Recent Improvements

The following details what’s new at Aspen Snowmass for the coming winter 2021-22 season, as well as major improvements and iniatives from recent years.

Aspen Snowmass Celebrates 75th Anniversary

The Silver Queen Gondola spans Aspen Mountain.

The Silver Queen Gondola spans Aspen Mountain.

Aspen Snowmass celebrates 75 years of skiing and riding this winter. This historic milestone will honor the heritage and history of skiing in Aspen as well as provide a look forward to the future of skiing. The season will highlight how innovation in ski racing, sustainability, athletic achievement, inclusion, art and other areas have led to future possibilities in each of these areas. On January 11, 2022 Aspen Snowmass will celebrate 75 years of skiing on Aspen Mountain with a celebration at the base of Lift 1a, the Shadow Mountain lift. In 1947, the original Lift 1 was the first chairlift to open on Aspen Mountain, and at the time, was the longest chairlift in the world. Aspen Snowmass is partnering with Pop-Up Magazine to cohost three consecutive nights of shows at the historic Wheeler Opera House in Aspen, January 9-11, 2022. The event will feature mixed-media storytelling, that will emphasize Aspen Snowmass’s heritage, sustainability and inclusion in a “live magazine” format. Toasting to the 75th anniversary, a specialty Aspen 75 cocktail, a spin-off of the original French 75, will be available for $7.50 in all on-mountain restaurants. The Aspen 75 will also be available in The Little Nell.

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Aspen Snowmass App

The updated Aspen Snowmass App allows users to access all of the information and functionality of the ticket office all in the palm of their hand. The App helps guests purchase lessons and rentals, gives access to express lift ticket reload, helps sign digital waivers, gives access to App rewards and Passholder Benefits, like friends and family vouchers, gives real-time updates on parking and base line wait times, and provides access to Lesson QR Codes, Rental QR Codes, and Aspen Card QR codes. This all supplies an easy way for guests to have less points of contact while visiting Aspen Snowmass and maximizes a guest's time spent on the hill. The Aspen Snowmass App will serve as the in-resort information hub while offering favorite features from years past including tracking skier days and Bowl laps, snow reports, weather updates, parking lot status, rewards and more.

The updated app for the 2021-2022 season will be available in early-December.

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Aspen X clothing

ASPENX Clothing Line and Retail Store

Aspen Snowmass introduces its first line of custom-built, innovative, premium, outerwear pieces — ASPENX — evolved from the newly designed and produced Aspen Snowmass employee uniforms. Guests and employees can now benefit from outerwear pieces designed and engineered to withstand the demands of mountain professionals who spend every day on the slopes and in the elements. Aspen Snowmass is the first ski resort operator to create custom uniforms for the entire staff. The Ajax Jacket, Pant and Insulator will be available for purchase at the new ASPENX retail space opening in Gondola Plaza, at select Four Mountain Sports stores and online at later this winter.

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A guest room at the newly renovated Limelight Hotel Aspen

Limelight Hotel Aspen Remodel

The Little Nell Hotel Group is pleased to announce that its flagship Limelight Hotel, the Limelight Hotel Aspen, has undergone a renovation in advance of the 2021/2022 winter season. The top-to-bottom renovation will enhance all of the hotel’s public spaces including a new arrival experience with the relocation of the reception desk and surrounding retail space, the addition of a Kids Club area, expanded seating for dining, as well as a relocation of the stage area in the Lounge to better accommodate events, as well as all 126 guestrooms and suites, and their bathrooms. The renovation design, by Stonehill Taylor, a New York City-based luxury design firm, will inject the iconic, original Limelight property with a new level of vibrancy as well as high-quality furnishings and finishes. The renovated product will complement the newest Limelight locations: Limelight Ketchum in Ketchum, Idaho, and Limelight Snowmass, in Snowmass, Colo., which opened in 2016 and 2018, respectively.

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Alpin Room, Snowmass

The Alpin Room Debuts on Snowmass

Originally slated to open last winter, the new Alpin Room restaurant pays homage to the ski culture of the Alps and introduces a menu that draws influence from the great mountain dining traditions of the French, Swiss and Austrian Alps. Shared plates include warm popovers served with butter and jam, the “Tartiflette,” a fondue like combination of cheese, potatoes, and smokey bacon or the Choucroute Garnie with beer braised bratwurst, crisp pork belly, all beef frankfurter, sauerkraut and Bavarian mustard. Next try the chicken schnitzel with frisée salad or the Parisian gnocchi with simple tomato sauce, farmers cheese and savoy spinach. Top off lunch with house-baked desserts such as black forest tart or cinnamon carrot cake. An extensive wine list, beer options and cocktails complement the new menu. Alpin Room will also be open for breakfast and is located in the High Alpine restaurant. As in all of the Aspen Snowmass on-mountain restaurants, Alpin Room provides food choices that are sourced from a local network of sustainable farmers and partners.

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21-22 Lift Ticket Art

2021-22 Winter Season Lift Ticket Art

Aspen Snowmass announces the works of renowned artist Paola Pivi to be featured on the 2021-22 winter lift tickets and passes. This marks the 17th consecutive year that Aspen Snowmass’s ArtUP program brings acclaimed artists to Aspen to design a limited-edition lift ticket and an opportunity to connect with local and global communities through workshops, lectures, and on-mountain experiences. In addition, Pivi will have several installations across the four mountains of Aspen Snowmass. Pivi’s playful creations feature colorful, urethane sculptures of polar bears covered in feathers in various realistic and human-like positions. Pivi’s work will also be featured on limited collection Aspen Snowmass merchandise including apparel and accessories.

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NASTAR National Championship at Aspen Snowmass

Aspen Snowmass to Host 2022 NASTAR National Championships and Offer Free Daily NASTAR Racing All Season Long

Aspen Snowmass will host the 2022 NASTAR National Championships at Snowmass April 4-9, 2022. NASTAR is a youth feeder program for the U.S. Ski Team, and U.S. Ski Team athletes set the pace for NASTAR. More than 50,000 racers will compete at 100 resorts across the country to qualify for a spot at the National Championships. Recreational racers compete within their age and ability group to earn a National Championship title and place in the final, Race of Champions. Aspen Snowmass will also offer free NASTAR racing to the public on its courses in both Aspen and Snowmass all season long.

New flights from Aspen Pitkin County Airport to Austin Texas and Orange County California

New Non-Stop Flights from Orange County, California and Austin, Texas

From December 16 through March 26, United will now offer a new daily, nonstop flight between Orange County’s John Wayne Airport and Aspen. With the latest additions of Orange County, and Austin, which was added this summer, along with Delta’s restored service from Atlanta and Los Angeles, Aspen now has direct air service to and from 10 cities.

Aspen Mountain Snowmaking

Expanded Snowmaking on Top of Aspen Mountain

The teams at Aspen Snowmass implemented further snowmaking capabilities at the top of Aspen Mountain this summer, which will now provide top-to-bottom skiing and riding on a man-made surface. The new snowmaking encompasses approximately 20 acres of terrain on Silver Bell, One and Two Leaf and upper Copper. From there, skiers and riders can connect to other trails such as Deer Park, Spar Gulch and Little Nell, which already have snowmaking. Approvals are in place for an additional 32 acres of snowmaking to be built on Aspen Mountain in the future.

This marks the first time that the flagship mountain will have snowmaking from top-to-bottom. The terrain will be serviced with 28 new state-of-the art automated snowguns, which use approximately 40 percent less energy than snowguns from 20 years ago. The project also includes an additional 3 million gallon storage pond located at a similar elevation to the current storage pond near the base of the Gent’s Ridge chair. Storing water up high makes the process of pumping to the top much more effective and contributes greatly to the energy efficiency of the new snowguns.

What's New with Sustainability

A snowboarder rides a rail beneath the Somerset Coal Mine

Green Operations Pays Off

Aspen Snowmass has released a report that tells the story of how alongside its partners — Oxbow’s Elk Creek Mine, Holy Cross Energy, and Vessels Carbon Solutions — turned a coal mine in Somerset, Colorado into a clean-energy production facility. It also documents how much electricity has been generated since the project began, how much harmful methane has been destroyed, and how much revenue the project generates annually. By converting waste methane into energy, the Elk Creek Mine produces three megawatts of baseload power, which is as much energy as Aspen Snowmass uses annually at all four of its resorts, including hotels and restaurants. The electricity generated and the carbon offsets flow into the utility grid, not to Aspen Snowmass directly, greening the entire regional grid.

Prinoth Snowcat

Stage V Prinoth Snowcat

Last season, Aspen Snowmass tested PRINOTH’s new Stage V snowcat, one of only two in the United States, for grooming ski runs. Stage V standards require the world's most aggressive pollution controls on poisonous carbon monoxide, harmful particulates as well as smog-forming and planet-warming oxides of nitrogen. Just as important, the new snowcats are more fuel-efficient and allow the operator to increase performance thanks to intelligent features. PRINOTH chose Aspen Snowmass for pre-market testing because of its longstanding environmental commitment and sound business relationship. This season, Aspen Snowmass will begin turning over its older fleet by adding four new Stage V snowcats.

Willits Workforce Housing in Basalt

Willits Center Workforce Housing

Set to open spring of 2021, the Willits Center represents Aspen Snowmass’s commitment to doing business sustainably. The 53,000-square-foot building will add 138 beds to Aspen Snowmass’s workforce housing portfolio, which is critical to maintaining staff in one of the most challenging housing markets in the United States. Despite that need, Aspen Snowmass chose to deed-restrict eight of the building’s 43 units for non-Aspen Snowmass employees in Basalt, with a priority given to childcare providers. The $18-million project received no public subsidy, and will be powered on 100 percent electric energy. The building’s 80 kW rooftop solar will contribute to the renewable baseload. The Willits Center proximity to the Roaring Fork Transportation Association’s (RFTA) bus system will also help alleviate the region’s traffic and congestion issues. All employees will receive free bus passes, and Aspen Snowmass will pay for the installation of a WE-Cycle bike share station to make getting to the bus stop even easier.

Summer Operations

Snowmass Bike Park has extensive trails for mountain biking

Expanded Snowmass Bike Park Trails

Snowmass Bike Park added 4 new trails during 2019, expanding our park to over 20 miles of purpose built, lift served downhill trails, with direct access to the surrounding Snowmass trail network with 70+ miles of singletrack ranging from high alpine tundra to desert sagebrush. New additions to the park include a freeride double black trail (Gonzo), an intermediate freeride trail (Trail 6), a technical black trail (Trail 9) and a technical blue trail (Trail 8).

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