Archive for February, 2011
The Denver Museum of Nature and Science has rows of stuffed mammoths lined up at the entrance of the museum gift shop. These are the only signs of Snowy, the first of four full skeleton mastodon fossils found in Snowmass Village last October, at DMNS so far. Museum employees are tight lipped about a date for Snowy’s first appearance in the museum. In fact, they won’t say much about her at all. If pressed for items uncovered in the Aspen and Snowmass Village area, they point toward the extensive geological exhibit, where beautiful and rare mineral and gem specimens are displayed. Lovely gems, but if you have mammoth on the mind, rocks just won’t cut it.
However, rumor has it that plans are in the works for residents of Roaring Fork Valley to become part of the excavation team this summer. The Aspen Post has reported that a small number of teachers and youth volunteers in the Snowmass Village and Aspen area will be given the opportunity to get in the dirt with the fossils and work side-by-side with scientists as they dig for more fossils in Zeigler reservoir. There are a few requirements for volunteers; they need to be a resident of the Roaring Fork Valley, and they need to have consecutive time off in June of this year. They need to be physically fit, have a role within education and be willing to take a mandatory training course before beginning work at the site. The rewards of this experience, particularly for those within the science education field, are countless. As part of the team, volunteers are invited and expected to participate in breakfasts and dinners before and after work at the site. They will experience the full scope of a scientific dig – from start to finish, at a site that scientists throughout the world would love to explore.
As this news spreads throughout the community, the excitement surrounding Snowy and the Zeigler excavation site begins to grow again. Just weeks ago the site closed for the winter season and Snowy headed down to DMNS to begin cleaning up and getting ready for her debut. She also received her long awaited and citizen-selected name. Already plans for the summer dig are in full swing, where scientists and volunteers will hunt for more specimens, more evidence and more answers. Snowy and her long dormant friends are making a huge splash in the scientific community, Colorado and the world.
If you want to be a part of the excavation and volunteer for a place on the team go to www.dmns.org/digvolunteer. If you want to be part of community that is home to mastodons and other fossils, click here to see homes, investment properties and real estate in the Aspen/Snowmass Village area. Come home to Aspen/Snowmass Village, where life is never prehistoric!
Put the beach towel back in the closet. Stuff that swimsuit back in the drawer. For Spring Break this year, set your sights higher – literally. Try about eight thousand feet high in Aspen and Snowmass Village. Spring Break in Aspen and Snowmass is not the run-of-the-mill Spring Break destination. Here, Spring Break is challenging, extreme and extremely fun.
For those who can hang with the big league, the Bud Light Big Air Fridays begin February 18th. Not ready to fly off the 40 ft jump and flaunt tricks just yet? Watching those who are, while listening to the live music and winning giveaways might be just as much fun.
The snow on the mountains of Aspen and Snowmass Village during Spring Break is seriously some of the best snow of the year, but the seriousness ends there. Residents of Aspen and Snowmass let loose during the month of March as they wrap up the last of the free Bud Light Hi-Fi Concert series. The last two shows of the season are being played March 20th and 25th. Followed on the 26th by the Red Bull Schneetag, German for ‘snow day.’ In this community event, teams of four build a craft that they must ride in down Snowmass, once at the bottom they must float this craft across a pond. Teams choose a theme, sport costumes and perform a skit before heading down the hill. Prizes are awarded for the top finishers in the event, but the real reward is witnessing the fun.
The weekend rounds out with the Helly Hansen Battle in the Bowls. Teams of two race together through all of the bowls of Aspen Highlands on a course designed by Chris Davenport. Using GPS, teams must cover all the bowls in any order they choose and return. In this fun and challenging event the focus is on teamwork. Teams devise top-secret theories on the fastest routes through the bowls. A discerning eye can spot these competitors training throughout the ski season, preparing for the Battle in the Bowls.
For the inexperienced, but adventurous spirit, the Terrain Park Boot Camp is a great place to learn the essentials of skiing or snowboarding in a Terrain Park. Athletes and coaches teach tricks and demonstrate how to slide on rails. This is the perfect Spring Break activity for anyone wanting to learn something new, learn an extreme sport, or simply to take a break from conventional skiing and snowboarding. Terrain Boot Camp is open to anyone over thirteen years of age, making it a great parent/teenage bonding experience. . What better place to experience extreme sports than the home of the X-Games?
This is not the ‘Nap on the Beach Vacation, or ‘Read a Really Good Book Vacation’. This is the ‘Spring Break To Remember Vacation.’ If that is sounds appealing, book your trip now and then click here to see homes, real estate properties and investments in the Aspen and Snowmass Village area. But don’t forget the sunscreen, because everything in Aspen and Snowmass is better and brighter than anywhere else in the world, including the sun!
Just a slice of the sun peeks up over the horizon as the hot air balloon lifts up and heads for the sky just above Aspen and Snowmass Village. The wonder of dawn, the waking of the earth, as seen from the heights of a hot air balloon has no match in beauty.
Hovering over the mountains of Aspen and Snowmass Village, the hot air balloon offers the opportunity to see a side of Aspen and Snowmass Village usually reserved for the birds. The bursts of the flame guiding the balloon higher into the sky fill the ears with sound, but after a few minutes these sounds fade into the background as the panoramic beauty of Aspen and Snowmass Village unfolds beneath the balloon. On board the balloon there is a contagious sense of peace and awe. After an hour-long sojourn into the world of the birds, passengers are met on the ground with a champagne brunch and souvenir pin.
Two companies in Snowmass Village and Aspen offer the opportunity to float above these mountain towns, Above It All Balloon Company and Unicorn Balloon Company. Passengers above the age of seven are welcome on the balloon tours. This unique experience could serve as a fantastic family adventure. It could serve to celebrate a special occasion or to embark upon a new course in life. Whatever inspires the trip, there is no doubt that the time spent experiencing the earth from a hot air balloon will hold a treasured place in the hearts of the passengers for all time.
Spring is a beautiful time of year to soar above the land in a hot air balloon. Snow still lies in the thick, gorgeous blankets around Snowmass Village and Aspen, but the irresistible force of Nature quietly pushes back against the cold and snowy weather revealing splashes of green, the whisper of blossoms, and the return of summer birds. Hot air balloons offer the perfect vantage point from which witness the changing of the seasons.
Back on land, click on Greg Rulon’s property listings to find real estate opportunities, properties and a personal sanctuary in the Aspen and Snowmass Village area. Beautiful surroundings and peace of mind are part of life here, on the earth or in the sky. www.GregRulon.com
When it comes to ranking cities, Aspen is royalty. For many years it has held the king’s crown for skiers and winter enthusiasts. Three years ago Lisa Johnson, former vice president of Aspen Chamber Resort Association, decided to claim Aspen’s place among fashion royalty by creating Aspen Fashion Week.
Ms. Johnson has been instrumental in bringing such events as the Food and Wine Classic and the HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival to Aspen. She explains her inspiration behind introducing the Aspen Fashion Week saying, “Winter sports and resorts attract 6 million of the most affluent, influential, and athletic consumers in America, and while more and more leading designers are catering to the A-list group, up until now there have been no flagship fashion events to reflect this trend.” During the Aspen Fashion Week, March 13-17, retailers in Aspen will host designers and their collections in their stores. This opportunity will enable designers to debut their Winter Collections for customers, the media and photographers.
After cat walks and perusing retailers and designer’s collections, the high fashion fun will ratchet up a notch at the après-ski soirees, where consumers, designers and celebrities will flaunt their evening style with a drink in hand.
Aspen offers the high culture and big names of fashion giants. Unlike New York, Milan and Paris however, it offers those things in a much more laid-back environment. Models won’t be sampling cutting edge evening gowns or slacks. Instead, models will likely sport boots, jackets and caps. The clothing sold at the Aspen Fashion Week is highly wearable, applicable fashion that the everyday consumer could purchase and wear outside a fashion event.
As fashionistas, celebrities and designers flock to Aspen to show and tell fashion, they are cementing Aspen’s status as Queen of Winter Fashion. Adding another crown to this royal city’s head. To get your own little piece of the royal pie, click here to view homes, properties and real estate in the Aspen/Snowmass Village area.
Skiers and Snowboarders know that nothing works up the appetite like a day on the slopes. They can also attest to the fact that nothing is more refreshing after a morning of gorgeous powder, than a little on-mountain dining. Like everything in Aspen and Snowmass Village, the on-mountain dining is not the ordinary skier or snowboarder’s fare. When dining on the slopes here, expect the extraordinary.
Just a gondola ride away, the Sundeck restaurant sits atop Aspen Mountain offering panoramic views and sumptuous lunch fare. Specializing in vegetarian dishes, pizza and sandwiches, the focus here is on fresh, delicious food. Mid-mountain on Aspen, Bonnie’s offers on-deck, casual dining. Bonnie’s has been an Aspen favorite with snow lovers, locals and celebrities since 1963. The freshly baked desserts and breads are always heavenly. The extensive wine and beer list is the perfect way to top off an afternoon spent on the mountain.
At Snowmass, Gwyn’s High Alpine restaurant offers a full menu with savory, warm, comfort food, perfect for the cold, wind-kissed adventurer. In addition to the menu, Gwyn’s offers a full bar and a beautiful outdoors deck. In the mood for fine dining after a day in a ski jacket and gliding down the mountain? Try Eight K, just at the bottom of Snowmass tucked inside Viceroy Hotel. Here the ambiance, and delicious food will capture the romance of winter evening.
Not to be out done, Aspen Highlands is host to the illustrious Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro where Chef Andreas Fischbacher presents a daily menu for skiers and snowboarders at the incredible elevation of 10, 740 feet! More casual, Aspen Highlands Pizza offers every kind of pizza imaginable for hungry alpine adventurists.
Buttermilk boasts of its own culinary on-mountain giant, The Cliffhouse. Here, diners can make their own Asian influenced dishes while admiring the view of Pyramid Peak.
Far atop the four mountains of Aspen and Snowmass, over a delicious, extraordinary on-mountain meal, mull over the unexpected excellence of the Aspen Snowmass ski areas. Then, click here, to see the properties and real estate opportunities available here – in this slice of heaven. www.GregRulon.com
Conservation in the Rocky Mountains has taken on a new meaning. It is no longer an abstract idea argued by outlying society. Nature is tangible. The ebb and flow of the forests and wildlife become ingrained in the residents here. Conversely, preservation of the forests and nature is a cause particularly close to the hearts of residents in the Aspen and Snowmass Village areas.
In February 2011, the Aspen based nonprofit, For the Forest, will host a symposium on global climate change and its effects on the forest. Al Gore and former Colorado Governor, Bill Ritter, will speak at this conference. Joining them will be many other scientists and conservationists. This series of meetings is especially significant this year, as the devastation of the pine beetles throughout Colorado has become widespread. The conversation will not be limited to bark beetle infestation, but will cover a number of issues facing the Rocky Mountains, the West and the world as a whole environment.
Aspen has a history of leading scientific discussions on the national level. The Aspen Science Center regularly hosts debates, speakers and workshops. In 2008, the scientific community of Aspen pushed presidential candidates to embrace the significance of science and encouraged them to embrace the influence of science in policy making. The atmosphere of intellectually curiosity and exploration is an integral part of life in Aspen. Scientists and citizens alike study and debate the ramifications of human influence upon nature and the scientific world.
The natural beauty of Aspen draws members of the scientific community, amateur and professional, to the area. Specimens of the best and the brightest nature can provide are found in the valleys and atop the mountains surrounding Aspen and Snowmass Village. Balancing delicately among these masterpieces of nature is a rich intellectual community, dedicated to peaceful co-existence, conservation and exploration which Aspenites call home.
This February, walk in the crisp winter air. Engage in scientific discussion about the future of our planet. Then, click here to find residences and real estate nestled within the Aspen and Snowmass Village areas and become part of the best and the brightest community in Colorado – and the world.
Over the last two years as the economy has struggled, people have been seeking stability. Safe, stable investments and financial security are the new gold standard. During this time of financial instability, Aspen and Snowmass Village have remained a paragon of prosperity. They have preserved jobs, invested in education and maintained a stable real estate market.
Aspen and Snowmass Village have not emerged from this economic situation unscathed, but they have weathered the storm better than most. Compared to the country as a whole, Aspen’s unemployment rate has hovered around 7%. The rest of the nation has seen as much as ten percent unemployment, and more recently 9%.
In these hard times, Pitkin County has illustrated its commitment to investing in the future of their community by offering one of the best public educations in the nation. Calls to cut spending on education have been heard in virtually every corner of the nation. Despite the cuts facing education elsewhere, according to Sperling’s Best Places, Aspen has continued to spend an average of $7,217 per student, almost two thousand dollars more per year than the national average.
As property values across the country have plummeted, Aspen and Snowmass Village have dipped significantly less than the rest of the nation and are on the rise once more. Greg Rulon explains, “The number of sales in Pitkin County in 2010 were up almost 18% over 2009…Activity is most certainly picking up as showing activity is noticeably increasing.” Total sales in December were up 54% in year over year transactions, according to the most recent report from Land Title Guarantee Co.
As the economy begins to recover, investors and the general public will once again seek to invest their money in homes and investment properties which will maintain and grow in value – in good times and in bad. When considering where to buy, consider purchasing in a community focused on the long-term growth of the city, the community and the individual.
Invest in the future; build a life in Aspen and Snowmass Village, where life is virtually recession proof. To get your copy of the 2010 report from Land Title Guarantee Co., or to see properties and homes listed with Greg Rulon and in the Aspen/Snowmass Village area, click here.
During Mardi Gras, one could call Snowmass Village, “The Eight Thousand Foot High Big Easy.” In Snowmass Village, Mardi Gras is less about letting go, and more about joining in, as the community celebrates its vivacity and tightly knit family related by this special location.
The fun starts with the rising of the sun; The Mother of All Ascensions Snowshoe Race sends runners, cross-country skiers, hikers and snowshoers racing up Fanny Hill – an astonishing 1,741 vertical feet. Best of all, the racers wear costumes and smiles. Awards include first place, last place, and best costume. This is a race for the light of heart, and those looking for fun pictures, good stories and unforgettable memories.
Snowmass always takes its smaller citizens into account; accordingly, a kid’s carnival squares out the afternoon with mask making and the unforgettable Massive Bead Throw. True to New Orleans tradition, there is King Cake Giveaway, including amazing prizes for the young and young-at-heart. The parade is the culmination of this community’s celebration. Local marching bands, dance troops, floats, and citizens, young and old, join together as they parade through town. (Oh yeah, I have been selected the “King” this year! Come see me on my float)
Darkness does not mean the celebration is over. Mardi Gras enthusiasts continue to celebrate Fat Tuesday at the clubs of Snowmass into the wee hours of the morning.
The people of Snowmass Village have captured the true meaning of Fat Tuesday. The purpose of Mardi Gras is to stop time, to break from the hectic toll of life and relish in the ‘joie de vivre.’ One day to indulge in delicious foods and drinks. One day to express inner beauty through sequins and face paint. One day to stand next to a neighbor and laugh.
Because the citizens of Snowmass Village take the time for this day, Mardi Gras carries on into every day. People who live this way, laugh this way, and love their community this way, have a special bond. They build a special way of life.
Join the party; click here to see real estate properties in Snowmass Village. Mardi Gras is waiting for you!
Real estate shopping in the Aspen and Snowmass area is like mining for silver in the Smuggler Mine – there is a mother lode to be found around every bend.
Aspen has a history of mother lodes. In 1893, the largest silver nugget ever found was located deep inside the Smuggler Mine. Weighing a total of 2,350 pounds, this nugget was 93% solid silver, an unprecedented discovery anywhere in the world to this day. Although mining today in the Aspen/Snowmass area is mostly a tourist industry, the story of Aspen, its successes and failures is indelibly connected to silver. The discovery of silver in Aspen in 1879 drew miners into the area from Leadville. From the very beginning Aspen, then called Ute City, drew socialites and successful businessmen willing to invest in the beautiful, picturesque mountain town. The repeal of the Sherman Silver Act effectively ended silver mining in Aspen. However, a core of the population pressed forward, committed to living the mountain lifestyle.
During the summer months, Smuggler Mine and the Compromise Mine are open to visitors, history buffs and locals. Children can mine for their own souvenir silver nugget after exploring the depths of the Aspen Mountain. Ghost towns such as Ashcroft and Independence stand just a few miles away from Aspen proper, as solemn testimony to the story of silver and its significance in the Aspen/Snowmass area. The Aspen Historical Society offers tours of Ashcroft, but for those willing to face the ghosts of these towns alone, a guidebook will suffice.
With the summer still months away, now is a perfect time to curl up with a blanket, watch the snow fall and catch up on Aspen history with a book written by Sally Barlow-Perez called, The History of Aspen. Here, readers will find the intricate web of stories that wind gracefully into the story of the town and community as a whole.
With the history of this remarkable place fresh in mind, it might just be time to commence some real estate mining in Colorado’s own little mother lode. Click here to find Aspen/Snowmass real estate options, and residential jackpots in the area.
To ski Aspen and Snowmass Village this winter is pure bliss. There is little question as to why; Aspen and Snowmass Village are enjoying beautiful snow and some of the best ski conditions in years. Combined with these beautiful conditions, the four mountain resorts of Aspen and Snowmass Village will have one of the longest ski seasons in Aspen history. Aspen Highlands announced it would extend its ski season until April 24th. This extension, combined with Snowmass and Aspen Mountain’s November 25th opening, will allow residents and visitors to enjoy five full months of skiing in the Snowmass Village/Aspen area.
With 151 days of excellent skiing, skiers are reminded why the four mountains of Aspen and Snowmass Village were voted in 2010 the number one family ski resort in the United States by The Skiing Experts.com. Critics are proclaiming what residents of the Aspen and Snowmass Village have known for years; there is nowhere like Aspen and Snowmass Village for ski enthusiasts.
Haven’t skied yet this year? There is still time to enjoy the fabulous skiing in Aspen and Snowmass Village this season. Specials for the late season will be available in the first week of April. These include an additional day of free skiing with the purchase of 3 days worth of lift tickets, the rental of ski equipment and ski school. Save from five to ten percent anytime by purchasing lift tickets, renting equipment and enrolling in ski school seven days in advance. The real bargain for dedicated skiers is the season pass, with varying levels and benefits.
Unlike any other ski resort in the world, Aspen and Snowmass Village offer four resorts, for the purchase of one lift ticket. Four separate mountains offer four different beautiful, unique and challenging courses for one beautiful price. It just doesn’t get much better than that!
The very best part about Aspen and Snowmass Village is that the slopes are within walking distance to residences and other real estate properties nearby. Click here for more details about Snowmass Village.