From an expanding culinary scene to beloved mountain peaks, this town is the ultimate playground year-round. Once known as Aspen’s sleepy neighbor, Snowmass Village has proven itself as one of the valley’s largest and activity-dense destinations. Home to over 90 miles of mountain-bike trails and the longest lift-served vertical drop in the U.S., this town is a double agent when it comes to winter and summer activities.
With $600 million worth of investments in the village over the past decade, you can be sure to find nearly anything worth doing right within Snowmass’ nearly 4,000 acres. The town offers some of the area’s most impressive natural sights, with majestic mountains and deep, dense forests filled with trails.
Snowmass sits on the largest of Aspen Skiing Company’s four mountains, reaching nearly 14,000 feet. Skiing on the mountain is known for its accessibility to skiers of any skill level—beginners stick to the wide, cruising runs while experts dominate the mountain’s more challenging terrain. Even the tiniest skier can enjoy learning on one of the mountain’s two magic carpet areas. For fresh powder, check out the free Snowmass First Tracks program to take part in the first run of the day, complete with patrollers and instructors.
In the summer, don’t pass up the chance to walk (or ride) along the many trails nestled in the mountains. For the ultimate thrill-seeker, the beloved Rim Trail is an absolute must-do.
The fun doesn’t end when you leave the slopes. Snowmass’ food and arts scene continues to expand, garnering more attention year after year. When in doubt, chow down on fan favorites like Mawa’s Kitchen and The Nest Bar and Grill. The town keeps a busy social calendar, with festivals, family events and more to entertain its residents and keep the tourists coming back year after year. Looking for those must-do moments? Hang like a local at Jazz Aspen Snowmass or pack in all the fun over the three-day Snowmass Balloon Festival.
Staying in line with the town’s family-friendly reputation, local attractions such as the Lost Forest (an adventure center with rope and obstacle courses) ensure that children will enjoy their time on the mountain as much as any adult. Snowmass overflows with charm, with its endearing quirks like Snowmass S’mores on the mountain during the winter season and the general friendly demeanor of those on the mountain year-round.
Snowmass Insider: Andy Gunion, East West Partners Managing Partner
When it comes to business, Andy Gunion’s mantra is simple: create terrific places. Gunion has been in resort real estate development since 2000 and now oversees East West Partners’ Roaring Fork Valley office—which has spent the last five years focused on developing Snowmass Base Village. When asked what his favorite part of the job is, he says, “Watching families make lasting holiday memories in the places we create.” That’s fitting since SBV is one of the largest mountain resort village projects underway in the country, boasting over 10 buildings comprised of residences, hotels, retail, restaurants, community amenities and more. He is a prime example of the work that goes into making these beautiful mountain towns so inviting.
What are some of the biggest ways in which the industry has changed since you started?
Most of the changes I can think of are actually fairly subtle. The fundamental premise remains of creating amazing homes and places that make it easy for families and friends to gather and experience outdoor recreation.
What do you love most about working in Snowmass?
Easy living, friendly authentic people and immediate access to incredible natural amenities.
Are there any upcoming projects that you can buzz?
We’re currently focusing on the lots above Viceroy and looking to push the sustainability frontier even beyond what we’re doing at Electric Pass Lodge.
I know you are an avid snowboarder and hiker. What is your favorite season in Snowmass?
Late September. Crisp air, golden leaves, fresh memories of summer and the anticipation of winter.
Where can we find you for happy hour?
On the Nest pool deck at Viceroy… hopefully playing music.
It’s been a long week and you’re looking for some R&R... where are you headed?
A road bike ride up to Ashcroft.
What would you suggest to someone looking for a unique experience at Base Village?
Tough question. We have so many cool things going on up here now. The Wednesday night comedy series at the Collective has really taken off, and we’re getting some incredible comedians. Also, the Tuesday night King Yoga Jams with live music create a really special vibe on the plaza.
Photography by: From Top, Photos Courtesy Of: Snowmass Tourism; Josh Hild/Unsplash.