2017-18 Winter Preview: Aspen Snowmass

Well, that was fast! Just as fall color was reaching its peak in Aspen and Snowmass Village, the snow began to fall — a poignant reminder that winter is never far away in the Rocky Mountains.

As snowmaking operations kick into high gear, one of Colorado’s most famous ski destinations is poised to celebrate a big year with a 50th anniversary celebration of Snowmass, new attractions, new events, new flights and of course, lots of après ski parties.

We’ve got the low-down, as well as another reason to swing by Dancing Bear Aspen and explore ownership opportunities.

Snowmass fireworks at night. ©Aspen Skiing Company

Snowmass’ 50th Anniversary Celebration

At the end of 1967, Snowmass opened its slopes for the first time with $6.50 lift tickets. Now, 50 years later, Aspen Snowmass and Snowmass Tourism are partnering up to celebrate the anniversary.

On Friday, December 15, skiers and riders will be able to enjoy that vintage lift-ticket price for the day, as well as a retro party at Elk Camp and evening fireworks over the slopes. On Saturday, December 16, they will recreate the old Snowmass event known as Banana Days, which featured an on-mountain scavenger hunt (now with a social media twist), and other kooky banana-themed events around the mountain. By Sunday, a rebuilt cabin at the Spider Sabich area will help recreate another popular event from the 70s — the Cabin Jump.

The resort will continue the anniversary celebrations through the winter with monthly fireworks displays. Learn more.

Breathtaker Alpine Coaster

Commemorations aren’t the only news at Snowmass this year. A new, 5,700-foot long alpine coaster track will make its debut this December as well, taking guests on a thrilling ride down the mountain. Named “The Breathtaker,” this attraction is the first in a series of new, on-mountain developments Aspen Snowmass is calling The Lost Forest, with a zipline, challenge course, and expanded hiking and biking trails coming online next summer.

For families with non-skiers in the group, the Breathtaker (as well as Snowmass’ existing tubing lanes) make it an appealing place to spend the day, and it is only 15 minutes from downtown Aspen.

Dancing Bear Aspen spa

Dancing Bear’s New Spa

Opened last season, Dancing Bear Aspen’s Rejuvenation spa is a delight for the senses. Inspired by our native high alpine flora, the exclusive Owner spa features an oxygen bar, hydromassage lounges, float therapy pod and steam room. Exquisitely private, this tranquil retreat is the perfect way to tend to tired muscles and relax after a long day on the mountain or golf course. Wednesday is ‘Ladies Day’, where Owners and friends can enjoy oxygen facials and massages - the perfect way to treat the soul before a night out on the town!

Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Snowmass

Next year is an Olympic year, and America’s best snowboarders and freeskiers will be at Snowmass January 10–14 to try and qualify for a spot on the national team headed to Pyeongchang, South Korea for the Winter Olympiad. Visitors over that weekend can be spectators, and see all the action up close, in addition to the Winter X Games, which will be held once again at Buttermilk January 25-28. Learn more.

Aspen Pitkin County Airport (ASE) ©Aspen Skiing Company

New Winter Flights

The Aspen/Pitkin County Airport continues to support an ever-expanding roster of direct destinations. New this winter: American Airlines will be offering direct flights to and from Pheonix’s Sky Harbor International Airport. This means American Airlines will now have seven flights a day from four destinations (Dallas/Fort Worth, Chicago and Los Angeles) in addition to existing flights from United and Delta.