Aspen Snowmass is always updating and improving its services, infrastructure and terrain offerings. Below, we've showcased all of the improvements we've done at all four mountains and as a company over the last five years.
The Limelight Snowmass
In the spring of 2017, Aspen Skiing Company (ASC) began construction on the new Limelight Hotel Snowmass for a scheduled completion date of November 2018. The new hotel will feature 99 hotel rooms and 11 for-sale condominiums, plus a new restaurant and children’s game area. Modeled after the company’s existing properties in Aspen and Ketchum, the hotel will be located adjacent to Snowmass Mountain’s Elk Camp Gondola providing ski-in/ski-out access. Stonehill & Taylor, based out of New York City, have been selected to design the interior, with plans to continue the Limelight’s contemporary yet casual design theme.
In December 2016, Aspen Skiing Company opened the second Limelight Hotel — in Ketchum, Idaho. The new hotel features 99 hotel rooms, 14 for-sale condominiums and 12 lock-off units, plus a new restaurant and lobby lounge. Modeled after the company’s original Limelight Hotel in the heart of Aspen, the hotel is in close proximity to downtown shops and restaurants as well as Sun Valley’s River Run Base area.
The Aspen/Pitkin County Airport announced that American Airlines will offer new daily nonstop flights from Phoenix starting this winter along with expanded service from both Dallas/Ft. Worth and Chicago O’Hare. In addition to continuing nonstop summer service through Oct. 4 from Chicago, American is now scheduled to operate nonstop flights from DFW year-round while adding a second daily nonstop from Chicago during periods of peak demand next winter, and will now be offering a total of up to eight daily flights from four hubs next winter.
The Aspen Art Museum (AAM) and Aspen Snowmass continue their longstanding collaboration called ‘Art in Unexpected Places’ for the 2017–2018 ski and ride season with new lift ticket artwork, this year with artist Paula Crown, a multimedia artist with a practice encompassing drawing, painting, video and sculpture.The five lift-ticket designs give a curated view into Crown’s sprawling sculptural installation, SOLO TOGETHER. Using the form of the crushed red Solo cup in the form of 150 unique hand-painted plaster sculptures, the work unpacks the symbol of all-American fun. The ubiquitous, single-use plastic cup offers an opportunity to contemplate a number of complex ideas including environmental awareness, the singular experience of togetherness, FOMO, and a consumer culture defined by abundance and optimism.
The Mountain Collective Adds Sugarbush, Snowbasin & Niseko United
The Mountain Collective™ continues to expand access to the world’s top resort destinations for the 2017-2018 season with the addition of Northern Japan-based, Niseko United, as a global affiliate and Sugarbush, VT and Snowbasin, UT as resort partners. Additionally, existing partners Alta, Snowbird, Banff Sunshine, and Lake Louise will separate to operate as individual destinations within The Mountain Collective Pass, providing twice the number of days at popular destinations in Utah and Alberta, Canada. With these 2017-2018 season additions, passholders will now have access to 40 days of skiing at 20 world renowned ski destinations.
Over the past six years, Aspen Skiing Company has invested approximately $68 million to both on-mountain capital improvements as well as hospitality upgrades at both the Limelight Hotel and The Little Nell, including new terrain, new restaurants, new children’s centers and more.
NEW DOWNTOWN ASPEN LOGO STORE & New Gear at Four Mountain Sports
Now open! A brand new official resort store has opened in downtown Aspen. The Aspen Shop boasts a selection of Aspen Snowmass branded products sure to ignite stories and memories of your vacation. Stop in today and shop our wide selection of apparel, accessories, home goods and jewelry. Located at 555 East Durant Avenue.
Four Mountain Sports will once again offer uphill gear to rent for skiers and riders who would like to uphill ski or skin up the mountain. New this year, the rental equipment has been upgraded to Dynafit gear, a global leader in the uphilling industry.
What's New at Snowmass
What's New at Snowmass
Snowmass Base Village Development
Construction has begun on the Snowmass Base Village development, a collaboration between three major players in the mountain resort business: East West Partners, Aspen Skiing Company and KSL Capital Partners. This premier mountain resort development, located at the base of Snowmass Ski Area, is the largest ski resort development currently underway in North America totaling $600 million dollars with a future 10 buildings planned at the base of Snowmass. Development is currently under way for the following:
The 99-room, 11-residence Limelight Hotel. The Limelight will also host Snowmass Mountain Club, an exclusive 230-member private club with member parking, lockers and lounge space right at the base of the mountain. The mountain-contemporary building was designed by Oz Architecture, with a clean, crisp interior design approach from Stonehill & Taylor. Learn more.
A central public events plaza that will serve as the community’s gathering space with an ice-skating rink in the winter and events lawn during summer months, as well as fire pits, children’s pop-up fountains and other community amenities. The plaza was designed by Oz Architecture and StudioINSITE.
A residential condominium building adjacent to the Plaza and Elk Camp Gondola with three residences and a Four Mountain Sports store. The building was designed by Oz Architecture, with interior design by The Ranch House.
The Discovery Center, a public building that is anticipated to include a number of interactive activities for families and children. Programming for the Discovery Center is being contemplated around the discovery of Ice Age fossils found at nearby Ziegler reservoir that captured the community’s and world’s attention. It is being designed by Harry Teague Architects.
The Lost Forest: Snowmass' New Summer Expansion
Debuting summer of 2018, Aspen Snowmass will greatly enhance Snowmass mountain’s summer operations with a canopy ziptour, a treeline challenge course, a climbing wall, multi-use gathering sites as well as expanded hiking and biking trails. The expansion will be branded as The Lost Forest and will provide guests the opportunity to be more immersed in the mountain’s alpine environment.
Breathtaker Coaster Scheduled to Open Winter 2017-2018
With a target opening of December 2017, the Breathtaker Coaster will feature over a mile-long track through the woods at Elk Camp. The coaster will span 410 vertical feet with the speed controlled by the rider, but there will be anti-collision technology for safety and a tandem option for small children. The Breathtaker will be open for both summer and winter operations in which the coaster will wind through the trees between Gunner’s View and Sandy Park ski trails on Snowmass Mountain.
Snowmass Celebrates 50 Years with Season-Long Festivities
The 2017-2018 winter season marks the 50th anniversary of the Snowmass Ski Area. Snowmass Tourism, together with Aspen Skiing Company and others, are creating a season-long celebration in commemoration of the anniversary. Celebrations include vintage, 1967 lift ticket pricing of $6.50 on Friday, December 15 as well as a festive weekend of anniversary activities December 15–17, such as a retro party at Elk Camp Restaurant, fireworks display, the return of Banana Days, an on-mountain celebration at Spider Sabich Picnic arena and more.
Additionally, throughout the season, the celebration continues with new gold signs that mark the original ski trails, monthly fireworks display over Fanny Hill, a new mural in Base Village commemorating the history of Snowmass and more.
Snowmass to Host Toyota U.S. Grand Prix with Olympic Spots on the Line
U.S. Snowboard Team and U.S. Freeski Team athletes will be competing to punch their tickets to the Olympic Winter Games in the 2017-2018 iteration of the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix. Aspen Snowmass will host five qualification events January 10-14, 2018 at Snowmass. The resort previously hosted one of the first halfpipe snowboarding Olympic qualification events and a big air snowboarding exhibition event in 1998.
New High Alpine Chair, Additional Glading & Snowmaking Expansion
The new High Alpine lift was completed before the 2016-2017 season. We also installed snowmaking equipment on two existing trails, and implemented additional trail and glade construction projects. Come to Snowmass and check it out.
Gwyn's High Alpine Restaurant Expansion
The High Alpine pod expansion also included a remodel of Gwyn's High Alpine Restaurant. The 2016 remodel expanded the building, increased seating and created a market-style flow within the restaurant. Additionally, a bar was installed, including a wood-burning stove and big-screen TVs. A satellite bar and coffee station were also added downstairs, increasing the services at the Snowmass institution.
In recent years, Snowmass’ total mileage of mountain biking trails has exceeded 50 miles, with the world-class downhill trail known as Valhalla and the new Verde beginner trail chief among the new additions.
The International Ski Federation awarded Aspen Mountain the 2017 Audi FIS Alpine World Cup Finals (which were held March 15–19, 2017). The historic and successful event marked the first time it had been held in the U.S. in 20 years with men’s and women’s events in downhill, super G, giant slalom and slalom.
In summer 2015, Aspen Skiing Company remodeled Aspen Mountain's ticket office and day-locker space at the base of the Silver Queen Gondola.
What's New at Aspen Highlands
Improvements at Aspen Highlands
Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro RemoDel
The legendary European-style bistro underwent a $1.1-million remodel for the 2015-2016 season, which allowed the famous après-ski spot to maintain its unique historic essence while opening up the space for improved restaurant flow and service. Diners have enjoyed the new, cozy fireplace area to complement the same impeccable selection of fine wine, champagne and refreshing cocktails.
Aspen Skiing Company recently completed a three-year glading project at Aspen Highlands which included clearing out new lines in the steep and wooded Lucky Find area of Temerity.
What's New at Buttermilk
Improvements at Buttermilk
Full Moon Dinners at the Cliffhouse
In Winter 2017, Aspen Snowmass added a new evening activity to its roster with Full Moon Dinners at the Cliffhouse atop Buttermilk. Diners uphill skied (aka "skinning) or hiked up to the restaurant on full-moon nights for free hot chocolate, a roaring fire and à la carte dinner options, snacks and a cash bar. The Cliffhouse's signature Mongolian BBQ — as well as grilled trout, salmon and roasted duck with roasted potatoes and mixed vegetables — were well received month after month. Note: There is no lift or vehicular access for this event. Details on the continuation of this event in the 2017-2018 season will be made available soon.
In 2014, Aspen Snowmass unveiled The Hideout, a state-of-the-art children’s center at the base of Buttermilk. The 7,500-square-foot-facility offers a fresh new approach to kids programming by seamlessly mixing indoor play with ski instruction.
Buttermilk has been home to ESPN’s Winter X Games since 2002, and recently, Aspen Snowmass and ESPN reached a milestone agreement in principle that will keep the Winter X Games at Aspen Snowmass through 2019.