Posted on November 13, 2019 by Katie Shapiro
@aspenbucketlist / Instagram
The 2019/2020 ski season is so close we can hardly stand it! Aspen and Snowmass open on Thursday, November 28 and Highlands and Buttermilk open on December 7. With more than one million photos tagged #aspen on Instagram and innumerable international media outlets also circulating editors’ picks around the Internet, pre-planning to make the most of your time in Aspen/Snowmass and the Roaring Fork Valley is a daunting challenge.
Enter Aspen Bucket List — an Instagram account curated by an Aspen native, who’s called the Roaring Fork Valley home their entire life. While we can’t reveal their identity, they launched @aspenbucketlist on June 1, 2017 and have since amassed 26,000 followers for stunning photography, insider pro-tips, local knowledge, exclusive partner offers, and more.
Powered by Bucket Listers, a national network of city guides around the world, its local account manager is a friend of founder and CEO Andy Lederman, who started the digital company in Chicago in 2016. Self-described as “the world’s largest adventure club,” each city’s official Bucket List is compiled with reliable, bucket list-worthy events and experiences that admins personally experience to give their stamp of approval. This strategy has garnered 10 million explorers that now follow their lead in more than 15 cities through social media, online, and email newsletters to take their own adventures.
So to help you narrow down your itinerary for the season ahead, we turned to Aspen Bucket List to share their top 10 picks for the ultimate winter in Aspen. And if you’re not already following, find Aspen Bucket List on Instagram @aspebucketlist and tag them in your posts for a chance to be featured using #aspenbucketlist.
1. Ski Highland Bowl
For anyone who's a good enough skier or snowboarder, a powder day Bowl lap (or three) is a must. aspensnowmass.com
2. Winter X Games
Attending X Games or just being in town during the long-running annual competition is a definite winter Bucket List event to attend. The energy around town is infectious. Aspen is alive with extreme things to do around every corner — from seeing live music slopeside to parties celebrating athletes at the Sundeck to watching the Men's Snowboard Halfpipe live (an Aspen Bucket List personal favorite). xgames.com
3. Uphill Traffic
Skinning, aka “uphilling,” at any of the four mountains on an early morning or late afternoon is so fun and gratifying. Start with Tiehack on Buttermilk and progress from there. Dinners at the Cliffhouse on top of Buttermilk are an added bonus and happen periodically throughout the winter on full moon nights. aspensnowmass.com
4. Hike to Weller Lake
Drive to the bottom of Independence Pass and hike with your favorite pal or pet up the road to the Weller Lake trail. Go up to the lake and back while enjoying all of the beauty and serenity that Indy Pass has to offer during the winter months. independentpass.org
5. Snowmobile to the Maroon Bells
You absolutely can't beat the Bells in the winter. Ask a buddy with a sled or book a guided tour with TLazy7 to see the spectacular views without the crowds. tlazy7.com
6. Dine at Pine Creek Cookhouse
This experience is nothing short of incredible. Cross-country ski, walk, snowshoe, or ride a horse-drawn carriage to the Pine Creek Cookhouse in Ashcroft — just about a 15 minute drive from downtown Aspen. Find 5-star everything from the food to the views to the service. And tell 'em @aspenbucketlist sent ya. pinecreekcookhouse.com
7. Aspen Powder Tours
Check out the backcountry terrain on the backside of Ajax and ski powder all day long via snowcat service. Great turns, good vibes, and a private experience that you'll never forget. aspensnowmass.com
Held January 9-12, 2020, this classic Aspen tradition turns downtown into a spirited celebration of the Nordic lifestyle with a parade, fireworks, ice sculpting, and more. aspenchamber.org
9. Dinner at Maru
There’s nothing like fresh sushi and hot saké after a long day in the mountains. Check out Maru, a locally owned hot spot with the highest quality ingredients in town. Chef Taylor Hale brings decades of experience and passion to his food set in a local’s atmosphere. maruaspen.com
10. Avalanche Ranch Hot Springs
For a relaxing day off, or to warm up your bones after completing items #1 — #9 on our Aspen Bucket List, take a drive down to Carbondale and check out Avalanche Ranch Hot Springs. Rejuvenate the body in their private pools along the Crystal River. Differing temperatures provide everyone with a perfect place to decompress and soak in the views. Make sure to make a reservation. avalancheranch.com
Posted on October 16, 2019 by Katie Shapiro
After its much-anticipated and celebratory debut season last year, Snowmass Base Village is readying for another wonderful winter ahead with new happenings, restaurants, boutiques, and real estate opportunities.
At Aspen Skiing Company’s annual “Upload for the Download” summit in September, Skico executives and Town of Snowmass Village officials shared the successes from 2018/2019, highlighting the Ikon Pass as a driver of new visitors. The focus was on the ongoing development of SBV, which beginning in November, will officially welcome One Snowmass.
The two buildings (One Snowmass East and One Snowmass West) will be joined by an enclosed walkway that allows the buildings to essentially “live as one.” One Snowmass will also serve as the new arrival center for SBV, featuring a central check-in, hospitality welcome area, and transit center for the Roaring Fork Transit Authority. RFTA will add a free shuttle service to and from downtown Aspen with stops at Aspen Pitkin County Airport, Buttermilk, Aspen Highlands, and more along the way.
One Snowmass’s partnership with Inspirato — a Denver-based global leader in luxury travel — is the first of its kind, combining Snowmass home ownership with access to its exclusive collection of private homes, hotels, resorts, and bespoke experiences around the world.
One Snowmass West
Comprised of two-, three- and four-bedroom residences ranging in approximate size from 1,620 to 3,770 square feet, the 41 total units exude a mountain modern aesthetic with an emphasis on familiarity, comfort, and timelessness using details like high ceilings, rustic wood floors, warm textures, and carved accent tiles. A soon-to-be-announced fractional ownership program (1/15th interest) will be offered in One Snowmass East. Both new fractional and whole ownership buyers will also receive a five-year Inspirato Membership, which includes access to the in-house Inspirato Lounge on the ground floor of the building. Offering an exclusive, slopeside hangout, owners and Inspirato members can après-ski, mingle, and relax after a day on the mountain. A private fitness center and rooftop terrace with an infinity-edge spa and fire pits are also available to owners and renters.
With a bevy of additional benefits, we caught up with Andy Gunion, East West Partners managing partner for the Roaring Fork Valley, to break down the most commonly asked questions about SBV’s latest real estate offering for you:
- Can I buy my residence furnished? One Snowmass will feature two model residences that are fully furnished and can be purchased at an additional cost of the furnishings. As most residence owners prefer to select their own furnishings, One Snowmass does not offer furniture packages, but we can connect you with designers who can help you complete your residence.
- Can I rent my residence? Yes, you can rent your residence if you would like. The One Snowmass partnership with Inspirato offers world-class property management through Inspirato. In addition, Snowmass Mountain Lodging will be managing the HOA and offers a premier rental program.
- Will One Snowmass be pet friendly? Absolutely. Residents at One Snowmass are allowed to have two pets. There are no restrictions on breeds, but all pets must be safe, and their existence cannot create a nuisance to other residents. Of course, you must be diligent about picking up after your pet.
- Will there be charging stations available to charge my electric vehicle? Yes. The garage features charging stations that owners may utilize.
- Where can I store my skis and boots? Owners will have access to a private ski locker room located on the second level in One Snowmass East. Each owner will have a locker for ski and boot storage.
- What do you mean when you say One Snowmass is a healthy building? We partnered with Certified Healthy to ensure and validate that One Snowmass is a healthy and safe place to live. And we held ourselves to the highest standards for healthy design and construction. The LEED rating and certification system is the industry standard for environmentally sustainable building. This process offers third-party verification that One Snowmass has been designed and built using strategies aimed at reducing energy and water usage, promoting better indoor air quality and improving quality of life. One Snowmass is pursuing a Gold certification from LEED.
- How do I get more acquainted with the HOA? Prior to closing, the HOA will offer a new resident orientation, where we will provide you with a homeowner handbook, which explains everything and includes a copy of the rules and regulations. Upon closing, you’ll begin to receive communications to keep you informed of upcoming meetings and other important events and information.
- How much are the HOA dues? Current estimates indicate an average of $17 per square foot annually (including both One Snowmass and Base Village Master Association). This amount includes the annual allocation to reserves for long-term repair and replacement of common elements.
- What will my HOA dues include? The HOA dues include all of the amenities and services in One Snowmass, including utilities: property insurance, engineering services, water, sewer, trash/recycling, gas, electrical services, snow removal, common area property maintenance and parking assessments from the Master Association.
- What additional costs will I be responsible for as an owner? In addition to the individual HOA dues, each homeowner is responsible for their home’s phone, TV and internet access, property taxes and homeowner’s insurance for furniture, art or any residence upgrades performed by the homeowner after initial closing.
- Who is handling the property management at One Snowmass? Snowmass Mountain Lodging will lead property management duties at One Snowmass. SML operates numerous other properties in the Base Village.
- Who are the brokers representing One Snowmass? SV Real Estate LLC is the listing brokerage for One Snowmass representing the seller, but we work with all cooperating brokers, so you are welcome to have your own representative.
Photo: Matt Hobbs
Perhaps the biggest draw is all of the action residents will find right outside their door. In addition to the interior completion of The Collective — a vibrant community hub with special events and an in-house bar and restaurant — the following amenities will round out the already-bustling SBV scene this season on the plaza level of One Snowmass:
- JÜS Snowmass will open its second location (the first is in downtown Aspen), with hand-crafted cold-pressed juice blends, smoothies, and dairy-free drinks. The menu also includes healthy breakfast and lunch options.
- A full-service salon and spa (TBA) will offer haircuts, manicures, pedicures, facials, massages, and high-end beauty products.
- Locally beloved King Yoga reopens to the public offering daily yoga classes that combine healing practices with music to help students find balance between body and mind.
- Eye Pieces, a Colorado-based optical boutique chain, offers everything from designer frames and prescription lenses to high-performance sports frames and goggles.
- The Snowmass Medical Care Clinic, open seven days a week, year-round, is available to locals and visitors alike as a walk-in facility owned, operated and billed as an outpatient department of Aspen Valley Hospital.
Five whole ownership residences remain in One Snowmass West with One Snowmass East coming to market this winter. For advance sales opportunities or to take a tour, contact Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty at 970–925–6060. And for more information, visit allinsnowmass.com.
Posted on September 26, 2019 by Katie Shapiro
Welcome to altitude, W Hotels. Where the beloved Sky Hotel once stood, the just-opened W Aspen now marks the spot. And unlike its Kimpton predecessor, you can now call this piece of paradise a part-time home.
As part of W Hotels Worldwide’s first-ever North American alpine destination — the hotel group opened its first Mountain Escape property in Verbier, Switzerland in 2014 — The Sky Residences at W Aspen offer an exclusive shared real estate opportunity with 11 slopeside units. Upon its grand opening celebration in August, the inventory was already 40% sold, indicating a much-needed niche for fractional ownership.
Ski-in, ski-out access to Aspen Mountain is punctuated by a private, Residences-only roof deck with spa, lounge seating, BBQ grills, outdoor kitchen and fire pit, as well as on-property amenities including concierge, 24/7 security, in-residence dining, housekeeping, ski lockers, valet, and fitness center. W’s signature “Whatever/Whenever” service promise provides residents and hotel guests with “whatever they want, whenever they want it!”
The Sky Residences portfolio features five 2-bedrooms (approximately 1,567 square feet; starting in the mid-$500K price range) and six 3-bedrooms (approximately 1,993 square feet; starting in the $800K price range), available for a 1/10th shared ownership interest in real estate. Enjoy five weeks of usage — four of which are guaranteed Planned Vacation Weeks within the winter and summer (two weeks per season). The fifth week of ownership, Space Available Nights, can be either dedicated to the winter or summer season, depending upon ownership preference and availability.
“The Sky Residences at W Aspen feature compelling statements of space and design that defy expectations,” says R.J. Gallagher, Jr. of Forte Aspen, the agency managing sales. “It’s where an owner can get away from it all, while having it all. Effortless ownership, where quality time with family and friends is the only order of the day. And night.”
The building itself — Aspen’s first new luxury hotel in 25 years — was brought to life by locally-based architecture and design firm Rowland + Broughton, resulting in an environmentally sustainable, modern mountain chalet with long, sloping roof lines drawing inspiration from the Rocky Mountain landscape. W Aspen and The Sky Residences at W Aspen are owned and were co-developed by Washington, DC-based Northridge Capital (also owner of the Sky Hotel for 16 years), which financed the buildout and also tapped locally based Sarpa Development as a project partner.
The W brand’s signature luxurious, energetic vibe interior was dreamt up by global interior design firm nemaworkshop that pays homage to Aspen’s storied inhabitants from the silver miners of the late 19th century to the swinging counterculture of the ‘60s and ‘70s to the current crop of globe-trotting billionaires.
Each of the W Aspen’s 11 Sky Residences exude a cozy warmth reminiscent of a Swiss chalet through the use of rustic wood finishes, sloped ceilings and fireplaces, complete with decor channeling Herbert Bayer, Thomas Benton, and the Ute Indian Tribe mixed with modern industrial touches and rich, ski-wear-inspired fabrics.
Gallagher adds, “This shared ownership opportunity offers a unique combination of the hip W brand and the prime Aspen location. All of these amenities right at an owner’s fingertips — in one of the greatest locations, in one of the most desirable towns in the world.
Additional owner benefits include access to the Living Room restaurant and bar, 39 Degrees (a nod to the Sky Hotel’s beloved lounge, and the WET Deck — an open-to-the-public rooftop bar with a pool, cabanas and hot tub. Already proven to be Aspen’s hottest new spot, there’s no closer commute home than to a Sky Residence of your very own.
For more information about The Sky Residences at W Aspen, or to take a tour contact Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty at 970–925–6060 or visit waspenskyresidences.com.
Posted on August 19, 2019 by Katie Shapiro
As the Roaring Fork Valley’s vivid green surroundings turn to glowing gold in the coming month, residential, commercial and public space landscapes will face a transition, too, which require special attention to sustaining the season ahead.
While summer is notorious for seeing the biggest spike in construction activity, local development continues to increase year-round and a landscape ordinance recently implemented by Pitkin County and the City of Aspen has presented a new set of guidelines for home builders to keep in mind. An 18-month pilot phase began on June 22, 2017, and ended on December 31, 2018, with the Landscape Ordinance made official on January 1, 2019.
“The idea behind it is to restrict water use and through the program as a result, we’ve already seen how that is influencing landscape design. We are limited to a more drought-tolerant palate, which is a positive thing, but it’s restrictive,” says Christine Shine of Connect One Design, a conservation-minded landscape architecture firm with offices in Aspen and Basalt.
Connect One Design recently completed the Snowmass Roundabout, which was planned to include drought-tolerant, fire-wise plant varieties and materials. Photo credit: Dallas & Harris Photography
She adds, “More attention is being paid to planting and after last year’s [Lake Christine Fire], we’re designing specifically for wildfire risk. We are using FireWise materials and building roads more creatively for barriers. Codes have always been in place for this, but what happened here was a reality check and put it in the forefront for us.”
Shine credits the Renewable Energy Mitigation Program (REMP)—a groundbreaking carbon fee program adopted in 2000 to mitigate the environmental impacts and greenhouse gases produced by large homes—as further support for local landscape architects to execute projects as efficiently and environmentally-friendly as possible.
Under REMP, which works with and supports the area nonprofit CORE, homeowners and commercial property owners who choose to install energy using systems such as snowmelt, outdoor pools, spas, or large square footage have the option of installing a renewable energy system on-site, or choosing a mitigation payment option instead. Installing solar photovoltaics (PV), solar water heating, or geothermal heat pump systems are examples of renewable energy projects that can earn on-site renewable credits toward REMP fees.
The principals of Connect One Design have also developed a software program, The Plantium, to aid with plant selection, which largely helps with choosing species to help avoid properties like fruit-bearing (to prevent bear attraction) or identify FireWise and water-conscious varieties required per the new landscape ordinance.
As far as how landscapes overall will fare this year, Shine explains, “Heavy snow coverage always relieves the possibility of plant material drying out due to a lack of coverage. In this year’s case, blooming was delayed due to late snow and coverage, which wasn’t necessarily the most positive outcome. The summer rains were more beneficial than the heavy snow season.”
Here are her top three tips for late-summer season projects:
- For planting itself, there is limited availability with varieties. Do your research before planting anything.
- Let plants that you want to proliferate and spread go to seed.
- Start composting in the fall for good soil health and cutback or leave plants for winter interest.
For more information on Connect One Design, visit connect1design.com.
Posted on June 11, 2019 by Katie Shapiro
The annual FOOD & WINE Classic (June 14-16) is undoubtedly Aspen’s tastiest… and toughest ticket of the summer. Now in its 37th year, more than 5,000 foodies will descend upon the downtown core to indulge in the three-day culinary celebration. The Grand Tasting Pavilion is the epicenter of the festival, with endless food and wine tastings, while lively cooking demonstrations, interactive seminars and panel discussions are held at additional venues. Snowmass Village plays host to a tour stop from Cochon555, an ongoing series of authentic, hyper-local food events in 15 cities across the country focused on raising awareness for heritage breed pigs. It is unaffiliated with the Classic, but is always a cornerstone of the weekend. The Food & Wine Classic pass has a $1,700 price tag and access is exclusive. But, if you’re a local sans pass or decide on a last-minute weekend getaway, you can still be a part of the action with open-to-the-public events added into the mix of other unofficial festivities. Here are five ways to Food & Wine without a pass:
Heitz Cellar Legacy Dinner
Friday, June 14, 7 p.m., Element 47 at The Little Nell
This evening brings a trio of wine industry titans together for a meal not-to-be-missed. It includes the return of former Little Nell Wine Director Carlton McCoy, in his new role as the CEO of Heitz Cellar, joined by the estate’s winemaker, Brittany Sherwood. Together, they will guide guests on a journey through the decades of the classic wines of Heitz Legacy Collection and share details about the history of The Heitz Cellar, which was founded in 1961 by Joe Heitz whose objective was to make California’s most elegant, well balanced and pure Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines. The evening will be anchored by a seasonal tasting menu from Element 47’s executive chef Matt Zubrod. $1,200, thelittlenell.com
Thursday, June 13, 6:30–8:30 p.m., Snowmass Base Village
The annual Snowmass Free Concert Series has again teamed up with Cochon555 for an ultimate al fresco evening on Fanny Hill to kick-off Food and Wine Classic festivities. Pairing musical guests SEE-I Reggae Funkmasters with culinary experiences curated by the dynamic team behind Heritage Fire. Nationally-acclaimed chefs along with local all-stars, Kyle Wilkins of Home Team BBQ and Michael Coco of Snowmass Tourism, will be loading up wood-fired grills with heritage breed sausages paired with artisanal wines and hand-crafted cocktails from El Tesoro Tequila and Courvoisier. $40 wristband (all-inclusive), free (music only), cochon555.com
5K Charity Race
Food & Wine Classic 5K Charity Race
Friday, June 14, 7:00 a.m.–9:00 a.m., Rio Grande Park
Earn those extra calories for later during this early morning jaunt through downtown Aspen with your favorite foodies. Proceeds from registration benefit both the Jacques Pépin Foundation and Wholesome Wave, the national non-profit dedicated to supporting small and midsize farms, and making fresh, healthy, locally grown produce available to underserved communities. This year’s fun run is hosted by chefs Richard Blais, Stephanie Izard, and Michel Nischan. $35 (advance), $45 (on site), foodandwine.com
Heritage Fire in Snowmass Village
Saturday, June 15, 4:00 p.m.–7:30 p.m., Snowmass Base Village
This epic live-fire feast showcases local pitmasters Andrew Helsley (Aspen Skiing Company), Jim Butchart (Aspen Skiing Company), Eddy Chimal (Venga Venga), Alberto Figueroa (Viceroy Snowmass), Kyle Wilkins (Home Team BBQ), Jason DeBacker (The Edge Restaurant) and Dan Foster (Westin Snowmass) along with more than 50 notable others chefs and butchers who go nose to tail on 3,500 pounds of heritage breed meats en plein-air with plenty of wine and cocktails to wash it all down. $150 (general admission), $200 (VIP), cochon555.com
Farewell Feast: Best New Restaurants
Sunday, June 16, 11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m., Hotel Jerome
Each year, Food & Wine editors embark on an epic year-long road trip, traveling the country in search of America’s most exciting, important and delicious new restaurants. The July 2019 issue of Food & Wine officially reveals the exceptional list, but this culmination of the festival will welcome the winning chefs themselves to offer up a once-in-a-lifetime walk-around tasting for guests—all at the historic Hotel Jerome. $150, foodandwine.com
For the complete schedule, visit: classic.foodandwine.com and cochon555.com and follow all of the action on social media @foodandwine / #fwclassic and @cochon555 / #heritagefire. For lucky pass-holders, don’t forget to download the official Food & Wine Classic app to help you navigate the tents.
Posted on May 10, 2019 by Katie Shapiro
Photographer: Jeremy Swanson
Spring has sprung, albeit in between bouts of snow, with May's flowers in full bloom. And if you stop to smell the roses around Aspen's downtown core, chances are the team behind Busy Beavers Gardening planted them.
Longtime locals Arabella Thoyts-Beavers and Jason Beavers co-founded their business more than 15 years ago and since then, have brought boundless beauty to the community through creative colorful, custom gardens large and small.
Their biggest undertaking is in the form of the famed "Living Wall" at The Little Nell, where Arabella also serves as the resident gardener. Now in its fifth season, the Beaver's are putting the finishing touches on the massive, poolside installation.
Born and raised in Great Britain, Arabella uses her background in traditional English gardening in the way she approaches every project. It was at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London, which she attends every spring, where she originally learned about living walls. In 2014, she came back with an idea for The Little Nell to cover up its concrete façade.
Working with Botany Lane in Denver, Arabella and Jason oversee the growth of the flower and plant mural in six separate panels. Upon completion, it will be sent up to Aspen on a flatbed truck for the Busy Beavers Gardening team to carefully position the 24-by-6 foot work of art in place.
Each year, Arabella dreams up a different theme and this year, the Living Wall is a celebration of color as it mimics a rainbow. Officially titled "Over the Rainbow," Arabella explains, "The bands of colors arc just like a rainbow would. The design inspiration came from my love of color and one of my favorite contemporary artists, Zhuang Hong Yi, whose work I noticed in the Opera Gallery and immediately saw the next Living Wall in it. His portrayal and understanding of flowers and color are blended together to create incredible beauty."
“We will be using more dahlias that we have specially grown, as well as many popular Colorado natives such as the state flower, the columbine. We are also going to show a wonderful display of shade tolerant annuals such as begonias in our hillside shade gardens that will be just stunning," she adds.
The Little Nell's marvelous gardens are just one of fifteen North American Relais & Châteaux properties featured in a recently published coffee table book, The Art of the Garden, by Rizzoli. The gorgeous collection of images, food and drink recipes and stories connects each chapter with its surroundings and is available in the Little Nell’s in-house boutique ($55).
"Jason and I and our entire team are so proud to work with The Little Nell — Simon Chen (General Manager) has encouraged us to look at new global ideas and innovation in gardening, enabling us to bring them to life in our little piece of paradise. I don't know any other ski town in the world that has world-class gardens like Aspen."
"Over the Rainbow" is slated to debut the week of June 3 when the surrounding gardens and new herbaceous border garden will also be in full bloom. Guided by Arabella herself, The Little Nell also hosts complimentary, weekly garden tours every Friday at 4:00 p.m. from June 21 through August 30 — the perfect way to inspire ideas for your own home.
Photographer: Steve Mundinger
Until then, we asked Arabella for her top 5 tips for home gardeners:
- SUN VS. SHADE
"Putting the right plants in the right aspect is essential. Always be aware of where the sun or shade lies around your garden and never put a sun-loving plant in a shady aspect or vice versa. The right plants thrive in the right place."
- SOLID SOIL
"It's key to have good soil amendments whether through composting or other organic materials like manure or sulfur. We are lucky to live in a region very rich in clay soil, which makes plants and flowers very happy, too!"
- WHEN TO WATER
"Be very mindful of the times of day when you are watering. With water becoming more scarce and with the danger of wildfire that we saw last season, always water in the early morning and late evening hours. And NEVER water during the middle of the day when the heat of the sun is the strongest. It causes the water to evaporate and can burn flowers and plants."
- PEAKING PLANTS
"Knowing the mature height of your plants before you plant them is important. You don't want to put plants that have the potential to be tall in the front and realize it when it's too late. Tier and layer your plants accordingly."
- GO ORGANIC
"Last and most important to us at Busy Beavers Gardening is being green. We are incredibly proud to be as organic as we possibly can. Chemical-based products like Roundup and pesticides should never be used in a garden … and just because a product claims it's innate doesn't mean it's not doing damage to the earth. Every time a chemical is put into the ground, there are serious repercussions for songbirds and animals and us. The fewer chemicals in our environment the better. Physically pulling weeds out of the ground is my philosophy! An amazing local resource is Eagle Crest Nursery in El Jebel, which has a huge selection of organic alternatives and super helpful staff to help you choose what's right for your garden."
For more information visit bbgaspen.com and thelittlenell.com.
Posted on April 12, 2019 by Katie Shapiro
Spring has officially sprung and most Aspen Snowmass locals are already feeling the itch for some much-needed rest and relaxation. For full-timers — especially real estate brokers — the winter months bring the busiest days during often never-ending work weeks. As soon as the lifts stop spinning, the majority of ski town dwellers take an annual sojourn in the sun.
Whether it’s for the entire off-season (aka “mud season”) or just a long weekend escape, we asked four Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty team members to share their go-to getaways along with their favorite spots to eat, drink, stay and play to inspire any pending travel plans:
Sean de Moraes, Broker Associate
Why you love it:
We have been traveling to Moab every spring since the mid-‘90s and usually make it a long weekend. Moab is the perfect distance for a quick road trip once the snow starts to melt off and the skiing starts to get marginal. It offers a ton of outdoor activities after a long winter, such as mountain biking, hiking, jeeping, and rafting. It’s a bit of a home away from home feeling, because it is so common to run into a ton of people you know from the Roaring Fork Valley and other Colorado ski areas. You’ll be biking along a trail, having dinner at a local restaurant and you can pretty much count on seeing someone you know between the April and May months.
There are so many great places to stay. If you are looking for smaller, there are a number of hotels, but the best thing to do is grab a group of friends and head down to Rim Village condos adjacent to the "Old Spanish Trail Arena." If you’re camping and want to get away, stop by Willow Springs and do some mountain biking on the Klonzo trails north of town or rally the side by sides in the sand washes.
Nothing beats a grilled steak campside, but if you want to head into town to fight the crowds, stop by Pasta Jay’s for some Italian, Sabaku Sushi for a roll (yes, it’s good!), but don’t miss Jailhouse Café for Sunday breakfast and grab a side of their famous thick cut bacon!
Need to grab a beer to cool down after a long day on the trail? Check out Moab’s only brewery, Moab Brewery, or Eddie McStiff's, both located on Main street. Don’t wait around before you head over as it can get pretty crowded in the late afternoons/early evenings.
Everyone talks about the famous Hells Revenge for jeeping and the Slick Rock mountain biking trail, and they are a must for any first-timer. However, there are countless trails around to escape the crowds too. Some of my personal favorites for jeeping are Metal Masher, Golden Spike, and Cliff Hanger but be prepared to challenge your driving skills and be sure to always bring a friend. For mountain biking, check out the Klonzo Trail area or shuttle up to Mag 7 or Porcupine Rim and get some epic downhill riding in.
Weekdays are less crowded, drink lots of water, never go alone anywhere, respect the trails at all times and watch for the Highway Patrol guys between I-70 and town!
PUNTA MITA, MEXICO
Lucy Nichols, CNE, CRS, GRI Broker Associate
Why you love it:
We have been vacationing here for 20 years now for one or two weeks in the spring when the weather is great, and the water is more bracing. Punta Mita has grown up in the years we’ve been visiting. While it was very rustic in 1999, it now offers fine dining, luxury lodging, multiple golf courses, bike trails and such, especially “inside the gate” of the Punta Mita Resort. There is still an authentic “local” element of real Mexico and culture available to those who venture beyond the Resort as we do — a French patisserie is tucked into a back street, fresh margaritas at the Surf Shack along a dusty road to Sayulita, hiking trails to mountain tops overlooking the ocean, tiny towns with fewer than 100 residents where the freshest oysters can be had and ancient Indian petroglyphs deep in the forest. The people are welcoming and willing to entertain my lousy Spanish with a smile! The Resort and old town Punta de Mita are all accessed by golf cart, no need to ever get in your car! An important distinguishing factor is the security — it’s very safe.
The St. Regis or the Four Seasons are both gorgeous resorts. There are also many private homes and estates available to rent — perfect for extended vacation stays.
Just about anywhere on-property at either resort. If going out on the town, we love Babellas, Sufito and Mercedes.
The jalapeño margaritas at Mercedes are a must! And many resorts and restaurants offer tequila tastings.
You’ll find amazing and authentic artisan shops along the streets in old town Punta de Mita. We also like to sightsee and shop in nearby towns like Sayulita.
Like Aspen, there are more choices to adventure than time to do it all! Our days are spent paddle boarding, biking, sea kayaking and surfing followed by yoga on the beach. There are also two signature Jack Nicklaus golf courses in the area and plenty of tennis and pickleball courts. Vallarta Adventures offers an amazing zip lining experience. And be sure to book a special whale watching excursion with a local guide when in-season (December - March).
Evan F. Boenning, CRS, MRE Broker Associate
Why you love it:
For the past four years, we’ve gone to Hawaii for two weeks in the spring. I love Maui and discovered that the weather in Lahaina is better than other areas of the island. The town is lively and there’s always something exciting going on, and it also has some of the best beaches in the area.
Hyatt Residence Club's Ka'anapali Beach Resort is like a home away from home. It’s a luxury yet low-key place that’s smaller than most of the area resorts, which we like, and all of the units have views of the ocean.
We like to go to the local fish market up the street and then cook out on the grill, but there are many great restaurants in the area. Duke’s Beach House and the Hula Grill are two restaurants owned by the same group — we love them both for the casual atmosphere, great food and live music on most nights. The Monkeypod is another interesting place to eat in Whaler’s Village.
Rum! And happy hour at Duke’s Beach House with Chet Winchester is always a good time.
We play a lot of golf at The Plantation Course at Kapalua. We love walking along the boardwalk for miles with our grandchildren and taking them in the ocean and pool at the resort.
Andrew Roberts, Broker Associate
Why you love it:
I have been traveling to the beach areas of Southern California ever since I moved away from the Los Angeles area back in 1991. For the most part, it has been a trip that never gets missed, as I am typically quite ready to get my feet out of my ski boots and into the sand by the end of March. My trips to the coast usually last just over a week, which gives me the opportunity to both visit the beaches and sneak in a two day trip to central California with a stay at Ragged Point. The diversity of southern and central California, from the incredible beaches to the world-class wine country are truly inspirational. In my mind, it's a timeless way to kick off the spring by indulging in truly exquisite food and wine while taking in the incomparable beaches.
As a person of habit and for a bit of nostalgia, I usually check into the Beach House, a boutique hotel in Hermosa Beach that is literally on the beach! Only a 15-minute drive from LAX, this hotel is at the center of it all.
For upscale dining, I cannot recommend enough FWD, short for “Fishing with Dynamite,” where Chef David LeFevre delivers an incredible, locally sourced cuisine experience that is both sophisticated and timeless. My personal favorite, however, is El Tarasco, an enduring and discreet locals spot that serves up some of the tastiest Mexican food you have ever experienced, on the cheap! The extra top secret part about El Tarasco is the garden area just up the stairs from the street where you can enjoy views of the Pacific Ocean while enjoying your life changing food. For breakfast, and only steps from the Beach House hotel, Good Stuff never disappoints and is a great spot to take in the views and crush some well-earned pancakes after an early morning surf. Moving up the coast, the Ragged Point Inn and Resort is undeniably one of the most captivating spots on this planet. The resort boasts infinite views of the rugged central coast that are sure to captivate your soul! Along the way, stop off at Taco Temple in Morro Bay for the absolute freshest seafood tacos imaginable.
Stop off at Laetitia Vineyard, 2 minutes off of the route to Ragged Point, just off the 101 highway and taste a few great glasses of California wine.
I would highly recommend taking in a show at the local Comedy and Magic Club, a local institution that attracts an incredible amount of talent. On our last visit, Jerry Seinfeld dropped in for a set! What an experience! If you are a history buff, or want to experience one of the most refined and sophisticated mansions ever created, save a few hours for a visit to Hearst Castle in San Simeon. Now a National Historic Landmark, it was conceived and built by William Randolph Hearst, the publishing tycoon, and his architect Julia Morgan.
Posted on February 27, 2019 by Katie Shapiro
In mountain towns around the world, having a ski-in/ski-out home of your own is the ultimate dream. And the ultimate destination for finding the most stunning slopeside listings? Aspen Snowmass.
While its most common moniker only refers to two of Aspen Skiing Company’s expansive ski areas, it’s comprised of four individual resorts: Aspen Mountain (aka Ajax), Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass — each offering a unique air of authentic alpine charm.
A variety of properties dot the lower trails on all four, making your commute from your backyard to the chairlift or gondola mere minutes to ensure first tracks on every powder day. Beyond the exclusive access and convenience, these luxury estates and condos often boast expansive patios and epic vistas. And when summertime comes, some may argue the offerings are even better with hiking and mountain biking trails along with plenty of wildlife right outside your door.
We’ve rounded up five of our must-see ski-in/ski-out listings on the market right now to swoon over:
700 Ute Avenue, Unit 802
Ski area: Aspen
Offered by: Tory Thomas, Craig Morris
Highlights: Located in the legendary Aspen Alps complex and directly on the Little Nell Trail, this four bedroom, 2,609 sq ft condominium is as close to the Silver Queen Gondola as it gets. Remodeled by the owners in 2012, the timeless traditional design features Dornbracht plumbing fixtures, Rocky Mountain custom hardware, Platte Valley custom cabinets, a Viking stove, Sub-Zero refrigerator/freezer, antique Jerusalem stone floors and more. Amenities include concierge and shuttle service, tennis courts, hot tub, health club and covered garage space available for separate purchase.
Professional point of view: “Of the probably only 20 properties on Aspen Mountain that are truly ski-in/ski-out, there are only a handful that can take you to Ajax Tavern or the [Silver Queen] Gondola within three minutes. On top of that, four bedrooms — all en suite— with an interior fully remodeled to the nines is offered at a price that won’t break the bank. A property like this rarely comes on the market and is sure to be a sound investment.”
112 Falcon Road
Ski area: Aspen Highlands
Offered by: Craig Ward
Highlights: While not technically right on the slopes of Aspen Highlands, this timeless mountain estate offers ski-out access to the private Five Trees chairlift and its own backcountry trail to ski straight home after a day on the slopes. From grand staircases and soaring beam trusses to black walnut floors and copper exterior detailing, every element of this five bedroom, six-and-one-half bath home will withstand the test of time. Completely furnished with a combination of custom pieces, carefully chosen shopped items and western inspired antiques, the 7,856 sq ft residence also features a home theater, wine room, billiards room, gym and expansive outdoor terraces with a spa. The property spans 2.1 acres with a water feature and is directly adjacent to 92 acres of protected open space with picture-perfect views of Baldy Peak and the Willow Creek Valley.
Professional point of view: “There are very few ski-in/ski-out homes on Aspen Highlands — roughly 24 with a few more being developed. The greatest thing about this property is that because of its indirect skiing access, it has tremendous privacy versus having to deal with a very busy base area. The finishes are just exquisite and the private theater is one of Paragon Systems Integration’s most impressive projects to date. It was built like a fortress and it feels that way inside. Plus, it’s the highest lot in the subdivision and was deliberately designed to take advantage of its sweeping southwest views. The owner actually relocated the road where the driveway was to be placed in order to put the home in this specific direction.”
2900 West Buttermilk Road
Ski area: Buttermilk
Offered by: Eric Cohen, Craig Morris
Highlights: With a recent, drastic price reduction, the only ski-in/ski-out property on West Buttermilk offers the utmost privacy and exclusivity, which makes Owl Mountain Ranch an opportunity of a lifetime. Located at the end of the gated West Buttermilk Road, 60-plus acres of adjoining BLM and forestland includes a private ski trail and surrounds 20,000 sq ft of livable space. Impeccably designed and appointed by David Johnston Architects, the main house features seven bedrooms, ten full bathrooms, and a three-car garage. The heated outdoor deck space includes a built-in spa, outdoor kitchen, dining area and wood burning fireplace. A 2,000 sq ft caretaker’s residence and 7,000 sq ft versatile utility barn are also included.
Professional point of view: “In this market, demand for ski-in/ski-out properties is increasing while the supply remains the same. This is the ‘crown jewel’ of the West Buttermilk area and one of the finest ski-in/ski-out properties in North America. The ability to ski right from your back door to the West Buttermilk high-speed quad chairlift and be at the top of the mountain in minutes is literally one-of-a-kind and the convenience of dropping back into the house for lunch or to change your gear is invaluable.”
530 Divide Drive
Ski area: Snowmass
Offered by: Garrett Reuss
Highlights: Built in 1998, but fresh off of a remodel and addition in 2017 — both done by Manchester Architects, Inc. — this 6,281 sq ft home is located at the very end of Divide Drive offering the utmost privacy past the gatehouse. With five bedroom suites, seven baths, a media room, home office and ski room, it’s also an entertainer’s dream with a gourmet kitchen and expansive patio with a fire pit showcasing unobstructed views of Mount Daly. An intricate water feature provides ambient, soothing sounds throughout the house.
Professional point of view: “When you look at the competition in this price range, it’s not only that there are only a handful of ski-in/ski-out options, but there isn’t anything of this caliber that’s so well-located with mature, extensive landscaping. It offers direct access via the Dawdler Trail to Snowmass Base Village, which is the main ventricle of the mountain, along with panoramic western vistas and framed views of Mount Daly. Plus, it’s even more livable and enjoyable in the summer months.”
1627 Wood Road
Ski area: Snowmass
Offered by: Chris Klug
Highlights: This just-completed, new build by KA Designworks in collaboration with Whitecap Development and Janckila Construction is a mountain modern masterpiece perched on an expansive, terraced lot with endless views and all-day sunshine. The 5,275 sq ft home features white oak wood floors and South African decorative lighting throughout its five en suite bedrooms, office, gym and game room with a custom ping pong table and bar. Outside, a photovoltaic solar array on the roof offsets the patio and driveway snowmelt systems with a three-car garage, wraparound deck, double-sided fireplace, fire pit, spa and private lawn area. The ski room, outfitted with custom Italian cabinetry, opens directly to the Guggenheim Trail, which will take you straight to the Village Express chairlift or Elk Camp Gondola within minutes.
Professional point of view: Snowmass is considered the premier family resort in the state and one of the top family destinations in North America. A turnkey, cutting-edge contemporary like this rarely comes to market in the ski-in/ski-out category and is just an ideal family home. Matched with the quality of the construction, thoughtful design elements, 180-degree views and access to all of the exciting happenings in the new Snowmass Base Village, this property truly checks all of the boxes.”
Posted on January 23, 2019 by Katie Shapiro
Grand Opening Celebration 12.15.18 from Snowmass Base Village on Vimeo.
Since the ribbon was cut at the grand opening celebration of the long-awaited Snowmass Base Village (SBV) development on December 15, 2018, to a jam-packed plaza, the excitement has only intensified.
Snowmass Base Village Grand Opening Fireworks
In the two days that followed the festivities, the Aspen Times reported that nine deals closed — eight in the Limelight Hotel Snowmass and one at Lumin — amounting to $23.7 million in sales volume. Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty’s resident market research expert, broker Andrew Ernemann, attributes the spike to “the psychological influence of Base Village.”
It’s a promising start to a much-hyped project that has been decades in the making, which while officially open for business, still has to put the finishing touches on its last project. Upon completion, SBV’s residential offerings will include One Snowmass with Inspirato along with the Limelight Hotel Snowmass, Lumin and Residences at Viceroy Snowmass.
Ranging in price from below $500,000 at the ski-in/ski-out resort-style Residences at Viceroy Snowmass, up to $6,300,000 for a penthouse overlooking the Elk Camp Gondola at Lumin, an SBV address accommodates every type of mountain lover.
However luxurious each residence is on the inside (also armed with varying levels of amenities like a membership to the new, ultra-exclusive Snowmass Mountain Club), it’s what lies just steps outside each front door that is another major draw.
In the center of it all is an ice rink open daily from noon to 9 p.m. with complimentary skate rentals available to check out from a funky 1958 Airstream. Surrounded by fire pits, SBV provides a much-needed, year-round public gathering place, which will transform into an events lawn in the summer for outdoor concerts, a farmer’s market and more.
Fuel up for the day with a fresh doughnut from Sweet Coloradough’s stand or try The Crepe Shack, our beloved local chef Mawa McQueen’s third restaurant concept in the area. Limelight Hotel Snowmass is already headquarters for après ski with an extended happy hour and live music five nights a week. Also at the Limelight, you can’t miss the five-story climbing wall (one of the largest in the state!) encased in glass, making it a focal point of the SBV plaza. Dreamt up and executed to resemble sections of natural rock on Independence Pass by Boulder-based Eldorado Climbing Walls, it is available to everyone weighing 25 pounds and over. The climbing wall is $10 for 30 minutes and $5 each additional 30 minutes, with staff on hand to help you plot your way to the top. Four Mountain Sports in the Lumin building will have all of your gear and equipment rental needs covered whether you’re hitting the slopes or the Snowmass Bike Park.
And last but not least, the Collective Snowmass has immediately morphed into a community hub offering an ongoing calendar of programming and pop-ups featuring local businesses and nonprofits from a winter artisan market and yoga classes to kids camps and art workshops. A new bar and restaurant is planned to open later this year along with a new-and-improved Snowmass Discovery Center, which highlights the area's legacy where the Mastodon once roamed. Click here for the complete schedule of events through the season.
Whether you’re in search of the ski town vacation home or have yet to experience what all of the buzz is about, this winter in Aspen Snowmass is all about Snowmass Base Village — the ultimate basecamp for the entire family.
To take a tour and learn more, stop by the SBV Real Estate Experience office at the base of the Elk Camp Gondola: 110 Carriage Way (Unit #3104), 970.924.9100, allinsnowmass.com
Posted on December 11, 2018 by Katie Shapiro
Earlier this year, we shined a spotlight on Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty’s (ASSIR) inaugural and ongoing corporate sponsorship of WE-cycle, the Roaring Fork Valley’s beloved bike sharing program. But it’s only one example of a long list of contributions of how ASSIR invests in its community year-round.
With the season of giving officially underway, now is the perfect time to share a little bit more about how ASSIR so strongly supports its community. In 2018, ASSIR made contributions totaling more than $100,000 to the following nonprofit organizations (selected by an executive-level consensus that the donation is benefiting a real need):
• Aspen Community Theater
• Aspen Country Day School
• Aspen Education Foundation
• Aspen Film
• Aspen Homeless Shelter
• Aspen Junior Hockey
• Aspen Rotary Foundation
• Aspen United Soccer Club
• Aspen Valley Hospital
• Aspen Valley Land Trust
• Aspen Youth Center
• Basalt Chamber of Commerce
• Early Childhood Network
• Habitat for Humanity
• Raising a Reader
• Snowmass Western Heritage Association
• Snowmass Rotary
• St. Stephen Catholic School
With philanthropy as a cornerstone of ASSIR’s corporate culture, its brokers contributed an additional $16,000 to a mix of more than 100 local causes they are personally passionate about, which is matched by the company. Together, ASSIR and brokers have donated more than $116,000.
“We are proud to offer our Annual Community Investment Campaign where we match dollar-for-dollar up to $1,000 per year per broker or employee to eligible local nonprofits to show our dedication to supporting the community,” explains ASSIR president and CEO Gary Hughes. “We are grateful to our busy team of realtors and employees who volunteer and serve on numerous nonprofit boards throughout the Roaring Fork Valley.”
For ASSIR co-owner Ernie Fyrwald, giving back runs through his blood. As a family man through and through, his commitment to his four children inspired him to start a foundation for children in 1984. He remains involved in the foundation and is on the board of directors, while also inspiring the next generation of donors through ASSIR.
“On a personal level, and as one of the main decision-makers of to whom we give, we don’t give for marketing purposes but because ‘it’s the right thing to do,’” says Fyrwald. “Whenever the company can’t come to the table with a donation to a specific need the owners of our company then give personally if they feel the need is great. With our donation matching program, it allows us to give more and if it’s something a broker feels strongly about then the decision is even easier.”
With a long history of supporting programs in the local community, ASSIR now has grown to more than 160 realtors and 30 employees. With 11 locations spanning the Roaring Fork Valley, each office strives to make philanthropy and volunteerism an integral part of its company culture encouraging each individual to consider donating their time, money or energy — ideally, it’s all three. Next year, the company has plans to incorporate paid days off to enable more employees to volunteer.
And Fyrwald’s philosophy on philanthropy is certainly contagious:
“Our belief is that we have been blessed with incredible lives and should share as much as possible. To whom much is given, much is to be expected!”