Introduction to Aspen, Colorado
Aspen is a well known ski resort town situated in the Elk Mountains section of the Rocky Mountains in Pitkin County. Aspen is a popular location for skiing, summer activities, the arts, music and business. It's a popular destination for the rich and famous.
The downtown is filled with upscale shops and restaurants. Aspen is known for its luxurious homes and condominiums. A large number of celebrities reside in the community on a part-time basis. There are numerous lodges, posh hotels and resorts for tourists to choose from. The city is home to the notable Aspen Institute. The popular Snowmass Village is nearby. The name was given due to the vast amount of aspen trees in the region.
A group of minors arrived in 1879 and dismissed the governor's strong suggestion that they travel back over the Continental Divide and out of the way of the havoc caused by the Ute Indians. The area was originally known as Ute City. The name was changed to Aspen in 1880. It soon became the most productive silver mining area in the country. The population significantly increased due to the prosperous mines. The Sherman Silver Purchase Act enacted in 1890 resulted in the government doubling the amount of silver it purchased.
President Cleveland revoked the act which led to the Panic of 1893 that devastated the economy. A large number of the silver mines were shut down, causing thousands of miners to loose their jobs. Later, wages were reduced and mining made a modest comeback, but according to a census performed in 1930 a significant number of mines were still closed. In 1946 the Aspen Skiing Corporation was established and became a popular resort. Soon Aspen became an international ski destination.
The well known ski destinations are Aspen Mountain, Buttermilk, Snowmass and Highlands. Tourists and residents also enjoy sleigh rides, snowshoeing and snowmobiling in the winter. During the summer, mountain biking and hiking are popular activities. Other summertime fun includes golfing, white water rafting, exploring mines, watching rodeos, fly fishing and enjoying the scenic views provided by the chair lifts.
The John Denver Park is a notable location to enjoy the day during the summer. The nearby Maroon Bells area showcases spectacular mountains. A scenic trail leads hikers to a couple of beautiful lakes and a glacier carved valley. Guided tours are available for outdoor adventures.
Attractions and Entertainment
- Aspen Music Festival
- The Crystal Palace Theatre Restaurant hosts a variety of plays.
- Club Chelsea is a popular music venue.
- Hotel Jerome is a historic landmark.
- The Jazz Aspen Snowmass.
- June Festival.
- Aspen Celebrity Downhill.
- Labor Day Festival.
- The historic Wheeler Opera House.
- Aspen is home to numerous art galleries.
- Theatre Aspen.
- Ashcroft Ghost Town.
- Aspen Art Museum.