Information & Facts
Aspen is mainly regarded as America's prime winter holiday
resort, with downhill skiing providing its lifeblood since 1936.
The Silver Queen Gondola transports skiers to the top of Aspen
Mountain above the town to take on the expert and intermediate
slopes. Two miles (3km) west of town the Buttermilk area provides
novice and intermediate runs while further out, at Snowmass and
Aspen Highlands, families can enjoy a variety of types and levels
of snow fun. Cross-country trails snake through the national
forest. As a holiday destination Aspen is not only a winter
wonderland, however. In summertime when hotel rates are lower, the
arts and sports take over as main attractions, with an annual music
festival being a big drawcard. Fishing on the lakes and river is
popular, and there are excellent golf courses. Hikers enjoy the
trail leading to the Conundrum Hot Springs, and sightseers fill
their time with the Aspen Arts Museum and the Wheeler Stallard
House Museum with its Victorian charm.
English is the most common language but Spanish is often
spoken in south-western states.
The US Dollar (USD) is the unit of currency and is divided into
100 cents. Only major banks exchange foreign currency. ATMs are
widespread and credit cards and travellers cheques are widely
accepted. Travellers cheques should be taken in US Dollars to avoid
hassles. Banking hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.
As a top-rate ski resort, the quality is reflected in the Aspen
prices and as such is not for those seeking a budget ski vacation.
It can also get rather crowded.
Après-ski is a vital part of any winter holiday, and Aspen pulls
out all the stops to ensure its visitors an unrivalled night out on
the town. Sophisticated social spots abound, from comfy cigar bars
to trendy cocktail lounges, while the younger set will find live
music venues to get their groove on like Shooters or Belly Up which
artists from around the globe. Syzygy is a hot spot for live jazz
every night while the Regal Watering Hole is a more laid-back and
very chic option for after dark activities.
All that crisp, cold air and exercise ensures that Aspen's
visitors are a hungry bunch, but even the heartiest appetites go
well satisfied in the resort which has a huge range of restaurant
offerings, from takeaways to gourmet fine dining. Some
recommendations include Pinons, with its delicious menu which
includes game dishes and an awesome view of Aspen Mountain; the
eclectic Woody Creek Tavern, where the burgers are sought after by
some celebrity regulars; and the Kenichi sushi den with its lively,
Whether you're on an Aspen holiday for the winter sports or just
to be seen (or both), you will have to schedule quite a large slice
of your time to the resort's other main activity, which is
world-class shopping. Unfortunately prices are world-class too, but
that should not deter even the most budget-conscious browser from
'just looking'. The retail options extend from home-grown stores
offering handcrafts to high-fashion designer boutiques, jewellery
to die for, antiques and collectibles, and even a unique pet's
paradise where you can outfit your pooch in style. Those who did
not come well prepared can, of course, also find trendy ski-wear at
local upscale outlets like Gorsuch, where celebrities flock for the
latest in mountain style.