Thursday, December 9, 2010

Same Mountains, New Experience

It’s no secret that skiing and snowboarding are great fun in and of themselves. There are however some fun and creative ways to make your skiing and snowboarding experience even more fun and rewarding. One of the most interesting and best kept secrets in regards to Aspen’s four mountains is the fact that there are over forty shrines hidden within the trees. These shrines are dedicated to all sorts of people, places, and things ranging from celebrities and baseball stadiums to hobbies and well-loved locals who have passed on too early. It can be great fun seeking out these shrines. The process itself provides one with a sense of adventure during the hunt and accomplishment once the shrine is located. This process helps one seek out new “lines” they may not have ridden and allows one to see the mountain in a new and exciting way. Then of course there is the pleasure of observing and perhaps photographing the shrine, especially if you have an outside interest in the subject matter of the shrine. For example, if you love John Denver, you must see the John Denver shrine etc. For a complete list of the shrines, along with some vague (some exploring is necessary!) directions about how to locate them, go to . Another way to spice up your day on the hill is to make a pledge to ski all the runs you have never skied before. I know I personally tend to stick to my “favorite” runs. Only when I ski with people with different tastes do I realize how much I’ve been missing when I fail to branch out from my routine. All the sudden I feel like I’m at an entirely different mountain. There are definitely runs within a run that you may never have experienced simply due to habits. It’s amazing what rewards can be found by going to the left instead of the right or taking that little extra traverse into an otherwise routine run. Another interesting idea is to track the vertical feet you ski per day. Some people like to brag about how many days they have skied. In reality the number of days isn’t a truly accurate indication of how much skiing has actually taken place. So if you really want to keep track of how much actual skiing you’ve done, tracking your vertical feet is the best way to do so. Some fanatics do more actual skiing in one day than other people do in a week! In addition to challenging yourself by tracking your vertical, it can be a fun challenge to pick a couple of skill sets to actively work on throughout the day. While this can be a bit of a pesky challenge, the payoff can pay huge dividends towards your development as a skier or snowboarder. These are of course just some suggestions to help you have a novel experience on the slopes. Sometimes it’s most fun to just clear your mind and let your day unfold stress free in the beautiful mountains of Aspen.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Aspen: More Than Just Skiing

Aspen is first and foremost known as a “ski town.” This makes perfect sense given that Aspen is home to four incredible ski mountains (Aspen, Aspen Highlands, Snowmass, and Buttermilk). But what a lot of people don’t realize is that there are lots of fun activities in and around Aspen that really have nothing to do with skiing. A lot of great musical acts and theatrical performances pass through Aspen every winter. The Belly Up is a fantastic music venue that attracts both big names and also lesser known up –and-coming performers. The Wheeler Opera House is one of Aspen’s most cherished buildings. The Wheeler plays host to all sorts of entertainment ranging from plays to movies with everything in between. Many people don’t realize that Aspen is also an international intellectual hub. Some of the most influential people from all over the world often spend time in Aspen both to educate and learn through collaboration with other influential thinkers. The Aspen Institute, Aspen Center for Physics, and the Aspen Center for Environmental studies are three institutions where visitors of Aspen can get their learn on (often for free or a very small charge). There are many great outdoor activities in which to partake around Aspen if you decide you want to take a day off from skiing or snowboarding. Snowmobiling, snow shoeing, hang gliding, hot air ballooning, sledding, dog sledding, and cross country skiing are all great outdoor activities that don’t involve buying a lift ticket. And then there are of course the two other things Aspen is famous for, those being shopping and fine dining. Aspen has some great shopping opportunities even for those who are on a tight budget. Aspen has two fantastic thrift stores legendary for some of the items that astute (and lucky) shoppers have left with. It is not at all uncommon to hear of people buying an item for around $20 or less that once retailed for hundreds of dollars. As far as dining goes, you could eat out in Aspen for two months straight without going to the same restaurant. There are around 80 eateries in Aspen ranging from 5 star world class restaurants to pub style bar eats. So while skiing and snowboarding are what Aspen is perhaps most famous for, and why many of us have found this magical place to begin with, it wouldn’t be fair to fail to give due credit to the many other activities Aspen has to offer. Oh yeah, we’d like to mention that we’re supposed to get from 2 to 4 feet of snow between Saturday 11/20 and AVSC ski day which is Wednesday, 11/24! Cheers to a snowy and fun-filled winter…

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thanksgiving in Aspen: More Than Just Turkey!

You’ll have more than just a turkey dinner to be thankful for if you decide to spend Thanksgiving weekend in Aspen. There is of course something very appealing in its own right about spending Thanksgiving in the mountains of Aspen. But Thanksgiving is also the official start to the 2010/2011 ski season, which is set to be one of the longest ski seasons ever in Aspen (due to a late Easter). In addition to the buzz in the air that inevitably accompanies opening day, visitors can look forward to the 2010 Aspen Winternational Audi FIS Women’s World Cup. This exiting two day event brings the fastest women ski racers in the world to Aspen to compete in giant slalom (Saturday, 11/27) and slalom (Sunday, 11/28) ski races. There will be grandstands set up at the bottom of the 1A side of the mountain for optimum viewing. These grandstands are accessible to all (you do not need to ski to get there)and transportation is provided for those who may need assitance. Thanksgiving weekend is also the official kick-off of the season-long Bud Light Hi-Fi concert series. This year’s talent has yet to be announced, but if years past are any indication, guests will not be disappointed. What we can tell you for sure at this point is that the concert will take place on the evening of Saturday, 11/27 from 6:30-8 in the upper Gondola Plaza. Last but not least, back by popular demand is the Bud Light sponsored “Dine around Aspen,” during which many of the best restaurants in Aspen will be offering great Prix Fixe menus. Be sure to look over the link provided at the bottom of the page because some restaurants will not be participating on the night of Thanksgiving. The Innsbruck is the perfect place to enjoy your Thanksgiving weekend in Aspen as all of our condos have luxury kitchens perfect for preparing your feast and cozy living rooms complete with a fireplace that just beg you to partake in that beloved after dinner nap!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Super Fall Savings

With fall in Aspen come a multitude of great deals in most every consumer category, from spa treaments to dining, and everything in between. The first fall deal we would like the highlight comes from The Aspen Club and Spa. This renowned spa and fitness center is offering 25% off spa treatments, 10% off on Aspen Club Boutique purchases, 10% off SalonAspen services, and discounts on personal training and fitness classes. For $99.00, you can purchase a day pass and receive a 50 minute massage, which when combined would normally cost well over $200. The day pass allows you to access the fitness area, lap pool, cardio deck, steam/sauna/Jacuzzi, and racquetball/squash courts. Next we would like to highlight some of the many dining discounts that surface during the fall season. While most every restaurant offers some kind of discount, we would like to highlight some of the stand-outs in terms of value. Elevation and Lu Lu Wilson are two great American Bistro-Style restaurants that are very popular with locals and visitors alike. Both of these establishments are offering a 3 course $35 prix fixe menu during the fall off-season. If it’s Asian food you’re craving, head to Asie Asian Restaurant, where they are offering a 3course prix fixe for just $29. For a pub-style experience, give Zane’s Tavern a try, where you can get a burger and a Bud for the low price of $8.95. If it’s Italian food you desire, Mezzaluna is a great place to try. They are offering 2 for 1 dinner entrees for the duration of fall. These are just a sampling of the many great restaurant deals you can find during the fall season. Let’s not forget the truly amazing deals you can find in retail though. During the fall many stores in Aspen are doing their best to rid themselves of both their summer inventory AND last years winter inventory, which provides attentive shoppers with many great opportunities. Isn’t it great that you can use these fall sales as an excuse to buy both a new bike and a new pair of skis, all in the name of being a savvy shopper? Last but not least we would like the highlight the heavily discounted live entertainment that comes to Aspen during the fall, particularly at the Belly Up live music venue. Many shows at the Belly Up during the fall are either free, or very cheap considering the quality of both the performances and venue itself. The Belly Up has a knack for finding up-and-coming musicians who, being in the beginning stages of their career, are not yet to the point of commanding a cover charge in order to see their shows. Yet just because they are not a household name, does not mean that they won’t put on a great show. In the course of just one season I have seen a band free of charge, only to see them return a few months later and command a $20 cover as they rise from obscurity and gain credibility. Most importantly, don’t forget that the earlier you book your winter stay with The Innsbruck Aspen, the more you will save!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

2010/11 On-Mountain Improvements

With just five weeks left until opening day for the 2010/2011 ski season, The Aspen Skiing Co. has announced this year’s on-mountain improvements and policy changes that we all can look forward to. For starters, Skico has announced a policy change allowing for “sunset” skiing which will go into effect starting on March 18th. With this new policy Skico will keep one of their four mountains open until 6 pm every Friday from the 18th of March until the end of the season. For those interested in learning half pipe, Skico is going to offer a less intimidating option than the already available 22-foot super pipe located at Buttermilk, or the 18-foot pipe at Snowmass by building a more accessible 12-foot pipe at Snowmass. Snowmass will also be the beneficiary of Skico’s newest toy, the $450,000 “Beast” which is a groomer that covers twice as much area as a traditional groomer. This will help Skico work towards its goal of reducing its carbon footprint while keeping their amazing grooming capabilities intact. The popular Ullrhof restaurant located at the Big Burn area of Snowmass has undergone both a culinary and structural remodel, which will provide customers with a more efficient and delicious on-mountain dining experience. According to the Aspen Times “the menu will feature gourmet hamburgers, hand-cut French fries, and milkshakes,” in addition to other items. The layout has been improved so as to increase the efficiency of the dining experience. The Snowmass Village arrival center will be completed despite the stalled base village development. With the new arrival center, bus passengers will be able to access the ski lift area via an escalator. Those parking in the new parking garage will be able access the lift via an escalator as well. At Highlands ski area, Skico will now offer ambassador guided hikes into Highlands Bowl in order to facilitate guests that might otherwise be intimidated by such an adventure. These tours will take place every Wednesday at 11 a.m. depending on weather conditions. Last but not least, Skico will offer lift serviced skiing at Aspen Highlands until April 23rd, which is a whopping three weeks longer than usual. This makes the 2010/2011 ski season one of the longest seasons ever!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ski Conditioning

Now that the peaks around Aspen are dusted with snow, it’s time to start planning your ski trip. This also means it’s time to start thinking of a ski conditioning program that will allow you to get the most out of your time on the slopes. Even the most well-conditioned individual will experience soreness and fatigue after their first days of the season. While the reasons for this vary, one thing we all have in common is that most “traditional” activities we participate in during our time away from skiing, be it running, biking, squatting, lunging, etc, lack the lateral movement present in skiing. When you think about turning down the hill, it’s quite obvious why many traditional exercises won’t prepare you for skiing. During a ski turn, a person ideally would place about 80% of their weight on their down hill ski. This requires a lot of strength in the outside of the quadriceps muscle. So developing lateral strength and endurance in the legs is a fantastic way to start developing a ski conditioning program. Some great exercises to develop lateral strength and endurance are side squats, roller-blading, ice skating, side-plank, and simply jumping over an object from side to side. When performing these exercises it is a good idea to practice good skiing posture. This involves keeping the abdominals tight,shoulders squared, with an upright posture from the waist up, all while keeping your hands out in front like you’re driving. This leads us to two other key elements in a ski conditioning program, those being core strength and balance. In order to achieve and maintain the aforementioned “ski posture,” it is crucial to develop strength in the abdominals and lower back (core) and to develop good balance. This can be achieved through all sorts of abdominal workouts and balance exercises. Some of my favorite abdominal exercises are leg lifts, planks, and the “ab-wheel.” Balance can be developed in a number of ways, such as simply balancing on one leg, using balance balls on which you can perform various excises, and using a balance board, just to name a few. I also find it very helpful to incorporate both muscle building and endurance exercises in your program. By building strength you will be able to respond quickly on challenging terrain and prevent injuries. Endurance will help you go the distance at high altitude. Of course the best way to get into shape for skiing is, well, to ski. But by placing an extra emphasis on lateral movements, core strength, and balance in addition to your traditional workout, you can rest assured that you will be best prepared to get the most out of your ski trip in Aspen and leave your friends in the dust!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fall Foliage

It’s hard to believe that autumn is just around the corner, but it is. Fall is quite possibly the most spectacular time to visit Aspen, depending on who you ask of course. The crisp air, changing leaves, and snow-kissed peaks all combine to form an incredible display of natural beauty. While the leaves won't be changing for about three weeks or so, we have had many inquiries about fall foliage and September is already shaping up to be a very busy month for us as a result. So in today’s post, we would like to elaborate on fall foliage. The following is a simplified explanation of why plants change colors in the fall. There are three pigments responsible for the beautiful colors we are blessed with every fall. The first pigment is chlorophyll, which is responsible for plants’ green color. The second is called a Carotenoid, which is responsible for the yellow, orange, and brown colors. The third and final pigment is called Anthocyanins, which is responsible for such disparate hues as the red in apples to the dark blue in blueberries, and of course a whole range of colors in the leaves of plants. Chlorophyll and Carotenoids are present in the chloroplasts of leaves throughout the year, while Anthocyanins are only present in the fall when they are in the presence of bright light and an excessive amounts of sugar that has been produced and accumulated via photosynthesis during the spring and summer months. During peak growing season chlorophyll undergoes repeated periods of production and degradation in order to make sugar. The continuous presence of chlorophyll is what is responsible for plants’ green color. In the fall as nights become progressively longer, the production of chlorophyll slows down and eventually stops. As the presence of this dominant pigment (chlorophyll) is reduced, the Carotenoids and Anthocyanins are able to literally show their true colors. A warm and wet summer with cool, sunny, and dry fall days leads to the most spectacular show of color. Moisture, temperature, and sun are the most variable portion of the fall foliage equation due to the infinite ways in which the three can be combined. In sum, what is most responsible for the change in colors is the shift in the concentration of pigments as chlorophyll production slows down and eventually stops due to progressively longer nights. This allows the pigments Carotenoids and Anthocyanins to become “unmasked” revealing a spectacular display of color. There is no better place than Aspen to witness the transition of plants from their flourishing summer green into their endless spectrum of yellows, oranges and reds that triumphantly lead them into their winter slumber. Leaves tend to peak in the Aspen area at different elevations in mid to late September. The leaves change first at tree line and work their way down as fall progresses. Come and visit us and we will tell you all the best places to take pictures that are certain to make all of your friends and colleagues jealous!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Star Gazing

One of my favorite things about the Aspen area is the lack of all types of pollution. There is very little noise pollution, light pollution, or air pollution compared to most places I have ever been. This lack of pollution is of course great for ones overall health. In addition to the health benefits, there is the benefit of clear skies for those who enjoy scouring the night sky in search of shooting stars, meteors, constellations, or just enjoying the natural beauty. On that note I would like to highlight some of the upcoming celestial delights that await those who wish to see them. The first (and the one I’m most excited for) is the Persieds Meteor shower, which is set to peak on the night of August 12th and morning of August 13th, with the possibility of seeing an abnormally high amount of meteors remaining until August the 22nd. At its peak this meteor shower can produce up to 60 visible meteors per hour. All one needs to do to observe this spectacular show is look up to the Northeast sky after midnight. The night of August 13th will also be playing host to the “Triple Conjunction with the Moon,” during which the planets Venus, Mars, and Saturn will be in abnormally close proximity to the moon, which will be a thin crescent at this time. The last notable celestial event for August will take place on August 20th. At this time the planet Neptune will be at it’s closest distance to earth. A high powered telescope is necessary to make this event more impressive. Without a telescope, it will appear as nothing more than a small blue dot. The best way to view these events from close to town would be to walk up to the top of Smuggler Mountain. I would suggest having a head lamp or high powered flashlight as it will be pitch black. Another great way to have optimum star gazing is to go camping at one of the many campgrounds within just miles of Aspen.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Snowmass Fun

Just a short FREE bus from the Innsbruck is Snowmass village, where many great outdoor adventures await you. The Elk Camp Gondola is open this summer providing easy access to a variety of great on-mountain activities. From the mid way point of the Gondola, you would have access to miles of hiking and mountain biking, guided nature walks with the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, disc golf, a climbing wall, and private fishing tours on a hidden lake. If you are interested in accessing the top of Elk camp, there is the option to continue to the top via the Elk Camp chairlift up to an elevation of 11,300 feet. The top of Elk Camp gives a uniquely beautiful view of the iconic Maroon Bells and Elk mountains. From the top of Elk Camp, visitors can either take the lift back down to the bottom or hike down on the newly cut Summit Trail. Snowmass is especially appealing to mountain bikers. Mountain bikers are permitted to bring their bikes on the Elk Camp Gondola this summer, which provides easy access to over 40 miles of mountain bike trails for all ability levels. There is everything from mellow jeep roads to technical single track, to advanced downhill sections complete with man made obstacles. There are some great restaurants in Snowmass after you’ve worked up an appetite with all that hiking and biking (try the Philly cheese steak at Zane’s Tavern).

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Two Local Favorites

This week I would like to highlight two weekly events that everyone looks forward to in Aspen. For starters, there is the Aspen Farmers Market, which takes place every Saturday from 9 AM until 3 PM. The market takes place on a portion of Hopkins Ave. between Galena and S. Hunter, then runs south down a portion of S. Hunter Street, where it then turns back West through a portion of Hyman Ave. between Galena and S. Hunter. The market features all sorts of fresh Colorado produce and meats, flowers, jewelry, artisan works, and much more. Strollers are treated to live music while they look around at all the wonderful goods. Fresh food is the perfect way to feed your active Aspen lifestyle! This great weekly event will be taking place every Saturday until October 16th (one day after my birthday…hint). Next up I would like to introduce you to Blue Grass Sundays atop Aspen Mountain. This event will take place every Sunday until September 5th from noon until 3 P.M. There is no cost for admission as this is an open air event taking place just outside the Sundeck Restaurant with sweeping views of the incredible Elk Mountains. There is a cost to ride the Gondola, though you can circumvent this expense if you are feeling ambitious by hiking to the top and riding the Gondola down for free. In addition to the free concert, there are other activities up top, such as disk golf, euro bungee, a rock wall, an obstacle course, a sand box, and a free guided nature walk compliments of the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies. The nature walk leaves every hour, on the hour, from 11 AM to 3 PM. Food and beverages can be purchased at the Sundeck or you can pack some of the fresh goods you bought the day before at the Farmers Market. See you there!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Snowmass FREE Concert Series

We are about to kick off a fun filled weekend here in Aspen. There is of course the fun associated with Independence Day…..the parade, fireworks, and classic American Barbeques. But tonight, July 1, is also the official start of the Snowmass FREE concert series. On every Thursday from today until August 19th, there will be free concerts in Snowmass compliments of the town of Snowmass Village and Jazz Aspen Snowmass. These concerts will take place at the end of the Snowmass Village mall on Snowmass mountain. The shows start at 6:15 and end at 8:30. As in years past there will be an eclectic variety of music, with genres ranging from Reggae to classical Jazz. Patrons are permitted to bring in a cooler with food, though alcoholic beverages must be purchased once inside the fenced-in venue area. For people who wish to bring pets, there is a designated pet area from which to enjoy the concert. Snowmass is just a FREE short bus ride from the Innsbruck. So why not come and enjoy FREE live music in a venue surrounded by natural beauty? For a complete schedule of concerts, go to: Call us toll free at 1-866-925-2980 or visit us at:

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Boogie's Bash for the Buddies

Want to attend the summer’s hottest party in Aspen? Want to have an amazing time in the name of supporting a great cause? If so, you should consider attending Boogie’s Bash for the Buddies on July 2nd. This is one of the most popular social events of the summer, where all proceeds go towards supporting the Buddy Program. The Buddy Program is a mentoring program that pairs adults in the Roaring Fork Valley with youth from Aspen to El Jebel. The concept is simple yet extremely important for the valley’s youth. The mission statement of the Buddy Program is to “strengthen the community by guiding and inspiring the youth through mentoring.” According to, the following are known benefits of mentoring programs: Improving self-esteem, keeping young people in school, helping to improve academic skills, leading young people to resources they might not find on their own, providing support for new behaviors and attitudes, increasing young people’s ability to seek and keep jobs, and enhancing parenting skills. This year’s Bash for the Buddies, as in years past, will be held at Boogie’s Merry-go-round ranch at 1650 McClain flats road. The theme is “our children, our future.” The dress is Italian chic (whatever makes you feel good). There will be cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, both silent and live auctions, and a seated dinner. For further information and for purchasing information, go to

Friday, May 28, 2010

Food and Wine Classic 2010

The gondola is running, Independence Pass is open, the trees are blooming and flowers are back. Yes, it’s almost time to celebrate the official kick off of summer with the annual Food and Wine Classic in Aspen. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the onset of summer than with this classic event. This year, just as years past, will not disappoint. This event runs from June 18-20. As usual there will be cooking demos, wine seminars, reserve wine tastings, grand tastings, and private grand tastings. These events will be run by wine and culinary experts from around the globe. There are three pass types that are currently still available. The first is the “Grow for Good” pass, which cost $3,100 each. This pass allows VIP access to all events in addition to access to events exclusive for Grow for Good pass holders. Food and Wine will donate $1,000 out of the pass price to the Grow for Good Campaign, which is an initiative that supports local farmers and promotes sustainable agriculture. The next available pass is the Consumer and Trade Pass, which cost $1,185 each. This pass gets you into all the main events. Lastly you can purchase tickets for Friday and Saturday’s grand tastings for $295 per ticket per tasting. Even if you choose not to directly participate in Food and Wine, the summer season and all it has to offer is underway which means there are plenty of great activities to indulge in. Summer in Aspen is short but very sweet, so don’t let it pass you by! We still have some great deals available both for the Food and Wine Classic and the entire summer season. Call us toll free at 1-866-925-2980!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Cycling/Mountain Biking Around Aspen

Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley are a Cycling and Mountain biker’s paradise. Beautiful scenery abounds whether you are in the wilderness on a challenging mountain bike ride or a leisurely road bike on a paved bike path. There are many rides for each discipline ranging from easy to very difficult. Two of the more popular road bike rides easily accessible from town are the Ashcroft and Maroon Bells loops, both of which are in the “difficult” category. The Ashcroft loop takes you 11 miles up Castle Creek road to a historic ghost town, for a total of 22 miles of cycling. The Maroon Bells loop is approximately 10 miles from highway 82 and ends up at the base of the stunning Maroon Bells. The total distance of this ride is approximately 20 miles. Traffic is limited on this access road during the summer to make this ride even more enjoyable. Two of the more popular mountain bike rides around Aspen are the Government Trail and The Sunnyside trail, both of which are challenging at times from a technical and aerobic standpoint (for me at least!). The Government trail connects Buttermilk and Snowmass. Throughout the ride there are plenty of phenomenal views, wild flowers, and cool sections through Aspen forests. It is important to note that this trail crosses private property at certain points, and portions of it are closed early on for elk migration. The Sunny Side trail is usually accessed by biking up to the four corners region starting from the Hunter Creek valley. My favorite part of this ride is the sun as it peaks through the leaves of the beautiful aspen forest. Towards the end of the ride there are some gorgeous wild flowers and great views of the valley. The Sunny Side trail will take you back to Cemetery Lane right near town. These are of course just a few of the many rides around Aspen. The possibilities are really endless, especially if you are willing to drive out of town a ways. Go to for more rides.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

7th Annual Chili Pepper and Brew Fest

The weather has been quite nice lately and I can’t help but think of all the fun events coming up as Spring rolls on and Summer is just around the corner. In exactly one month from now, the 7th annual Chili Pepper and Brew Fest will take place on June 4th and 5th on Fanny Hill in Snowmass village. How can I not be excited for an event that combines great music, great chili, and great beer all in one of my favorite places? The Chili Pepper and Brew Fest allows local and national chili aficionados to square off in a competition vying for the “best chili” award as determined by us, the samplers. In addition to all the great chili, those of us 21 or over are allowed to wash down the chili by sampling beers from some of the top microbrewers from all over the country who will be competing for various honors in the “Summer Ale Brew Fest 2010” according to the Chili Pepper and Brew Fest website. And for all you home brewers out there, you are encouraged to compete in the home brewing category. But wait, it gets even better. All of the above will be taking place alongside musical performances by The Kyle Hollingsworth Band featuring special guest Michael Kang of the String Cheese Incident, Brett Dennen, The Wailers, and George Clinton and the Parliament/Funkadelics. This has become a popular event so buy tickets early to secure a spot and save a few bucks! Go to: for more information. Our current special awards those who book early, so give us a call toll free at 866-925-2980.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Great Experience, Small Price to Pay

What a fun place! The Innsbruck is perfectly located on Main Street in Aspen Colorado within walking distance to everything. The Innsbruck has amenities such as hot tub, heated resistance pool, and fitness room. All of our Condos are completely renovated with luxury finishes including granite, stone, plaster walls, fire places and of course, a fully stocked kitchen perfect for apres entertaining. The staff at The Innsbruck Aspen provides advice, ski services, rides around town 24 hours a day, and even discounts on equipment rentals. The Concierge at The Innsbruck sets up all guests with all the right inside access. Great experiences await you for a small price to pay. Ownership opportunities right on Main Street starting at $99,000. Why wait??

Friday, February 12, 2010

Intellectual Aspen

It’s no secret that there is a multitude of fun ways to break a sweat in Aspen. Whether you visit in the summer or the winter, Aspen offers many fun activities that are physically demanding and rewarding. What a lot of people may not know is that Aspen offers a lot of ways to break a mental sweat! While there are many intellectually stimulating events in Aspen in both summer and winter, I will focus on winter at the moment since it’s that time of year. The Aspen Institute’s “2010 Great Decisions Series” officially started on February 2, and will continue until March 23. According to the Aspen Chamber website, during this 8 week event, “participants gather to discuss key foreign policy issues facing the world today.” Topics to be discussed throughout the series are special envoys, preventing genocides, global crime, U.S. – China security relations, the global financial crisis, Russia and its neighbors, The Persian Gulf, and peace building and conflict resolutions. These lectures will be given at the Aspen Institute from 7:00 – 9:00 P.M. The cost is $195 and $175 for donors to the Institute. For a detailed schedule of the lectures, go to: . Another great way to get some intellectual nourishment while in Aspen is through the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES). One program they host is called “Potbelly Perspectives” in which they host a speaker each week to discuss their world travels and adventures through stories and pictures. This series runs through the entire winter on Wednesdays from 7:30 to 8:30 at Hallam Lake in Aspen. Tickets are only $4.00 for adults. Hallam Lake is a nature preserve that has an environmental learning center with resident birds of prey, nature exhibits, an indoor trout stream, a nature trail loop, bird watching, a naturalist on site, and evening programs. Hallam Lake nature preserve is open Monday-Friday, from 9:00 am – 4:30 pm. Entry is free (donations are encouraged). Going along with the FREE theme, ACES also offers the “Naturalist Nights” in partnership with the Aspen Wilderness Workshop. According to the ACES website, this series “focuses on scientific research, environmental policy work, and natural history information that is of interest to the Aspen community.” This program runs throughout the winter until April on Thursday nights from 7:30-8:30 at Hallam Lake. Admission is free but donations are encouraged. The days getting longer and the sun is shining. Mid February until the end of the season is usually my favorite time of year to hit the slopes. Hopefully I will see you out there!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Winter X-Games 14

Winterskol was successfully wrapped up about a week ago and the always popular gay ski week is coming to yet another successful finish. Some may find themselves asking “what now?” The answer to this question is “X-Games of course!” We are now less than a week away from X-games 14, a very exciting four day event that only seems to grow bigger and more entertaining with time. This special event will take place from Thursday, 1/28 through Sunday, 1/31. This year’s X-Games promises to outdo previous years’ X-Games as it will have all the familiar events and more. The super pipe will remain 22’ high, up from what now seems like a measly 18’ in earlier years. Only this year the pipe will be 20’ longer than last year which will allow the amazing athletes to throw down some additional airs at the end of their runs. Another exciting event that is new to the four day competition is the aptly named “Snowmobile Knockout” event, in which participants are challenged to catch as much air as possible off a series of progressively bigger jumps. This event will take place in the snow-cross area of the venue (eastern part of Buttermilk) and therefore will need to be set up at the last minute. This is a testament to the hard work and organization of the 2,000+ people that have been working (some of them around the clock) to make this amazing spectacle possible. In addition to the sports action that will be taking place over X-games, there will be plenty of lyrical entertainment as hip-hop moguls Snoop Dog, 50-Cent, and Too $hort are all scheduled to perform throughout the weekend. 50-Cent is scheduled to put on a daytime concert at Buttermilk Mountain on Saturday, 1/30. Snoop Dog and Too $hort are scheduled to play at the Belly Up music venue on both Friday and Sunday nights respectively. In addition to the X-Games action and multiple concerts, Skico is offering a great deal for college students (valid college I.D. required). They are offering the “college x-pass” which will allow college students to purchase a two day lift ticket for $87 during the X-Games. In addition to this heavily discounted ticket price, those who purchase the x-pass will get 35% off of rentals at Four-Mountain Sports. And of course the best part of X-Games is that all the events are FREE for spectators! Hope to see you there. Thanks for reading!

Here is a link to the ESPN X-Games blog and website. A detailed schedule of events can also be found by visiting this site. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Winterskol 2010

The New Year has started out nicely here in Aspen with many a snowy night followed by a bluebird day. The pictures at tell the story better than words can. The rest of January promises to be full of fun and excitement. Coming up in mid January (1/14-1/17) is the Aspen Winterskol. This year’s Winterskol is aptly named “epic steeps and decades deep.” Winterskol is a tradition dating back to January, 1951. According to the Aspen Chamber, Winterskol was created as “a toast to winter” that celebrates Aspen’s “unique Nordic lifestyle.” I will post the complete and detailed schedule of events at the end of this post, but before that I would like to highlight my personal favorite parts of the Winterskol celebration. Probably my favorite part of Winterskol is the “Soupskol”, during which everyone is invited to sample soups from a multitude of local restaurants and then vote on which they think is the best. This is a free event that will take place on Friday, January 15th from 5:30-7:30 P.M. It doesn’t get much better in my opinion than eating warm and delicious soups on a beautiful night in downtown Aspen…for FREE. Another of my favorite parts of Winterskol is the “Wintersculpt.” This event takes place over 48 hours from 1/14 -1/15. During this period teams work (often around the clock) to turn an 8x8x8 pre-made snow cube into elaborate snow sculptures. At the close of the sculpting period the teams’ creations are judged on creativity, technical execution, and compliance to rules by an independent panel of community members. I love this event because you can watch these talented artists work throughout the 48 hour sculpting period. They do not mind at all if you grab a hot chocolate or coffee and watch them ply their trade. Their artwork then adorns the mall area for many days after their completion. This event leaves adults and children alike in awe of what can be accomplished with snow, some rudimentary tools, and a lot of creativity and effort. I think the fact that so much effort goes into a sculpture that we all know will not last only adds to the beauty of this special event. Of course there are many more great activities to check out, including live music, fireworks, and more. Here is the detailed schedule kindly provided by the Aspen Chamber and Resort Association for this year’s Winterskol celebration:

JANUARY 14-17, 2010

The Wintersköl Committee has selected "Epic Steeps and Decades Deep" as the official slogan for the 59th Annual WinterskölTM Celebration, January 14 - 17, 2010. The slogan was submitted by Dana Laughren, who captured the essence of this year's "2010, new decade" theme. Laughren's winning prize is (1) pass to the 2010 FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen. Her slogan will appear on buttons, in print and other promotional and advertising materials for the celebration. Congratulations Dana!

The Wintersköl Committee would like to send a special thanks to everyone who participated in the slogan contest. There were more than 85 people who submitted slogans this year, and the committee appreciates the community's creativity and support of Wintersköl 2010.

The contest encouraged entrants to create catchphrases between one and five words, short enough to fit onto a three-inch, round button and embodying this year's "new decade" theme. The contest was limited to five entries per person. Past Wintersköl winning slogans include 2008's "Some Like it Hot" and 2009's "Powder Days & Stellar Nights."


2010 Wintersculpt Theme: "What goes around comes around"
Awards (announced Saturday night, January 16, 2010): First Prize: $600 / Second Prize: $100

For more information, rules & regulations, or questions, please visit the Anderson Ranch Arts Center.

Wednesday 1/13/2010: A Special Addition to Wintersköl honor of Aspen's "Decades Deep"
6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Aspen Institute Dinner Discussion "Why Goethe? Why 1949? Why Aspen?"
Aspen Meadows Restaurant "Something very strange happened in Aspen in the summer 1949 (exactly sixty years ago). Even though there were very few hotel rooms, 2000 people came here. They came from every state except for two, and they came from 11 different countries. Come find out who came; what they were so "worked up" about, and why Time Magazine featured this unusual meeting in Aspen, Colorado as its cover story on July 11,1949! After seeing this multi-media presentation, you will have a new understanding of the "big bang" that caused Aspen to be the unique spiritual, cultural, intellectual and recreational center that it is today. Narrated by Steve Wickes, an Associate Director at the Aspen Institute. Join us at the Aspen Institute for dinner and to learn more! Tickets $50 for Aspen Institute and ACRA members/$60 for non-members. To register, call Beth Slater at the Aspen Institute 970-544-7914. For more information,
THURSDAY 1/14/2010: Winterskol Officially Begins
Noon - 1:30 p.m. ACRA Opening Luncheon
The St. Regis Aspen. Tickets $40 for members/$50 for non-members. For tickets ACRA, 970-925-1940

4:00 p.m. Anderson Ranch Arts Center's "Wintersculpt"
Aspen Mall Area. Snow sculpture competition. Anderson Ranch selects six teams to participate in this intense 48 hour snow sculpture competition. Each team receives a participation fee and cash prizes are awarded to the top three sculptures. Teams often work around the clock on Thursday and Friday of the event to transform their 8' x 8'x 8' snow cubes into freestanding creations. By Saturday afternoon, the completed sculptures are judged by a panel of independent community members based on creativity, technical execution, and compliance to rules. Anderson Ranch, 970-923-3182 or

6:00 p.m. Special AAM Wintersköl | Soupsköl events
Aspen Art Museum. Fish On: A Public Program about Fishing Flies and Fly Tying Internationally-renowned for fly fishing, the Roaring Fork Valley provides inspiration for artist Claire Fontaine's sculpture Passe-Partout (Aspen-Leurre), a new sculpture with associations to fishing flies used in the rivers of Colorado. This public program brings together individuals from the Valley who make their living designing, tying, and fishing with flies. Soup's On: A Soupsköl Preview with Chef Clark Church. Join 3-time Soupsköl competition winner Chef Clark Church of Garnish Café for a preview taste of Friday night's Soupsköl celebration! Aspen Art Museum, 970-925-8050 or

7 p.m. "Surfing 50 States" and Surfwear Competition | Wheeler Opera House
Film about two early-20's Aussies who travel to America to find surfing opportuniteseverywhere they go. Wear your most outlandish beach
costume to the screening for a chance to win $200! Free Admission. Wheeler Opera House, 970-920-5770 or

9:00 p.m. Keller Williams Concert
Belly Up Aspen. Singer/song writer/guitarist. Doors open at 9 p.m. Tickets in advance $32. Day of $35. For tickets, 970-544-9800 or
FRIDAY 1/15/2010:
8:00 a.m. Anderson Ranch Arts Center's "Wintersculpt"
Aspen Mall Area. Sculpting continues.

9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Anderson Ranch Arts Center's "Kidsculpt"
Aspen Mill Street Mall. Snow sculpture competition.

9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Men's Health & Women's Health at Aspen Wintersköl
The Ultimate Party in The Snow - Check out our schedule of events and carve your trail through Aspen Wintersköl
2010. Free and open to everyone.
• 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. RECOVER
From your day on the slopes with tranquil spa services and new products to try in the Men's Health/Women's
Health Sanctuary, Lower Gondola Plaza.
• 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. LOUNGE
Between runs in the Men's Health/Women's Health Lodge featuring games, sweeps, and Internet Café, Upper Gondola Plaza
• 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. SIP
Beer and wine, munch on snacks and groove to the sounds of some of Aspen's hottest DJ's at our Après Ski Party, Upper Gondola Plaza
• 10:00 p.m. DANCE
At our annual Snow Jam concert featuring The Spazmatics at Aspen's Belly Up. Doors open at 8 p.m. Show starts after 10:00 p.m. Tickets prices - $20. 970-544-9800 or www.bellyup
10:30 a.m. - noon Apple Strudel Downhill
Apple Strudel Trail, Aspen Highlands. Free to everyone! All participants receive complimentary apple strudel with whip cream and a drink, and bragging rights at finish line!

3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Snowmass Pub Crawl
Snowmass Village & Snowmass Base Village, 970-922-2299 or FREE Live Music:
Big Hoss Grill - featuring Brad Manosevitz, Acoustic Guitar
The Sweet Life - featuring DJ Dee O Gee
Cirque Bar & Grill - featuring Holy Smoke, Classic Rock
Mountain Dragon - featuring Tom Ressel, Acoustic Classic Rock

5:30 - 7:30 p.m. "Soupsköl," 7th annual cook-off
Cooper Ave. & Hunter St. Soup contest. Restaurants offer a FREE sample of their soup. Public votes for their favorite. Free to everyone! To register ACRA, 970-925-1940 or

7:30 p.m. Nathan McEuen and Friends | Wheeler Opera House
Son of John McEuen, string-master for The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Free Admission.
Wheeler Opera House, 970-920-5770 or

7:00 p.m. 13 - The Musical
District Theatre, Aspen High School. Tickets $22. $13 students 18 & under with school ID. For tickets call 970-920-5770 or Theatre Aspen, 970-925-9313 or
SATURDAY 1/16/2010
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Men's Health & Women's Health at Aspen Wintersköl
The Ultimate Party in The Snow - Check out our schedule of events and carve your trail through Aspen Wintersköl
2010. Free and open to everyone.
• 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. RECOVER
From your day on the slopes with tranquil spa services and new products to try in the Men's Health/Women's
Health Sanctuary, Lower Gondola Plaza.
• 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. LOUNGE
Between runs in the Men's Health/Women's Health Lodge featuring games, sweeps, and Internet Café, Upper Gondola Plaza
• 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. SIP
Beer and wine, munch on snacks and groove to the sounds of some of Aspen's hottest DJ's at our Après Ski Party, Upper Gondola Plaza
• 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. WATCH
The Wintersköl Fireworks Display at our Little Nell viewing party, The Little Nell, RSVP required. Visit the Men's Health/Women's Health
Lodge to RSVP by 5 p.m., space is limited
10:00 - 11:00 a.m. Introduction to Skijoring with your Dog
Aspen Animal Shelter. Classroom education session prior to practical at Golf Course

Noon - 1:30 p.m. Skijoring with your Dog: A Healthy, Safe Way to Exercise and Bond Together
Aspen Golf Course. Presented by the Friends of the Aspen Animal Shelter. Popular in Scandinavian countries and pockets of the United States, skijoring is a sport that combines nordic skiing and dog sledding. This introduction will be led by Champian Racer Fritz Howard and will cover basic equipment, techniques to encourage your dog to pull, and how to skijor safely and responsibly on the trail. Equipment will be available for use at clinic or may be purchased at the Aspen Animal Shelter pet store, and Aspen Wags to Riches. Kicksledding demonstrations will be offered by Seth Sachson, Director of the Aspen Animal Shelter and shelter dog dog-sledder, and Ed Foran, two-time Iditarod finisher. Nordic skiing experience a plus but beginner's welcome. $40 suggested donation, proceeds to benefit Friends of the Aspen Animal Shelter. Pre-registration is required, space is limited. For more information and to register, Aspen Animal Shelter, 970-927-1771 or

10:00 a.m. Canine Fashion Show - registration
Cooper Ave. & Galena St. Free to participate. Registration required and takes place day of. ACRA, 970-925-1940 or

11:00 a.m. Canine Fashion Show
Cooper Ave. & Galena St.

10:00 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. EPIC WinterFest
Cooper Ave Mall
• 10 a.m. - Canine Fashion Show registration
• 11 a.m. - Canine Fashion Show
• 12 p.m. - Performance by the K9 Kings
• 1 p.m. - Music on The Mall featuring live performance by the US AirForce Drum & Bugle Corps and the El Jebel Shrine Pipe Band
and other members of the Red, Plaid, and Blue Pipes and Drums
• 1 p.m. - Street Fair begins featuring Clowns, Face Painters, Kettle Korn, Cotton Candy
• 2 - 6 p.m. - Rocky Mountain Dee Jays
• 4 - 8:30 p.m. - Beer Garden at Bad Billy's
• 5:45 p.m. - Anderson Ranch to announce Wintersculpt winners
• 6 p.m. - Performance by Crystal Palace Productions
• 6:15 - 8 p.m. - Live Music by Jes Grew
• 6 - 8 p.m. - Complimentary hot chocolate & cookies around the Cooper Mall Fire Hearth
• 8 p.m. - Torchlight Descent
• 8:15 p.m. - Fireworks Extravaganza
11:45 a.m. - 1:15 p.m. Wintersköl Public Skate
Lewis Ice Arena. Free admission. Aspen Recreation Center, 970-544-4100

4:00 - 5:00 p.m. Public Skate
Aspen Ice Garden. Free Admission.

5:00 - 6:00 p.m. Aspen Skating Club Wintersköl Skating Exhibition
Aspen Ice Garden.

6:00 p.m. "Wintersculpt" judging and awards
Aspen Mall Area. Judging at 4 p.m. Awards at 6 p.m. @ WinterFest

7:00 p.m. 13 - The Musical
District Theatre , Aspen High School. Tickets $22. $13 students 18 & under with school ID. For tickets call 970-920-5770 or Theatre Aspen, 970-925-9313 or

8:00 p.m. Torchlight Descent
Little Nell - Aspen Mountain

8:15 p.m. Fireworks Extravaganza
Little Nell - Aspen Mountain

9:00 p.m. The Punch Brothers
Bluegrass and acoustic music. Wheeler Opera House. Tickets $35. For tickets call 970-920-5770 or

10:00 p.m. Tea Leaf Green with Elmwood
Belly Up Aspen. Tea Green Leaf, San Fancisco's psychedelic/jam band. Elmwood, the Southeast's energetic live performers with elements of rock, pop, funk, soul and jazz. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets in advance $18. Day of $20. For tickets, 970-544-9800 or www.bellyup
SUNDAY 1/17/2010
7:30 a.m. Wintersköl Hike for Hope Uphill Race
Buttermilk Mountain. 6th Annual Family Charity Event, 100% of funds raised go to research a cure for Muscular Dystrophy. Reg. is $25 and DOES NOT include the pancake Breakfast at Cliffhouse. Day of registration will be from 6 - 7:15 am at Bumps Restaurant. Door prizes and a huge prize give-away, fun for all!! For more information and to pre-register, 970-925-6137 or

8:00 a.m. Pancake Breakfast $5
Cliff House Restaurant, Buttermilk Mountain
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Men's Health & Women's Health at Aspen Wintersköl
The Ultimate Party in The Snow - Check out our schedule of events and carve your trail through Aspen Wintersköl
2010. Free and open to everyone.
• 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. RECOVER
From your day on the slopes with tranquil spa services and new products to try in the Men's Health/Women's
Health Sanctuary, Lower Gondola Plaza.
• 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. LOUNGE
Between runs in the Men's Health/Women's Health Lodge featuring games, sweeps, and Internet Café, Upper Gondola Plaza
• 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. SIP
Beer and wine, munch on snacks and groove to the sounds of some of Aspen's hottest DJ's at our Après Ski Party, Upper Gondola Plaza
9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Wintersköl at Aspen Highlands Village
Aspen Highlands Village. Free and open to everyone. For more information, The Ritz-Carlton Club Aspen Highlands, 970-429-2300. Includes:
• Kastle Demo Day featuring "Ski with Chris Davenport", 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
• Musical Entertainment, 11:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
• "Ice Bar" on the patio of Willow Creek Bistro, 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Featuring: Bobby Gleason, the Guinness Book of World Records holder for making the most cocktails in 1 hour; and David Mays, The Whiskey Professor
• Fashion Show, 1 - 2 p.m. Presented by SNOW Magazine
• Village LunchFest, 11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. Featuring all the Aspen Highlands Village restaurants outdoors in main courtyard. Purchase great food and beverage specials.
9:00 p.m. The Wailers: 40 Years of Fams Tours
Belly Up Aspen. Slow, funky rhythms and soulful bass characterize the Wailers' sound post-Bob Marley. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets in advance $30. Day of $33. For tickets, 970-544-9800 or www.bellyup

**Schedule of Events is Subject to Change**