Thursday, August 23, 2012

What's in a name?

The Innsbruck hotel & residence club shares its name with a small city in western Austria. Although approximately 6 times larger than Aspen in terms of population, Innsbruck possesses many parallels to our small town, the most obvious being the surrounding mountains. Although Aspen sits at a much higher altitude, being 7908 feet above sea level compared to Innsbruck’s 1883 feet above sea level, the mountains surrounding Innsbruck are famed for their winter snow. Surrounding ski resorts include the Nordkette, Axamer Lizum, Seefeld and Stubai Valley. Innsbruck hosted the Winter Olympics in 1964 and 1976, as well as the Winter Paralympics in 1984 and 1988. Innsbruck also played host to the first Winter Youth Olympics in 2012. That’s some winter pedigree - It sounds like our four legendary mountains of Aspen Snowmass have some competition! Innsbruck is hailed as the cultural centre of western Austria, and is a substantially tourist based economy. Although the snow is what brings many visitors to Aspen, it is perhaps the cultural events that Aspen is best know for and most proud of. The Ideas Festival, the Food & Wine Classic, the McCloskey Speaker Series, the Labor Day Festival, and the Aspen Music Festival are just some of the world renowned attractions that Aspen hosts throughout the summer. Known for their many historic churches and chapels, several world class museums and their ‘Festwochen der Alten Musik’ (Weeks of Ancient Music), Innsbruck’s cultural philosophy seems to mesh consistently with Aspen. Some 19 miles south of Innsbruck lies the Brenner Pass – a major transportation and communications link dating as far back as 1267. Although nowhere near as old, Independence Pass crosses the Continental Divide approximately 20 miles east of Aspen. Primarily established to give miners and prospectors access to more fertile valleys, Independence Pass was a large contributor to the success of Aspen in a not dissimilar way to how the Brenner Pass allowed Innsbruck to grow and flourish. Innsbruck literally means “bridge over the River Inn”. Although there is no bridge that The Innsbruck crosses and no river that The Innsbruck straddles, I think you will agree that there are enough similarities between the western Austrian town and our beautiful home in Aspen to justify the permanent link of our name. *Credit to Wikipedia for all information sourced.

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