Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Aspen Recreation Center

In this week’s blog I would like to highlight some fun activities to do if you’ve decided you would like a day off from skiing or boarding. There are too many activities to list in detail in one blog post, so this week I will focus solely on the Aspen Recreation Center. There are many fun and healthy activities at the Rec. Center for people of all ages. The rates for entry are $15.00 for youths (2-7 yrs. Old), $17.00 for adults (18 yrs. +), $7.50 for seniors (62 yrs. +), and twilight entry for $5.50 (from 7:30 P.M. until close). The hours of operation are M-F 6:00 a.m. until 8:45 p.m., Saturday 9:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m., and Sunday 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. The admission fees get you unlimited access to the climbing tower, open swim, open skate, weight room/fitness classes, cross country skiing, sledding, and tennis in the summer. The climbing tower has 5 different levels, 1 being the easiest and 5 being the most challenging. The “routes” up each section are changed on a regular basis so as to keep things interesting for repeat customers. Climbing shoes and safety harnesses are provided at no extra charge. The swimming area in the Rec. Center has a traditional Olympic sized pool with lanes for swimming laps. It also has a diving board and basketball hoop set up in this section of the pool. Separate from the pool is a very big hot tub with powerful jets. This is a great way to loosen up after lots of time on the hill or a vigorous workout. Close by the hot tub are steam rooms and saunas. Now for the part children especially like. Separate from the lap pool and hot tub is a waterslide, a “lazy river,” and a shallow area with fun features for the little ones. The Rec. Center provides inflatable balls and pool “noodles” for no extra charge. In addition to the pool area and climbing tower, The Aspen Rec. Center has a full sized ice arena which is open to the public at designated times throughout the day. You can either bring your own skates or rent them for $3.00 a pair. Near the Ice Arena is a weight room and fitness room where you will be able to participate in various classes such as spinning or yoga. From the Aspen Rec. Center you will also have access to sledding and cross country skiing. For cross-country skiing you can either bring your own equipment or rent it from one of many rental shops in town. I personally have had many a good time at the Aspen Rec. Center and always get very positive feedback from the guests I send there. You can check out their website at: http://www.aspenrecreation.com . Stay tuned for more ideas regarding activities in and around Aspen. Thank you for reading!

Friday, December 11, 2009

More Terrain Opening!

This latest storm has done much to improve already above average early season conditions. Aspen Mountain received 10”, which softened up open terrain and allowed patrol to open some of my favorite runs, including Back of Bell 2, Red’s Run, Percy and FIS. Aspen Ski Co. has said it plans to open up the FIS chair, Ruthie’s chair, and the lift 1a chair on Saturday the 12th, which will add a lot of fun terrain to what is already open. Snowmass Mountain received 15”out of our latest storm, allowing patrol to open Sam’s Knob and Sheer Bliss. Snowmass patrol plans on opening both the Alpine Springs and High Alpine lifts this coming Saturday. Both of these lifts will allow me to access some of my favorite parts of Snowmass, so I’m very excited about these openings! What is perhaps even more exciting than the openings on Aspen and Snowmass Mountains is the fact that both Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk are set to open this Saturday. Aspen Highlands has received two feet of snow in the past 7 days, including 15” in our latest storms. Considering the only people that have been up on Highlands this season are patrollers and boot packers doing avalanche control, and the occasional person who “skins” up, you can assume that Highlands is poised for an incredible opening with plenty of untouched powder. Highlands patrol plans on opening the G-zones and B-zones in the bowl, as well as most of the terrain in Temerity and Olympic Bowl. The Exhibition, Loge, Cloud Nine, and Deep Temerity lifts will all start spinning at 9:00 A.M. As far as dining goes, Cloud Nine, the Merry-Go-Round, and ZG grill at the base will all be open. All the park enthusiasts and those with an affinity for wide open groomers are very excited about the opening of Buttermilk. Nearly 100% of Buttermilk will be open as of Saturday and all lifts on the mountain will be spinning. There are five intermediate park features and five for beginners as well. In addition to these features, there will be a small terrain park set up on Upper Spruce. The world renowned half-pipe is scheduled to open on 12/16, as crews are still cutting the pipe to perfection. All these openings will bring the total open terrain to 2742 acres, which is 450 more than this time last year. According to Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle, this acreage is “far more than any resort complex in the state.” Now that’s the "Power of Four!"

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Changes in the Restaurant Scene

The slopes of Aspen Mtn. and Snowmass have been open for a week now much to the delight of locals and early season skiers. Feedback has been very positive due to the above average early season conditions. This past weekend was a phenomenal way to kick off the season. The Women’s World Cup skiing always creates a lot of excitement in town and with skiing fans throughout the world. The free food tastings, free concert, and fireworks display didn’t hurt either! In addition to this past weekend’s festivities, there is a lot of buzz in the air due to recent and upcoming changes within the Aspen restaurant scene. Il Mulino, a new Italian restaurant located at the base of Aspen Mountain has opened with rave reviews. Some guests of ours went there for lunch recently and had a fantastic experience. Il Mulino has been open for three weeks but only recently has opened their outdoor bar and patio. They will continue doing so, weather permitting. There are two new additions to “restaurant row” on Hopkins Ave. Ute City, an American style bistro, opened last week and was packed by 8 p.m. This new establishment is run by the same crew that runs one of Aspen’s all time favorites, Syzygy. Speaking of Syzygy, they are set to open in their new location on Hopkins ave. in the near future. It promises to be a revamped version of the old Syzygy, complete with a fully renovated dining room, bar, and night club. They will be located in the same building as one of their sister restaurants, Ute City. The always popular Kenichi is wrapping up an extensive renovation and is set to open soon. Noodles by Kenichi is open at their cooper ave. location. This is a great place to get a quick and inexpensive bite to eat before or after a day on the hill. Perhaps the biggest restaurant news of late has been the closure of the hugely popular D-19. Part owner and head chef Dena Marino has made a quick turnaround after the closure and is set to open her new Italian restaurant Ellina in the near future. According to www.eataspen.com , the theme is to be “rustic country Italian, with an emphasis on local ingredients and slow food.” In the bar scene, look for two new additions. The Hunter Bar has opened on the corner of Hopkins and Galena. They promise to have DJ’s spinning on a regular basis throughout the winter. The last change you may notice is that the space formerly occupied by the famous Club Chelsea is now called The Mustang. The Mustang is focused on becoming an eatery as well as a bar. They have added 7 hi-def TVs and frequently have drink specials during sporting events. Their menu boasts items from burgers and stews to authentic Mexican cuisine. They have frequent happy hour specials, live music, and karaoke/Open-Mic nights. Thanks for reading, see you at apr├Ęs ski!