Guide to Aspen Neighborhoods:

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The Core

The Core is the heart of town and a property here means you are in easy walking distance of the Gondola and the lion’s share of restaurants, galleries, shopping, and nightlife. An economic case study in scarcity, the Core commands the highest price per square foot. It holds its value, even when the market cools.

If you are looking for four-plus bedrooms with ample seclusion, you might be better off outside the Core.

A classic Red Mountain view of Aspen Mountain

A classic Red Mountain view of Aspen Mountain

Red Mountain 

Views, views, views! The crème de la crème de la crème of real estate, this famous hillside overlooking town is home to modernist jewel boxes and grand mountain chalets. Red Mountain is where real estate dreams come true.

View from Red Butte (off Cemetery Lane) looking over the Aspen Golf Course up Maroon Creek with Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Pyramid Peak in the distance.

View from Red Butte (off Cemetery Lane) looking over the Aspen Golf Course up Maroon Creek with Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Pyramid Peak in the distance.

 

Smuggler/East Aspen

With a great diversity of real estate, from 2,000 square-foot homes to 10, the East side of town is both convenient and offers up some of the best views available. It doesn’t have the strict historic coding which makes renovating / building relatively easier.  

McLain Flats and Starwood: 

When you need to stretch out and really feel like you’re in the West, but never more than 15 minutes from a Nobu restaurant, this area is for you. Fabulous views, wide open spaces, and enough land to build your home as big as you can dream it. 

A classic Victorian in the West End built during Aspen’s silver mining days.

A classic Victorian in the West End built during Aspen’s silver mining days.

The West End: 

Quaint, tree-lined streets, ginger bread Victorians and immaculately landscaped gardens make the West End one of the most sought after neighborhoods in the world. It’s peaceful and serene, yet close to downtown and even closer to the Aspen Institute and Music Tent.   


Cemetery Lane: 

Just over the Castle Creek bridge (but still inside the round-a-bout) Cemetery Lane isn’t nearly as spooky as the name suggests. While there is a beautiful old cemetery, this lovely suburban-esque neighborhood offers a variety of properties, some with fabulous views looking up Independence Pass, Castle and Maroon Creeks. It borders the golf course and is five minutes to the Gondola by car, ten minutes by bike and the free bus comes every 30 minutes.

 
 

Guide to Lift 1A Development

(Last Updated December 2018)

Whether you’ve been casually following the project over the years or are learning about it for the first time, here’s an overview of this important public / private initiative.

Gary Cooper loading onto the original Lift 1 (Image: Aspen Historical Society)

Gary Cooper loading onto the original Lift 1 (Image: Aspen Historical Society)

What is 1A?

It’s a chair lift that was installed in 1972, a shorter version of the original Aspen lift, cleverly named, “Lift 1.” Lift 1 connected with Lift 2 (now gone) which cut across Tourtelotte Park and over to the summit. 

When the gondola was installed in ‘86, the 1A-side of the mountain went cult — loved, but not by too many. When the conditions are right the lift serves some great skiing / boarding. On a sunny day, it’s a nice ride to even out the tan, but the community agrees it’s time for an upgrade.  

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The Plan

After A LOT of discussion, A LOT of back-and-forth, studies, surveys, renderings and debates (seven years worth) it appears that a working proposal has come into focus. 

1) The Lift: Move the new high speed lift down to Dean Street. This is great as that hike up to the current lift is no fun in ski boots, especially when it’s icy. 

2) The Hotels: Triple the ski-in / ski-out hotel volume from 1 to 3. The 81-room Gorsuch Haus,  will be a handsome, up-hill, upscale Bavarian-inspired “haus”. Lift One Lodge, developed by Michael and Aaron Brown, clocks in at 104-rooms and will flank a skiers’ corridor. An underground garage will link the two buildings and include both hotel and public parking. Both hotels will have various food and beverage outlets for tourists and locals.   

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3) World Cup & FIS Racing: Aspen’s long and storied history in ski racing is in danger of being just that ... in the past. Both the World Cup and the FIS races will not return until 1A is improved. 

“I can tell you sitting on a cold lift before going to the best run of your life can be difficult,” said Aspen Olympic medalist Alex Ferreira at a town hall meeting last week. “This new lift would help in bringing the town the chance to host more high-profile events.” 

 

The Absolute “Best” of Aspen 

In our humble opinion


Food + Drink

Best Salads in Aspen>>

Breakfast

Best Sit-Down Breakfast:

Hotel Jerome 

Best On-Mountain Breakfast:

Bonnie’s

Best Breakfast Burrito:

Gorsuch Café or Jour du Fête. (P.S. Jour du Fête’s building is for sale. View listing here.)

Seafood Tower at Monarch Steakhouse

Seafood Tower at Monarch Steakhouse

Lunch

Best Power Lunch:

SO Café at the Aspen Art Museum 

Best On-Mountain Lunch:

The noon seating at Cloud 9  

Best “Secret” Lunch Spot:

Pyramid Bistro

Après

Best Snack After a Powder Day:

Best $10 Burger:

Clark’s Aspen (restaurant, not the grocery store.) From 3-5pm the burger is $10,

Dinner

Best Bar Menu:

L’Hostaria (Some argue it’s better than the regular menu.)

Best French:

Cache Cache 

Best Steak:

Steakhouse 316 

J Bar, circa 1890’ … Looks pretty much the same today.

J Bar, circa 1890’ … Looks pretty much the same today.

Best Japanese:

Matsuhisa (Honorable mention, Kenichi) 

Best “See and Be Seen”

City Market

Best Fondue by Candlelight:

Crêperie du Village

Best Meal Accessible by Sleigh Ride:

Pine Creek Cookhouse 

Cocktails

Best Historical Drinking:

J-Bar 

Best Cocktails:

Monarch 




 
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Activities

Best Place to Ponder Life:

John Denver Sanctuary 

Don’t Miss Charity Event:

The Buddy Bash (Summer) and Snow Polo (Winter)

Best Secret Powder Stash:

Tiehack (Shhhhh)

Best Workout:

Hiking the Bowl 

Best Tennis Courts:

Aspen Meadows

Cultural:

Best Book (History):

The Romance of Commerce and Culture: Capitalism, Modernism, and the Chicago-Aspen Crusade for Cultural Reform by James Sloan Allen

Best Book (Coffee Table):

Dick Durrance: The Man on the Medal  

Breakfast on Red Mountain, Aspen Extreme

Breakfast on Red Mountain, Aspen Extreme

Best Movie:

Aspen Extreme (1993)


Best Magazine Articles:

• Vanity Fair: For The Love of Aspen by Mark Seal

The History of Skiing in Aspen by Aspen Journalism









 

 Flat-Landers Guide to Hiking in Aspen

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1) The Ute Avenue Trail & Wheeler Ditch Trail start at Glory Hole park and offer a pleasant stroll on the East side of town.

2) For a longer, but pleasantly flat walk try East of Aspen Trail - which parallels the Roaring Fork River Southeast of Aspen for over 3 miles. There is an interpretive wildlife-viewing stand at the North Star Nature Preserve.

3) Rio Grande Trail - Aspen’s most famous trail that follows along the Roaring Fork, it has a very gentle slope and gorgeous scenery.

4) The John Denver Sanctuary is a magical little diversion off the Rio Grande trail right behind the Rio Grande Park. Great for smelling flowers, listening to babbling brooks and reading Denver’s famous lyrics carved on various rocks.

5) No Problem Joe: A quick little jaunt along the river bank in East Aspen.

6) Ditch Trail in Snowmass is a lovely, often majestic walk through the forest with big valley views.

7) Take the Gondola up and enjoy a short hike around the Top of Ajax. You will definitely feel the altitude, but if you take it slow, it is well worth it.

For conditions and Aspen’s complete trail options check out AspenTrailFinder.com.