Posted on January 21, 2022 by Chris Klug
X Games Aspen 2022 is officially underway and we couldn’t be more excited for this action packed weekend! Having so many people in town means there will be a lot to do, but it isn’t easy navigating this weekend without a little help. Continue reading for information on Covid safety, event scheduling, advice for attending the X Games, and some happenings in town.
X Games Aspen 2022 will welcome spectators back to competition viewing and X Fest areas with proof of full COVID-19 vaccination, and masks must be worn in all indoor X Games event areas except when eating or drinking. Fans 11 years old and under may attend without vaccination if accompanied by a vaccinated adult and must wear a form-fitting facemask at all times except when eating and drinking. For additional information, please visit the X Games COVID Policies Page. Buttermilk Mountain will be open to the public operating under Aspen Skiing Company guidelines and will not require proof of vaccination for skiing and snowboarding.
Please visit the X Games Schedule Page for a full breakdown of events and results once the events happen.
Attending the X Games, especially at night, is not for the faint of heart. If you think you are wearing enough layers, bring one more! You’ll want to dress warmer than if you were hitting the slopes yourself, as a lot of time spent at the events will be standing still in snow. Insulation on the upper body is a must! Think anything puffy. Thick wool socks, snow boots, and gloves will be your best friends. If you don’t have any of those, check out Ute Mountaineer in downtown for a great selection. They also carry hand and foot warmers, which are always helpful. You may want to bring a camelback with water if you plan on getting to the front row for the big events and don’t want to leave your spot for hydration. Overall, be sure to dress as warm as you can and be mindful of the attendees around you. Everyone is there to have a good time and witness some of the best athletes in the world compete. Let’s create an environment that will have visitors feeling warm and welcomed!
First off, no trip to Aspen is complete without some time on the slopes. Spend the first half of the day eating up some of the immense snowfall we experienced in late-December, early-February before attending the games or spending time in town. Want to ski Aspen Snowmass like a local? Try “The Dumps” on Ajax for steep trees and glades. The Highland Bowl at Aspen Highlands offers some of the best inbounds, big-mountain terrain in North America. The bootpack up Highland Bowl is worth the effort! Find the “G Zones” off the summit or cut the hike short and drop in at “Fun Deck.” And if you venture past the roundabout and head to Snowmass look for “Sheer Bliss,” “Long Shot,” and “Sneaky’s” for long runs without crowds.
Want to experience what outdoor activities Aspen has to offer other than skiing/riding? Try ice climbing with Aspen Expeditions. Snowmobiling with T-Lazy 7 Ranch or Blazing Adventures. Or snow/fat bike rentals with Ute City Cycles. There is no shortage of ways to get engaged with the beautiful landscape around us. We highly recommend these excursions as you will get to see a side of this unique ski town that not many people get to witness.
When it comes to eating out and nightlife this weekend, it will be a challenge to find restaurants and clubs as open as they usually are. Reservations are almost a must if you want to experience Aspen in full form during X Games. However, there are still some restaurants and bars/clubs that you’ll be able to attend. As for quick eats in town that never require reservations, try: Silverpeak Grill (hamburgers, soups, salads), Big Wrap (burritos), CP Burger (gourmet burgers and ice skating), Grateful Deli (subs, paninis, salads), Highlands Taqueria (Mexican), and New York Pizza (by-the-slice pizza, subs, salads). For less exclusive bars/clubs in town where reservations aren’t essential, try: Eric’s Bar (billiards and cigar bar), Aspen Tap (local brewery with TVs), Escobar and/or 7908 (both dance clubs right across the street from one another), and Silver City Mountain Saloon (old-west themed bar with live music).
However you decide to do it, we hope you enjoy one of the biggest weekends of the year in Aspen! As always, reach out to us with any questions, real estate or non-real estate related. We are always happy to help improve your Aspen Snowmass experience.
Posted on January 13, 2022 by Chris Klug
Aspen’s annual “toast to winter,” dates to a quiet January in 1951 when locals decided to celebrate Aspen’s unique alpine lifestyle with an eclectic weekend of festivities. The four-day celebration features on-mountain activities, snow sculptures, a torchlight descent down Aspen Mountain, fireworks and more. One could spend the next four days attending events from 8:00 am to 12:00 am, but we would like to highlight a few of our favorites for you!
Apple Strudel Downhill – Highlands – Friday, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
This race, where everybody wins, started in 1988 when Gretl Uhl began making apple strudel at the Merry Go Round Restaurant. It became a fun race held during Winterskol on the Apple Strudel Run at Aspen Highlands. Follow the signs from top of Exhibition Lift, past the Merry Go Round Restaurant to top of Apple Strudel Run to enter race. No pre-registration necessary! Join the race on Friday, January 14th from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm, run the course, then join the other racers at the finish line for strudel and hot chocolate.
Anderson Ranch Arts Center Kidsculpt – Aspen – Friday, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Looking to entertain the kids instead? Kidsculpt is a lively snow sculpting competition as part of Wintersköl festival. With a little teamwork and a few good pairs of mittens, kids work together to transform their four square foot snow cubes into freestanding creations. Snow sculptures available for viewing throughout the weekend.
Location: Mill Street Mall adjacent to Wagner Park. In Aspen
Anderson Ranch Arts Center, 970.923.3181 or andersonranch.org
Snowmass Luminescence – Snowmass – Daily After Dusk
When the lifts close at Snowmass, things really light up. Snowmass Luminescence, an interactive art and light display presented by Snowmass Tourism and Aspen Snowmass, immerses guests and community members in a dazzling world of light and art. Skip the Skittles Gondola ride between the Snowmass Mall and Base Village and instead, stroll through The Tunnel, an interactive series of LED illuminated walkways and arches that will ignite the senses.
JAS Café, Diego Figueiredo with special guest Adrian Cunningham – Aspen – Friday/Saturday, 7:00 pm and 9:15 pm
Grammy Nominated Diego Figueiredo (pronounced fig-a-ray-doe) is considered one of the most talented guitar players in the world today. He is the winner of several important competitions including the Montreux Jazz Competition and the VISA Prize. Diego has released over twenty albums to date, three DVD’s, and several instructional books. His music is a fusion between Jazz, Bossa Nova and Classical. Diego’s unique interpretations, along with his phenomenal technique and emotion, has created an explosion of adoring fans and concert goers. Diego has performed in over forty countries around the world.
Torchlight Descent & Wintersköl Fireworks – Aspen – Saturday, 8:00 pm
This iconic event is the pièce de résitance of Wintersköl! Seeing a line of torchlight skiers descending the face of Ajax is a magical experience only to be made even more memorable by the fireworks to follow. If there is one event to see this weekend, this is it!
Wintersköl Snow Sculptures – Aspen – All Day, Every Day
Finally, stop by the fountain at the end of Hyman Street Mall all weekend to see incredible, live artwork. The Aspen Chamber Resort Association presents snow sculptures created by local artist Thomas Barlow. Two 8’ x 8’ snow blocks will be carved into works of art beginning on Thursday, January 13th. The 2022 installations are inspired by the “Wintersköl 2022 – Positive Altitude”. We hope you enjoy this historic weekend in Aspen/Snowmass. See you out there!
Posted on January 7, 2022 by Chris Klug
Happy New Year from Klug Properties in Aspen, Colorado! We hope you had a fantastic holiday and got to enjoy some of the 100 inches of snow we received in December. With that much snowfall, all winter activities are in full-swing. We would like to share some of our favorite ways to experience the world-renowned beauty that is winter in Aspen.
If skiing untouched powder is at the top of your priority list during your time here, then you won’t want to miss out on booking an Aspen Mountain Powder Tour via snowcat. These tours allow pow-seekers to indulge in some of the best stashes in Colorado on the backside of Aspen Mountain as well as a gourmet lunch with breathtaking views. The tours are meant for experienced skiers/riders who are ready to tackle the backcountry, so make sure you and your crew are prepared! Both SkiCo and the Little Nell offer tours starting early in the morning. SkiCo tours fit 10 individuals at a rate of $625/person and Little Nell tours fit 12 individuals at a rate of $750/person. Both options offer group packages for a discounted rate. To book your tour, see contact information and websites below.
SkiCo Tour: PowderTours@aspensnowmass.com or 970.920.0720
Little Nell Tour: SkiConcierge@thelittlenell.com or 970.920.6315
If you are looking for more of a family-friendly outing that will have all ages entertained for a full day, look no further than the snowmobile tours at T-Lazy 7 Ranch! They do offer a half-day tour, which takes you to a scenic view of the Maroon Bells after winding through mature Aspen groves, but the real magic is in the full-day lunch tours. Choose from exploring either Independence Pass or even more terrain below Maroon Bells on the Klondike Cabin tour with an expert guide who will point out impressive features in the landscape and wildlife romping through the snow. Elk sightings are very common out there! Our favorite part of the excursion has to be enjoying a T-Lazy 7 raised, grass-fed burger in the Klondike Cabin tucked away in the trees with views of 14,000 ft. Pyramid Peak. For more information, see contact information and website below.
Looking for more of a romantic experience with your significant other? Aspen Carriage and Sleigh can take care of that! You have the option of booking three different types of tours including the Town Tour, West End Tour, or Historic Tour. In each tour, the carriage driver will provide fun and/or historic facts about our beloved mountain town that you won’t be privy to outside of this experience. The tours always start right across the street from the legendary Paradise Bakery, allowing riders to enjoy a warm beverage during the tour. Aspen Carriage and Sleigh can also be booked for private events such as engagements, weddings, birthdays, portrait backdrops, and many more. For more information, see contact info and website below.
Finally, if entertaining the kids is of the upmost importance, these two options at Elk Camp on Snowmass Mountain will have them reminiscing for years to come! The “Breathtaker Alpine Coaster” and tubing carved into The Meadows at Elk Camp. On the coaster, riders will wind their way through over a mile of forest on an elevated track at speeds of up to 28mph. Located adjacent to the Elk Camp Restaurant, riders and passengers will be able to experience the thrilling ride during the day and during special “Ullr Nights”. For tubing, the multiple lanes are lift-served and offer endless fun for children, with lighting facilities to illuminate the runs at night during Ullr Nights festivities. For booking information, see contact information and websites below.
Alpine Coaster: 866.857.8769
Whatever you decide to do with your time in this one-of-a-kind valley, we sincerely hope you have some of the most memorable experiences to look back on for years to come! Please feel free to reach out for more recommendations or if you have any sort of real estate questions, big or small. We would be happy to help! Hope to see you on the slopes.
Posted on December 10, 2021 by Chris Klug
Vacations are supposed to be relaxing and stress-free! However, for the seasoned skier/snowboarder looking to crush the best terrain possible at a new resort, finding it can be a hassle. Given that we got over a foot of snow in the last 24 hours, we would love to help you get the most out of your time on our incredible mountains in Aspen Snowmass. We asked some of our dear friends and long-time locals to give their two cents on where they ski and why. Here is what they wrote:
“By far my favorite runs on Ajax are Blazing Star and Buckhorn. I like Blazing Star because it goes right under the lift and there are multiple jumps in a row that everyone can see from the lift, so it is the perfect time to have some fun and strut your step in front of a crowd. I love Buckhorn because it is on the far skiers left side allowing beautiful views of Highlands ski area and it’s a great place to soak up the sun.”
-Alex Ferreira, 2-Time X-Games Gold Medalist, Olympic Silver Medalist, Life-long Aspen Local
"Although peak snow conditions are necessary for optimal riding, my all-time favorite run, Kessler’s, is found off the Deep Temerity lift on Aspen Highlands. The lengthy run gives a humbling perspective of fitness and offers such a diverse set of natural features for the most creative of skiers and riders to express themselves. When I’m not tearing up leftover pow on Kessler’s, you can find me laying trenches on Aspen’s classic downhill, Ruthie’s, on Ajax. Nothing better than starting your day with a high-speed groomer and an espresso from Gorsuch’s.”
- Erik Wehse, Expert Skier, Aspen Snowmass Ski Instructor, Long-time Aspen Local
“For me, on a powder day, first tracks on Kessler’s to Deep Temerity is as good as it gets but it is best super early. I agree with the above summation. It features a variety of varying pitches that will work every level of your expert skiing ability. For cut up powder, or crud, Sheer Bliss is amazing and stays solid for hours. It is good for the advanced skier and the intermediate advanced. Groomer skiing is best on Golden Horn and Thunderbowl. It is fast and much less crowded than other great groomers like Ruthies. The Highland Bowl is fantastic for powder/crud skiing. Lastly, Aspen Mountain on a powder day, Bell, Dumps, Walsh’s, it is hard not to find amazing snow.”
- David Bach, Expert Skier, KNFO Radio Host, Long-time Aspen Local
Talk about some incredible advice from trusted sources. How often do you get hometown skiing advice from a 2-Time X-Games Gold Medalist? We hope you take what you read here and tear it up on the mountains! See you out there!
Posted on December 8, 2021 by Chris Klug
High priority today if you want to do short term rentals (less than 30 days) in 2022 in the City of Aspen for non lodging properties, based on last night’s council meeting, there are 3 steps that need to happen today before 5pm.
-Owners must have a 2021 business license (apply/paid)
-Owners must have applied for a 2022 business license (apply/paid)
-Owners must apply for a vacation rental permit (permit must be submitted, and all applicable areas filled in)
Login to your accounts and complete any outstanding tasks. Here is a screenshot of what that looks like in Munirevs.
This is a fluid situation. Tonight is an emergency meeting related to Ordinance 27 which will affect Ordinance 26. These dates/deadlines may change tomorrow, but we’re sharing what we have to the best of our ability and will continue to keep you abreast of any updates.
Here are the articles in today's news.
Here is the communication that we’ve been sharing all year on the process to apply for a City of Aspen business license and Vacation Rental Permit (STR).
Each property owner who rents a property in the City of Aspen, for any length of time, must have a business license.
In addition, if a property owner rents for less than 30 days, they must also have a Vacation Rental Permit.
Please reach out if you have any questions.
Posted on November 23, 2021 by Chris Klug
Happy Thanksgiving from Klug Properties! Whether you are a full-time resident in the Aspen Snowmass area, a regular visitor, or if this is your first time in this incredible valley; there are plenty of ways to enjoy this Thanksgiving holiday. Let us give you some ideas for how to spend your turkey day!
The quintessential Aspen Thanksgiving experience has to start with spending opening day on Ajax Mountain with the other skiers and riders who has been eagerly awaiting the lifts turning again since they stopped last April. Opening day is an electric time to be on the mountain! Smiles spread ear to ear as we all can’t help but feel like a child again doing the thing that caused most of us to move here. Conversations on the gondola are filled with gratitude and excitement, making it nearly impossible to be in a bad mood if you’re out there. After a day on the slopes, cooking a full Thanksgiving meal might seem like a lot. Don’t worry, Ajax Tavern at the base of Ajax Mountain will be offering traditional Thanksgiving favorites including roasted organic turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce and all the classic trimmings, complete with pecan pie. Dinner will run from 5-9 pm and starts at $55+ per guest. For this experience, you don’t even have to leave the mountain to get your Thanksgiving fix! Call 970.920.6334 for reservations.
For a similar experience in Snowmass, we recommend skiing or riding all day and enjoying a four-course Thanksgiving dinner at The Artisan in Snowmass Village. Seating starts at 4:30 pm and 6:30 pm in the upper dining room. For the bar area, seating starts at 5:30 pm & 7:30 pm. Pricing is $55 for adults and $20 for children under 12. Call 970.923.2427 for reservations.
If skiing isn’t your thing, but fine Thanksgiving meals that you don’t have to prepare are, you’ll want to make a reservation at Element 47 in downtown Aspen. Here, you will enjoy a three-course dinner with festive favorites and gourmet twists on traditional Thanksgiving flavors. Enjoy your choice of soup or salad to start, turkey or crispy-skinned salmon for the main course, along with family-style sides and decadent dessert. Dinner is 3-9 pm, $150+ per guest with a $100 wine pairing option, $50+ per child. Call 855.920.4600 for reservations.
If you plan on having a more traditional at-home Thanksgiving, nightlife will be waiting for you if you don’t find yourself in a turkey coma. Some of the locals’ favorite spots will be happening into the late hours including Escobar, Eric’s Bar, Public House, and Silver City Mountain Saloon if a western vibe is your style. Nightlife really starts to come alive at this time of year with the holiday season upon us.
Regardless of what you choose to do this Thanksgiving, we at Klug Properties wish you and your family the happiest of times and most delicious meals. We hope to see you on the slopes and in town as the snow keeps falling!
Posted on November 12, 2021 by Chris Klug
If you are someone who has been paying even the slightest bit of attention to not just the Aspen Snowmass real estate market, but markets in general, you’ve probably heard the term “Low Inventory” get thrown around often. Aspen Snowmass has indeed been experiencing the reality of low listing inventory, more so than most markets, but just acknowledging this doesn’t do us much good. Many factors on both sides of the equation can cause such inventory shortages. It is important to uncover which ones are at play and what they can tell us about where the market is and where it may go. However, predictions must always be taken with a grain of salt, as even the priviest data jockeys have trouble foreseeing the future.
First, let’s talk stats. At this time last year, Aspen recorded exactly 50% more single family home sales than we’ve seen in 2021. Average sold price per square foot is up 45% from an average of $1,820 per sq. ft. to $2,633 per sq. ft. Days on market have dropped 20%-50% depending on location, price, and property type. Given just these statistics, one may assume that sellers would be coming out of the woodwork to take advantage of record-high prices with less competition on the market and short turnaround time, but these stats don’t tell the whole story. Sellers have two major hesitancies when deciding to list or not: what if I sell early and miss out on more appreciation and where will I go?
To address the appreciation concern, a long-term view can be helpful to gain perspective. Since 2011, which was the low point in price per square foot in Aspen following the 2008-2009 housing crisis, we have seen 100% appreciation, which gives us an average of an 10% price increase per year. However, 26% of that has come in the last 20 months since COVID drove people to communities like Aspen Snowmass in pursuit of lifestyle changes. Some may argue that an average 10% yearly appreciation doesn’t sound unsustainable since the cat is now out of the bag in terms of people seeing the true value in mountain communities like ours. We agree to an extent. Our perspective is that we are not soon going to see a huge downturn or “correction”, but given the law of averages, we expect appreciation to level out a bit over the next 8-12 months. What are the implications of this prediction? More sellers will list their properties as they fear we are reaching the peak of this pricing spike, making the market a bit less seller-dominated than it has been and putting some negotiating power back into the hands of buyers. So, now may be a great time to get in front of buyers if you are a seller.
As for the “where will I go” concern, the possible solutions are a bit more muddled. It is true that there are very few communities out there that offer the activities, dining options, high quality schools, and many of the other amenities that make this area so special, not to mention the access. This understanding has become more widespread, and homeowners are putting their flags in the ground as to not miss out. Profiting off of a lateral move inside Aspen Snowmass at this time is extremely difficult unless the home being vacated is a uniquely special property. However, many people have found opportunities to benefit from this market by selling up-valley and moving down-valley, a growing trend in the Roaring Fork community. Down-valley homes haven’t seen the amount of appreciation we have in Aspen Snowmass, increasing the buying power of up-valley sellers. Many people, in fact, are beginning to prefer the lifestyle that comes with being in towns like Basalt or Carbondale. Living costs are cheaper, dining/shopping options increase, and accessing other parts of the valley becomes easier while still being only 20-30 minutes away from the slopes. This is a highly desirable option for sellers looking to take advantage of the Aspen Snowmass market.
Regardless of where the market may go and why, we at Klug Properties keep our finger on the pulse of the market by studying it every day and providing our clients with the most up-to-date and accurate market knowledge. With over 26 years of combined real estate success and over $500 million in career sales, there is no better team to help you accomplish your real estate dreams. To continue the discussion on what this market is doing and how you can make it work for you, please do not hesitate to call or email me today. We look forward to connecting with you and sharing our passion for real estate in the Roaring Fork Valley and Living Aspen Snowmass!
Posted on November 5, 2021 by Chris Klug
As we eagerly wait for the lifts to start spinning, the month of November can be a tricky time when it comes to dining in Aspen. Some of our favorite places close up shop to renovate, update menus, or simply wait until the holiday crowd rolls in. However, some of my favorite places remain open. Let me help you navigate the slim pickings so you can enjoy the best of Aspen’s culinary experiences regardless of the season.
If Italian comfort food is what you crave, Acquolina is your one stop shop for the best Italian cuisine in Aspen. The menu includes all the classics from bucatini, pomodori, cacao & pepe, wood-fired pizzas, and so on. The grilled artichoke hearts are to die for. Everybody from meat lovers to vegetarians can find something to satisfy on their menu. They also have one of the most extensive wine lists in town that will impress even the most cultured oenophile. Visit www.acquolinaaspen.com to see their menu and make a reservation.
Looking for an authentic deli to get your fix of fresh sandwiches, soups, meats and cheeses? Butcher’s Block is the local’s go-to for all the above. Owner and long-time local Jack Frey has been operating this fine establishment since 1973 and his passion for delivering the highest quality food to his customers is apparent. I have never been disappointed by a meal from the Block. www.butchersblockaspen.com
For fine dining and the best steak in the whole Roaring Fork Valley, Steakhouse No. 316 is a must. The dimly lit and swanky nightclub environment is all class. Every cut of meat is meticulously selected and aged to perfection. My favorites are the New York strip, garlic whipped mashed potatoes, and the grilled artichoke salad, but you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. Be sure to make a reservation, though. It is a small, intimate restaurant and fills up quickly even in the off-season. www.steakhouse316.com/
I would be remised if I didn’t mention every local’s favorite stop for a quick bite, The Big Wrap. The phrase “bang for your buck” couldn’t better describe this burrito joint. This is one of the only places inside the round-a-bout that can fill you up and then some for under twelve dollars. The Pesto Wrapture is an all-time favorite. Barbara, or as everyone knows her, Babs is the owner and can almost always be found behind the counter serving up burritos, salads, and smoothies with a smile. The off-season is actually the best time to grab a bite from The Big Wrap as the line will extend out the door and down the block when town starts filling up. That’s how you know this place is great! Call them at (970) 544-1700 to place orders ahead of time.
Lastly, a trip to Aspen isn’t complete without a meal at Hickory House. Whether it is breakfast, lunch, or dinner, Hickory House satisfies on every occasion. They are known for having some of the best ribs in Colorado, and any local will tell you that claim is not hyperbolic in the slightest. The ribs are always cooked and glazed to perfection. Their breakfast burrito is fit for a king and could last even the hungriest person all day. www.hickoryhouseribs.com
As for some of my favorite restaurants that are currently closed, here are the reopening dates. Betula (November 26), Bosq (December 10), Cache Cache (Early December), Casa Tua (November 22), French Alpine Bistro (November 25), Grateful Deli (November 1), Pine Creek Cookhouse (December 8), Wild Fig (November 26).
I sincerely hope you are having a wonderful shoulder season and do not hesitate to reach out for more recommendations in town and of course any real estate needs. I look forward to seeing you on the slopes!
Posted on October 29, 2021 by Chris Klug
Happy Halloween weekend from Klug Properties and Aspen Snowmass! The weather is getting chilly – snow is on the mountain tops, but the fall leaves are still lingering, making for some gorgeous scenery. Below are some fun local events and at home activities for all to enjoy this weekend.
On Friday, October 29th bring the whole family to Anderson Ranch for Spooktacular Creepy Crafts and a costume contest. Enjoy dressing up, getting creative with some spooky arts & crafts and trick-or-treating! Check out Day of the Dead Art Activity on Saturday, October 30th from 10:30Am – 12:30 AM at the Basalt Library. This event is free and open to all ages. On Friday evening check out the Spazmatics at Belly Up. A couple years back, we had our annual (pre-Covid) Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s Holiday party with this fun 80’s inspired band. We highly recommend you check them out and support our friends at Belly Up Aspen! On Halloween Day stop by Trunk or Treat at the Aspen Recreation Center for some creative car trunk decorating, dressing up, and trick-or-treating. End your weekend back at Belly Up with Opiuo on Sunday evening.
If you are more into staying in and cozying up at home with your friends and family, Country Living has some fantastic ideas. From making candy wreaths, witch slim, Halloween scavenger hunts and even creating an at home haunted house! Check out the full list of ideas HERE. Have a wonderful and safe weekend!
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!