Sunday, November 27, 2011

Stress Free Vacation Planning

With all the great activities to do in and around Aspen, having fun on your vacation is a given. There are however some simple steps you can take leading up to your arrival to help you get the most out of your trip. Your Aspen vacation should be nothing but relaxing. With this in mind, we encourage you to make full use of The Innsbruck’s concierge services. The more you plan ahead, the less you have to worry about when you get here. We are here to make this process as easy as possible. Activities such as snowmobiling, spa treatments, and dinner reservations can all be booked in advance. Then there is of course the all important purchase of lift tickets and for some people, rentals and lessons. These items should be ordered in advance not only so you don’t have to worry about them when you get here, but also because doing so will get you an early booking discount through the Aspen Skiing Company. When you purchase tickets, rentals, or lessons, make sure to select “lodge delivery” when you are checking out. By doing so, your tickets and vouchers for rentals/lessons will be waiting for you at The Innsbruck prior to your arrival. Aspen is a very vibrant and exciting place to be during its peak seasons. From time to time the most popular restaurants can be difficult to get into on the busiest nights. It is therefore very helpful to make dinner arrangements in advance in order to secure reservations at the best restaurants. The same strategy applies to spa treatments and other popular activities. The Innsbruck has a dedicated staff that is available 24 hours a day to help you come up with an itinerary that will create lasting memories for you and yours! Call us anytime at 1-866-925-2980 for assistance, or email us at concierge@theinnsbruckaspen.com

Friday, September 2, 2011

September 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 whom you ask of course. The cool air, changing leaves, and snow-kissed peaks all combine to form an incredible display of natural beauty. We have had many inquiries about fall foliage lately, 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 (which are organelles that capture light energy to conduct photosynthesis) 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 amount 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!

*source: http://www.fs.fed.us , the official website of the US Forrest Service.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Food and Wine Classic 2011

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 17-19. 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. Passes for this year's events are sold out for the first time since 2008, which means that this Food and Wine will as exciting as ever. Some standouts for this years events include Mario Batali, Jose Andres, Jacques Pepin, Gail Simmons, Joshua Wesson, and Anthony Bourdain. 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. The Aspen Farmers Market will kick off this Saturday, and will continue on every Saturday until late September. Local hiking and biking trails are in great shape thanks to a long stretch of warm, sunny weather. Rafting has been and will continue to be extra special this summer thanks to record high-alpine snow pack. All the famous road bike routes around Aspen including the ride up to the Bells, Ashcroft, Independence Pass, and the Rio Grande trail are all ready for your riding pleasure. Summer in Aspen is short but very sweet, so don’t let it pass you by! We still have some great deals available for the summer season. Call us toll free at 1-866-925-2980! www.theinnsbruck.com www.theinnsbruckaspen.com

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Aspen: A Cycling Paradise

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 www.aspenchamber.org for more rides. www.theinnsbruck.com www.theinnsbruckaspen.com

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Powder...Sun...REPEAT....

Spring in Aspen is always a fan-favorite. So far this spring has really lived up to the hype. Late March into April has blessed us with some amazing skiing and riding. A five day stretch of sunny skies in mid March was followed up by a record setting 24 hour snowfall total, with almost an inch an hour falling for 24 hours! As soon as the snow stopped, the sun came out revealing blue skies and nearly two feet of fresh powder, with pockets of waist deep snow confirmed by The Innsbruck staff. The days following the storm brought spring temperatures, and sunny, blue skies. This brings us today, April 3rd. Just when people have had their fill of sun another storm is pounding the mountains of Aspen. About 8 inches of snow has fallen since 11 am as we’re finishing up this blog at 4:30 pm, and snow is forecasted to continue through the night. The snow is supposed to cease early Monday morning, with mostly sunny skies expected throughout Monday and Tuesday, after which another storm is supposed to hit the Aspen area. Add to this the fact that crowds are non-existent this time of year, and you have a recipe for some of the best skiing and riding of the season. Ahhhhh, Spring in Aspen. We’re not trying to be a downer after all this great news, but the fact of the matter is that Buttermilk closes today, and Aspen Mtn. and Snowmass are poised to close on 4/10. The good news is that Highlands will stay open until 4/24. We have some great specials in place to close out what has been a great season. Mention this blog and we’ll cut you an even better deal ;) Give us a call toll free at 866-925-2980 to inquire about rates, or to ask us any questions about all-things Aspen. We would love the opportunity to do our part in creating a memorable spring skiing or riding experience for you and yours.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

March Madness

There are many reasons to love March in Aspen. Sunshine is no stranger, the days are longer, and snowstorms are usually quite potent when they hit. Yesterday the Aspen Skiing Company announced their “Sunset Skiing” program, through which certain lifts will be kept open until 6:00 P.M. during certain days throughout the rest of the season. The schedule as of now goes as follows: The Summit Express at Buttermilk will be open until 6:00 P.M. today, 3/17/11. On 3/26/11, the Silver Queen Gondola and Ajax Express will stay open to 6:00. Snowmass’s turn comes on 4/1/11, with The Village Express, Coney Glade, and Big Burn chairlifts spinning until 6:30. Lastly, Aspen Highlands will have extended hours on 4/16/11 via the Loge Peak and Exhibition lifts, which will be running until 6:30. In addition to the lifts running late, patrons will be permitted to hike the bowl until 5:00 P.M. The Skiing Company will be offering a “late arrival” lift ticket special during these extended times. Tickets will be $44 for all ages after 2:30 P.M. These last two weekends of March also play host to the 11th annual “Bud Light Spring Jam” which is a compilation of “competitions, parties, and incredible music.” Some notable events from this weekend’s packed schedule are The Bud Light “Big Air Fridays” ski and snowboard best trick competition, which takes place this Friday, 3/18 at 2:00 P.M. at Fanny Hill in Snowmass. This event features local athletes who will be throwing down their best tricks by launching themselves off of a jump you couldn’t pay us enough to go off. This will be followed by the “KickAspen Big Air” competition which will take place at the base of Aspen Mountain on Saturday, 3/19 at 8:00 P.M. In this event, competitors will compete in a big air contest by launching themselves off of a newly constructed 70 foot jump located in the ideal spot to observe from the Gondola Plaza. To close out this exciting weekend, guests of Aspen are invited to attend a free concert in Snowmass on 3/20 in Snowmass featuring Ivan Neville’s “Dumpstaphunk.” The show starts at 4:00 P.M. Keep in mind that all of these events are completely FREE and appropriate for all ages. All this is in addition to the great conditions we have thanks to an above average snowpack. Give us a call toll free at 1-866-925-2980 to ask about our last-minute specials for the rest of the season.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Powder Day Serendipity

Today is another one of those amazing powder days, where Skico for some strange reason reports six inches of snowfall, while friends and guests lucky enough to ski, report totals in the knee to thigh-deep range. I assume Skico chooses to air on the side of caution so as avoid being accused of embellishing the snow totals. But who cares what the reason is for underreporting snow totals. Finding twice as much snow than what was reported is always a welcome treat! Another example of powder day serendipity is the fact that the mountains of Aspen are often mysteriously empty when the snow is falling hard. While almost everyone loves those famous blue-bird powder days, where snow falls all night and the clouds magically part in the morning to reveal blue skies, many people choose not to ski when Mother Nature pounds the mountains of Aspen with snow during the day. For some this is due to visibility issues, while others may not enjoy snow hitting their face all day. Some people might look up at the mountain and become down right intimidated by what they see. Yet reasons such as these shouldn’t discourage people from heading out on the mountain during a storm. Strategy and proper clothing are all that is necessary to make a day of storm skiing one to remember. Water proof clothing and face protection are a must. As far as visibility goes, skiing in the trees is your best bet. Winds are generally much less dramatic in the woods while the trees themselves help provide depth perception, which mitigates the effects of poor visibility. Not to mention the fact that wind often carries and deposits snow into the woods, affording those who seek a really special treat. For those who are not comfortable skiing in the trees, skiing near them can be equally as helpful as skiing in them. Except during especially savage storms, it is actually very peaceful up on the mountain during a snow storm. The fact of the matter is skiing while it’s dumping is the only time in which every run you take will be better than the last. The sheer joy of taking an amazing run, only to find that your tracks are filled in by the time you return, is something hard to describe. You will probably look around, chuckle to yourself and ask, “Where is everyone?” But who cares. While everyone else is sitting in the lodge waiting out the storm, you will be enjoying one of the best days you’ve ever had. Give it a try. What looks like a nasty day may well turn out to be an instance of powder day serendipity that you won't soon forget!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Aspen Activities

It’s no secret that the month of February is an amazing time of year to hit the slopes. The temperatures are consistently warmer than December and January, there is a well established snowpack, and storms are usually frequent. Yet despite the pleasant conditions, even the most dedicated skier or boarder will need a day off from time to time. Fear not! Aspen has plenty of great activities that don’t involve buying a lift ticket (yes, even in the winter). There is of course always the option of perusing Aspen’s famous shopping scene, or eating at one of the many world class restaurants and caf├ęs. But for those of you that still want to experience the great outdoors on your day off from the slopes, opportunities abound. Believe it or not, winter is a favorite time of year for dedicated anglers. Not only is the fishing still fantastic, but crowds are nearly non-existent. While the cold can be a challenge, the right equipment and proper guidance can make winter Fly Fishing a very pleasant experience. Much like Fly Fishing, people think of Aspen’s hiking trails as a strictly warm weather pursuit. What many don’t realize is that with a good pair of boots and stabilizers, or some snowshoes, most of Aspen’s most popular hiking trails lend themselves well to winter hiking. There is nothing quite like watching a winter sunrise over Aspen from your favorite hiking trail! Aspen has quickly become well known for the miles and miles of free Nordic skiing trails. From the impeccably maintained municipal golf course and Rio Grande trails, to the back-country, Aspen has something to offer for all levels of Nordic skiers. If your body truly needs a rest, yet you still want to get outside, Snowmobile tours with the T-Lazy 7 ranch are a great option. These tours will take you through the stunning Maroon Creek valley just outside of Aspen. Another popular activity is to take a guided snowshoe tour with the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies. These tours depart from the summit of Aspen Mountain every day at 10:00 and 1:00 pm. The two hour tour costs $57 for adults, $45 for youths (13-27) and $35 for children (7-12) and seniors (65+). This ticket price includes the gondola ride to the top and back, beautiful scenery, snowshoes, a knowledgeable guide, and basic snowshoe instruction. Not only are these tours an invigorating way to experience the outdoors, they are also very informative. Guides with The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies are trained educators equipped with a vast knowledge of local geographic history, wildlife, and human history. So as you can see, Aspen has a lot more to offer than lift-serviced skiing!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Winter X-Games 2011

It’s hard to believe it’s already time to start preparing for the ESPN Winter X-Games, but make no mistake; the date is fast approaching when Aspen will be overrun with energy and excitement nearly unmatched by any other event that passes through this mountain town. This year’s Winter X-Games will be the 15th consecutive X-Games competition (the last 10 of which were in Aspen). The official dates of the competition are 1/27-1/30. As in years past, this event promises to not disappoint. Much of the allure of “extreme” sports and their associated competition is how fast the sports progress. It’s not uncommon for a trick that was once thought to be nearly impossible to become standard practice for top competitors. Only time will tell to what level the bar will be pushed this year, but it’s safe to say that spectators will see things that have yet to be seen before. This years event will be complete with mainstays of years past such as Slope Style snowboard and skiing (men and women), Super Pipe snowboarding and skiing (men and women), skiing and snowboarding Big Air (men) snowboard and skier x (men and women) and snowmobile SnowCross and Best Trick. Some notable additions to this year’s competition are The “Snowboard Best Method” and “Snowmobile Speed and Style.” The Snowboard Best Method will feature a “finals only 10-minute jam for best method.” The results for this event will be decided via fans through text messaging and the internet. The Snowmobile Speed and Style “will feature eight athletes competing in a single elimination format with two riders competing head-to-head. Both riders will feature a Freestyle ‘style’ score. The first rider across the finish line receives ‘speed’ margin of victory bonus points which will be added to the Freestyle score.” In addition to the action packed extreme sports, on Saturday, 1/29 there will be a concert featuring the hip hop artist Big Boi. Oh yeah, don’t forget that all of the events associated with the 2011 Winter X-Games are FREE!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Innsbruck Aspen Winter 2011 Photo Contest

The Innsbruck Aspen Winter 2011 Photo Contest

WHEN: Starting on 1/2/ 11 we will begin accepting submissions for the contest. The contest ends on February 28th, so all submissions must be submitted by then in order to qualify.

RULES: The rules are simple. All photos pertaining to your time in and around Aspen are fair game for the contest. Photos must be documented in such a way that we can contact you if your photo is the winner.

HOW: Photos must be submitted via The Innsbruck Aspen’s Facebook page. We will then collect the photos for judging once the contest is complete. Simply search for “The Innsbruck Aspen” on Facebook or click on our Facebook tab on our website:www.theinnsbruck.com

WHY: Now for the good part! The person(s) with the winning photograph will receive a FREE 2 night stay in one of The Innsbruck’s 1 bedroom/1 bathroom condos.

*There are restrictions due to blackout dates and availability.