Aspen Summer 2021 New & Notable
Exciting Hotel News, In-Person Cultural News, New Restaurants, Galleries, Adventure Offerings & More
ASPEN, Colo. (May 18, 2021) – More than 80 years ago, Aspen, Colorado launched as a summer mountain destination and the original cultural mountain town. Warm-weather months showcase the depth of Aspen’s cultural and intellectual offerings, as well as culinary and outdoor adventure opportunities. Mother Nature has the power to heal and now more than ever travelers will benefit from Aspen’s stunning landscapes and hundreds of miles of hiking and cycling trails easily accessible from downtown. Aspen is the perfect summer destination for those seeking wide open spaces and the healing power of nature for the classic unplanned summer.
For COVID-19 updates before and during the season, visit www.aspenchamber.org/covid-19.
ART AND CULTURE NEWS – Summer 2021 marks the return of in-person performances for many of Aspen’s arts & culture organizations. For details on all of Aspen’s arts & cultural news, click here.
- Returning for the 2021 season, reservations are required for parking and shuttle buses to access the Maroon Bells. Cyclists and e-bikes are allowed without reservations, but participants are encouraged to wear helmets and to respect rules-of-the-road when cycling to the Maroon Bells. For reservations, visit Aspen Chamber.org, or click here.
- A staple of summer, renowned culinary festival The Food & Wine Classic in Aspen returns from Sept. 10 to 12, 2021, moving from their traditional mid-June dates to fall. There are some exciting offerings expected to be announced soon. Passes went on sale in late April, and the festival is currently sold out.
- Aspen Street Lodge – Opened Jan. 2021 – Nestled downtown between Paepcke and Frances Whitaker Parks is Aspen’s newest luxury retreat – Aspen Street Lodge – a stunning property with nine lodge rooms and a two-bedroom penthouse suite designed with refined contemporary mountain décor. Expansive terraces with views of Aspen Mountain and the surrounding townscape and parks, a penthouse pool, and hot tub, a fully equipped game room and bar for après enjoyment combined with high-touch service. Aspen Street Lodge will currently operate with buyouts only, due to COVID19. For reservations and information, www.aspenstreetlodge.com; 970.989.3090; 200 South Aspen St.
- Winter 2021/22 – Limelight Aspen – Re-opening for Winter 2021/22 season – The Limelight Aspen is undergoing a significant renovation to debut for the 2021/2022 winter season, which will enhance all of the hotel’s public spaces, including the Limelight Lounge, lobby, and bar, as well as all 126 guest rooms and suites. The renovation design, by Stonehill Taylor will inject the iconic, original Limelight property with a new level of vibrancy as well as high-quality furnishings and finishes and complements Aspen’s dynamic history as a place of innovation with reference to the discovery of silver, and the subsequent introduction of skiing. For renovation renderings: https://aspensnowmass.imagerelay.com/sb/01d27642-13f7-4967-9776-21c3ac10b62b/limelight-hotel-aspen-renovation-renderings
- RH Hotel Aspen – Launch date TBC (2022) – RH has shared plans to build a boutique hotel, bathhouse and spa at the site of the former Crystal Palace in Aspen. They will also open a two-story storefront, two restaurants and residences in Aspen. RH is a part owner of the properties with developer Mark Hunt. The RH gallery will open at the iconic corner of Galena Street and Cooper Avenue, and will include a transparent, glass-rooftop restaurant and wine and barista bar, plus two private dining rooms with fireplaces and retractable roofs.
- The Mountain Chalet Aspen, the oldest owner-built lodge in Aspen, has been sold to a partnership that specializes in boutique hotels and high-end restaurants. It will be renamed the Aspen Mountain Chalet, and it will undergo a full renovation, with at least two new restaurants. The new ownership group is led by Zach Kupperman and Larry McGuire, of the McGuire Moorman Hospitality (owner of Clark’s Oyster Bar in Aspen), and includes Kupperman, McGuire, the Melvilles and partners Elle Florescu, Tom Moorman and Liz Lambert. According to a quote in the Aspen Times, “We want to keep the heart and soul of it being a European-inspired chalet, that’s the goal and what drew us to the project,” McGuire said. McGuire said the plan is a renovation and rejuvenation of the property and will keep the key count the same as today.
- Opening Summer 2021 – Catch Steak, the sister of the famed NYC seafood restaurant will open on the rooftop at the corner of Galena Street and Hopkins Avenue with a 10,000 square foot restaurant and expansive patios with outdoor dining offering stunning vistas of the surrounding mountains.
- Opening July 2021 – Casa D’Angelo – A Fort Lauderdale-based Italian restaurant is slated to open in the downtown space on Galena Street upstairs in the former Pinons’ space.
- Opening Summer 2021 – Dante , the renowned West Village restaurant, had a pop-up for the winter at the Snow Lodge. For summer 2021, they will move to the St. Regis Aspen former Chef’s Club space, with a beautifully landscaped patio space.
- Opened Dec. 2020 Joonas dinner menu features tapas from Northern Spain’s Basque region, hearty main courses, homemade desserts, and an extensive selection of wine, tequilas and mezcals. (301 E. Hopkins Ave.)
- Summer/Fall 2021 – Ajax Tavern will offer “Dinner + A Movie” with al fresco dining and movies on Mondays throughout the summer
- Opened Dec. 2020 The Little Nell Aspen, converted the Chair 9 bar into The Little Nell Wine Bar, offering private seating by reservation with a DJ, an extensive wines-by-the-glass menu, charcuterie and cheese available, wine culture as the ambience – inspired by Corkbuzz in NY and Wally’s in Beverly Hills.
- Opened Feb. 2020 – The Board Room -The Little Nell’s new speakeasy is a hidden gem in the hotel, discretely set behind a bookshelf with a password required to enter. This private space is available as a buyout for lunch, apres-ski, dinner, complete with food and beverage pairings. The contemporary den-like space is equipped with an 88″ flat screen TV, a bar area, and pool table. Service is provided by a personal sommelier.
BOUTIQUES & GALLERIES –
- Opening June 2021 – Tecovas, a company born out of a love for cowboy boots, will offer cowboy boots and leather goods made by artisans in Leon Mexico, will open in Aspen; www.tecovas.com.
- Opening Summer 2021 – Overland Sheepskin Co. will open in Aspen at 426 E. Hyman Ave
- Opening Sept. 2021 – National retailer ARHAUS, which designs and sells home furnishings, will open on Hyman Avenue adjacent to the Aspen Art Museum.
- Opening soon. Fat City Gallery will open for summer 2021. The former Gonzo Gallery, will feature a 20-exhibition, 20-week run of “flash shows.” The shows begin June 5 with a collection of Tom Benton’s works based on literary quotes, followed by exhibitions focused on William S. Burroughs (June 12), historical Aspen art (June 19) and erotic art through the ages (June 26). (529 E. Cooper Ave)
- Opened November 2020 – Alicia Adams Alpaca opened in late fall 2020 in the Aspen Art Museum block. Alicia Adams Alpaca Inc. is a family business which specializes in the design and production of textiles and clothing utilizing the natural and sustainable characteristics of one of the rarest and most luxurious materials – alpaca wool. Under the auspices of a sister company, Adams Suri Alpacas Inc., Alicia Adams Alpaca Inc. raises and manages a herd of over 200 Suri alpacas at a beautiful farm in New York’s Hudson Valley. The Aspen store also carries Scandia bedding.
- Opened Winter 2020/21- Golden Goose, the italian shoemaker known for its colorful, distressed sneakers will be opening a location on the Aspen walking mall at 413 E Hyman Ave.
ON MOUNTAIN NEWS
This summer, Aspen Snowmass will introduce sightseeing on Buttermilk via the Summit Express lift on weekends, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, starting Memorial Day Weekend, May 29, through June 20. Summer operations on Buttermilk will include hiking, disc golf and food and beverage options at the Cliffhouse restaurant.
Summer operations on Snowmass will kick off on June 21 and run daily through Sept. 6. Operations will continue on the weekends, Friday through Sunday, until Oct. 3. The Snowmass Bike Park will open with three new trails, as well as two new trails being built and debuted this summer. Snowmass will continue to offer hiking, Elk Camp gondola and Elk Camp chair sightseeing, the Lost Forest including Canopy Tours, Camp Aspen Snowmass and food and beverage options at Elk Camp restaurant.
Aspen Mountain will open July 2, later this year due to a construction project, and run daily through Sept. 6. In alignment with Snowmass, Aspen Mountain will also remain open weekends in September, Friday through Sunday, until Oct. 3. Offerings at Aspen Mountain will once again include gondola rides on the Silver Queen Gondola, sightseeing, hiking, disc golf, outdoor yoga, music, and food & beverage options in the Sundeck restaurant.
- Shortly prior to COVID19 shutting down travel, Aspen & the Roaring Fork Valley received the designation as an IMBA Gold Ride Center (the first in Colorado and the 5th in the world) from the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA). The IMBA Gold-Level evaluation criteria is comprised of key aspects that make for an amazing mountain bike destination and include variety of trail types, overall trail mileage, quality of trail experiences, destination best practices, and local services. The Roaring Fork Valley’s system of trails scored high marks in each of these categories, contributing to the IMBA Gold-Level designation. For details about the IMBA destination, click here.
- Snowmass Bike Park Expansion – The Snowmass Bike Park continues to expand terrain and trail offerings for bikers of all levels. The Snowmass Bike Park will open two new trails this summer. Squeezy, located in the Meadows area of the bike park, is a more difficult skills trail, a third of a mile long, with new features for riders. Squeezy is the last trail to complete the Meadows skills area. Another new, two-mile, difficult single-track trail, accessible off of French Press that will take riders on an 800 foot descent ending at the intersection with Dusty Bunny. With these new trail additions, the Snowmass Bike Park will now offer 2,893 feet of vertical descent as well as 26.3 miles of downhill bike trails.
- Roaring Fork Cycling Club and Aspen Snowmass Bike School Partner for Bike Lessons – Aspen Snowmass Bike School and Roaring Fork Cycling are collaborating this summer season to help with program demand, resources and growth in youth cycling. The two entities will work together to host cycling camps for grades one through six, previously run by Roaring Fork Cycling. This new partnership will help to support the demand and programming of each organization and expand operations and courses for children looking to bike this summer.
- For information about road biking, mountain biking, downhill biking, and gravel biking in Aspen, click here.
NOTABLE SUSTAINABLE INITIATIVES:
- To help promote responsible tourism, ACRA created the ‘Aspen Pledge,’ an initiative with positive messages on how to visit and play in Aspen. The Aspen Pledge was created to encourage visitors – and locals – to take ownership in maintaining Aspen’s natural beauty for all for generations to come. The Aspen Pledge can be found online at www.aspenchamber.org/pledge and is also available in print at all of the ACRA visitor’s centers.
- ACRA’s “Tag Responsibly” campaign encourages locals and visitors to “Tag Responsibly – Take the Aspen Pledge.” ACRA encourages locals and visitors to use the geotag “Tag Responsibly – Take the Aspen Pledge” to protect Aspen’s most coveted areas in and around town.
- ACRA joined with the Pledge for the Wild, an initiative with 11 other mountain towns, supporting responsible tourism in wild places. Pledge for the Wild is proactively sharing outdoor principles and responsible tourism tips while creating a direct channel to give back to local destinations.
About Aspen, Colorado – Aspen, Colorado is an authentic, historic mountain town that is renowned for its year-round outdoor lifestyle, cosmopolitan cultural calendar, and bustling downtown ambiance. With an endless array of arts, culture, dining, and nightlife, Aspen is defined by an urbane feel that belies its small-town charm. An Aspen vacation is an experience that energizes the mind, body, spirit, whether soaking in mountain beauty and 300 days of annual sunshine, learning a new skill, feeding a fascination, or simply absorbing the mountain spirit. Located 18 miles east of Independence Pass on the Western Slope of the Continental Divide, Aspen is nestled in the heart of the White River National Forest at the confluence of the Roaring Fork River, Hunter Creek, Maroon Creek, and Castle Creek, and encircled by the peaks of the Elk Mountain Range in the central Rocky Mountains. Aspen/Pitkin County Airport (ASE) is conveniently located only three miles from downtown Aspen. For visitor information, a complete calendar of events, or to book an Aspen vacation, visit www.aspenchamber.org, or call 1.888.290.1324 or 970.925.1940.
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