Snowmass Village has come alive, thanks to the $600 million-plus in development that’s changed the town’s physical and spiritual vibe. New hotels, residences, restaurants, community areas and retail shops are reshaping the Snowmass experience, along with on-mountain improvements and an ever-expanding calendar of events. Historically, Snowmass was a quieter escape from Aspen, but, these days, there’s lots of action to be had.
But, first—the mountain. Home to 90-plus miles of mountain bike trails in the summer, Snowmass Ski Area recently upped its warm-weather draw by debuting the Lost Forest, an adventure center with obstacle and ropes courses, zip line, an alpine coaster and a rock climbing wall. In the winter, the ski area is home to the longest vertical drop of skiing in the U.S. Beginners will thrive on the many levels of learn-to-ski areas, including two magic-carpet areas for tots; and experts will revel in some of the hard-charging terrain. In between, wide-open cruisers and gladed runs delight moderate skiers of all kinds.
The Breathtaker Alpine Coaster runs in both winter and summer.
Off the slopes, Snowmass is equally diverse and full. Festivals, adventure races and family events fill almost every weekend of the summer, and regular staples like the Wednesday rodeo and Thursday free concerts keep the midweek jamming too. During the winter, Snowmass draws guests to its slopes for their pristine conditions, and keeps them there with delectable eats and off-mountain entertainment, whether it’s found in the town’s bowling alley or its new ice skating plaza. The Collective, a new community center, is based around a flexible public space hosting events, live music and speakers, along with a kids’ activity center below.
Past visitors to Snowmass may be surprised to see the town’s new growth and its shape transformed. But with the development more than a decade in the making, many are giving thanks to the energy that’s been injected into the community. With a full calendar, and sometimes full occupancy, Snowmass is quickly rising as more than a side stop to Aspen—it’s a destination all on its own.