid-June, however, there are a few exceptions. Base Village favorites Limelight Lounge and Sundae Ice Cream will open today. Do not miss out on the famous pizzas and amazing artisan ice cream!
- Events: Speaking of Snowmass Base Village, King Yoga returns to the rink starting tomorrow, Saturday May 29th for daily yoga sessions. Aaron King teaches between 9 and 10am right on the rink. Classes are $20 each, and can be paid in person or via Venmo. Who doesn’t love a morning yoga session outside with amazing mountain views?
- Activities: Summit Express chair on Buttermilk will open this weekend for summer activities, including hiking, sightseeing, biking, and lunch at the top! We are so excited to have this opportunity to explore Buttermilk this summer. Keep in mind— this service will only be offered on weekends through June. Snowmass Mountain will begin their summer operations in Mid-June, and Aspen Mountain is expected to open sometime in July for the summer. This delay is due to construction near the top.
Have a fun and safe holiday weekend! We can’t wait to see you all this summer in Aspen Snowmass. It should be a summer to remember! Happy Trails!
Posted on May 21, 2021 by Lilly Thiemann
Surrounded by the natural beauty of the Rocky Mountains, residents of the Roaring Fork Valley are particularly in tune with the drastic effects carbon-fueled transportation has on the earth. As a physically active region of the country, the Roaring Fork Valley prides itself its easy accessibility to biking paths, hiking trails, ski runs and bodies of water for swimming, rafting and paddleboarding. The ideal climate during all seasons makes walking and biking to work the standard. For these reasons, most commuters either opt for public transportation or their personal bikes to travel into town each day. But how can we make environmentally-conscious transportation even easier on our residents? Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty’s sponsorship of the WE-cycle Ride Share Program is here to save the day.
Ernie F., a part-owner of Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Real Estate and longtime Aspen community member, described WE-cycle as the perfect transportation solution for a location like the Roaring Fork Valley. The concept of bike sharing in a smaller location came about after witnessing how effective it was in several larger cities and towns. “Aspen has a vehicle congestion and parking problem, so bikes are a logical solution,” Ernie said.
WE-cycle director Mirte Mallory agreed, mentioning how ride share programs “thrive in communities with commercial, activity, and residential centers that are connected with relatively flat and safe bike routes. Aspen’s significant and well-defined bike lanes and routes indicate that bikes are welcome and encouraged. These clear definitions and delineations build confidence in riding.” Road safety and general sanitation are key principles to Mirte and her team. WE-cycle places a massive emphasis on rider safety. “Our riders' health and safety are WE-cycle’s top priority. We are taking extra precautions and steps to keep the bikes and high touch surfaces clean as well as following best practices with our staff procedures. Please join us in following public health guidelines.”
Though COVID-19 is a topic we’d all like to hear and speak about less frequently, it’s important to consider how WE-cycle recognizes and addresses issues related to it. “COVID-19 has forced all of us to change our behaviors and adapt in new and unexpected ways. We’re discovering new ways to enjoy the outdoors and often spending more time outdoors,” Mirte continued. “Bike share is a great way to alternate how you get around town, and is a socially distanced, outdoor and healthy mode of travel.”
Ernie identified another positive byproduct of WE-cycle’s existence: “For commuting to work, joy riding or hopping from place to place, this is a great solution. Imagine 50% fewer cars in town, and 50% of transportation occurring on bikes! Fantastic!” Locals are notoriously disturbed by personal vehicle use in the small towns of the Roaring Fork Valley, where resources are in close, walkable proximity. The use of this ride share program offers free, convenient access to those who do not truly need to be operating a vehicle.
Mirte concurred, mentioning the included convenience of operating on your own schedule, “From a local and commuter perspective, WE-cycle provides a fast, efficient, and often the most direct route from where one is to where one wants to be. It complements the bus routes and can be used on one’s own time, one’s own schedule, and one’s own route.”
Given the frequent tourism in the Roaring Fork Valley, Mirte believes this program will support this crowd as well. “The program gives visitors a genuine taste of a local’s experience. We hear from riders that they have seen a similar program in their city or in places they have visited and been intrigued to use it, but hesitant given the traffic. Aspen offers a calmer environment to try riding a bike for travel rather than purely recreational purposes.”
While traffic and the lack of parking are certainly an annoyance that this program can help reduce, the true mission of WE-cycle is to assist in alleviating the environmental impact of carbon-fueled transportation. “Wasteful, short trips in and out of town, fumes, and pollution are reasons this program is so vital to the Roaring Fork community,” Ernie said. “Once people start using bikes, they get hooked, and it becomes a mainstay for short distance transportation.” Mirte insightfully offered that “often, people discover a freedom and independence in getting around town by bike and using bike share in Aspen becomes a catalyst for using similar resources or even riding a bike more frequently, when they return home.” This reduces the environmental impact of carbon-fueled transportation in the cities where WE-cycle is provided, as well as in the hometowns of visitors.
WE-cycle offers traditional, pedal-powered bikes, as well as a new addition of electric powered e-bikes. Whether you’re seeking a good old-fashioned, calorie-burning ride or some technologically-engineered assistance in the altitude, WE-cycle has you covered. Ernie had some insights regarding the new addition of e-bikes: “biking in the Roaring Fork Valley is seeing a huge increase recently in part due to e-bikes.” Residents and visitors are more apt to use a WE-cycle bike now since they have options in their form of transportation. “Locals love WE-cycle for convenience, no parking fees and tremendous cost savings.” Signing up is easy and fast! Download the Transit app and create an account. “Once signed up,” says Mirte, “WE-cycle will be there for you when you need a spontaneous ride to get to a meeting, to a meal, or to squeeze in an errand. Think of WE-cycle as a bike waiting at your beck and call.
For those concerned about the competition WE-cycle could provide to the local small businesses which offer bike rentals and cycling paraphernalia, Mirte assures that “WE-cycle is designed to complement not compete with the bike rental shops. The pricing structure is designed to incentivize short in and around trips and to discourage longer recreational type rides. WE-cycle promotes the local bike shops on system maps and encourages anyone interested in extended rides to rent a bike!” .
As there are seemingly endless reasons to use this ride sharing system, Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty is incredibly proud to be the community sponsor. With the fate of our precious valley in mind, we hope everyone sees and capitalizes upon the benefit of environmental protection, cost savings, convenience and the pure joy of riding a bike! 255 WE-cycle bikes located at 49 stations are available in Aspen, Snowmass and Basalt now through the fall. Do your mental health, your physical fitness, and your planet Earth a favor -- burn carbs, not carbon!
When riding your WE-cycle bike, document your trip on social media and tag us @aspensnowmassSIR with the hashtag #BigBlueGoesGreen!
*Overtime fees for rides over 30 minutes: silver pedal bikes: $0.50/min | blue e-bikes: $5.00/min
Sign up on the app Transit or at we-cycle.org. WE-cycle is here to help you get rolling: 970.205.9222
Posted on May 14, 2021 by Chris Klug
Happy Friday from Aspen Snowmass! The weather has been absolutely gorgeous this past week, and we are ready to spend time outside hiking and biking. There is an abundance of trails throughout the Roaring Fork Valley for hiking and biking. Some are unavailable due to snow, others are dry and clear— ready to rock! Read on for the current status of some of our favorite trails in Aspen, Snowmass Village, and Basalt!
ASPEN: The consistent and favorite Smuggler Mountain Road trail is open and completely clear of snow. This is a great option for biking and hiking, and leads directly to the Hunter Creek Trail. Dogs are allowed on this trail, as well. Another summer must-do are the Ajax Mountain Trails. It is currently closed at the top because of snow. However, the Ute Trail is open, and clear of snow! This is a great hike with even better views, but beware of the challenging switchbacks.
SNOWMASS VILLAGE: Biking and hiking enthusiasts alike are loving Snowmass’s recent revamp of area trails. Some trails, and parts of trails, in Snowmass close for weeks at a time during the spring for wildlife sensitivity periods. One of the new favorites is Sky Mountain Park, which officially opens this weekend! Rim Trail North also opens this weekend. Rim Trail South has been open, and is clear from snow. Tom Blake Trail and Government Trail open in mid-June; Monday the 21st and 28th, respectively. For the most up-to-date trail information, go to snowmassrecreation.com
BASALT: Snow in May is not uncommon in Aspen and Snowmass Village. Bikers and hikers flock to the Mid-Valley for dry conditions and spectacular views in early spring. Two of our all time favorites are Glassier trails in Emma and Arbanney Kittle Trail in the Holland Hills neighborhood. As of last week, both are dry, clear, and riding fabulously.
Enjoy a great weekend biking and hiking. The weather looks perfect with warm temperatures and sunshine on both Saturday and Sunday. Get out there and get after it. Happy Trails!