Aspen, Colorado

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Aspen, Colorado

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.

Outdoor Activities

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.

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High Points

Aspen strengths, compared to Peers (similar size places nationally) or State (other places in Colorado):

Category Trophy
Walking and Biking to Work
(vs. Peers)
Top 1% trophy Aspen Walking and Biking to Work
Well-Paid Single Men
(vs. Peers)
Top 1% trophy Aspen Well-Paid Single Men
Short Commute Times
(vs. Peers)
Top 3% trophy Aspen Short Commute Times
College Educated Adults
(vs. Peers)
Top 4% trophy Aspen College Educated Adults
Well-Paid Single Women
(vs. Peers)
Top 4% trophy Aspen Well-Paid Single Women
Public Transportation Use
(vs. Peers)
Top 5% trophy Aspen Public Transportation Use
Median Family Income
(vs. State)
Top 10% Aspen Median Family Income
People in Middle Class or Better
(vs. State)
Top 15% Aspen People in Middle Class or Better

Comparative Profile of Aspen, Colorado

Comparing Aspen to similar size places nationwide (Peers) and to other places in Colorado (State):

Ratings range from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest).

The People

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Well-Paid Single Men 10 10
Male Share of the Population 10 9
Well-Paid Single Women 10 10
Age of the Population 6 7
Racial Diversity 5 6
Senior Citizens 1 4
Female Share of the Population 1 2
Children Under 5 Years Old 1 1


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Portion of People Married 1 1
Average Household Size 1 1


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
College Educated Adults 10 10
Median Family Income 9 10
People in Middle Class or Better 7 9
People Above Poverty 6 7

Commute & Sprawl

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Working at Home 10 10
Walking and Biking to Work 10 10
Short Commute Times 10 9
Public Transportation Use 10 10


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Seasonal and Vacation Housing 10 10
People Living Alone 10 10
Studio & One-Bedroom Rentals 10 10
Housing Recently Built 8 6
Affordability of Property Taxes 4 1
Affordability of Rents 1 1


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Low Violent Crime 4 5
Low Property Crime 1 2

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Aspen Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 99 miles W of Lakewood, Colorado (center to center)
Nearest Large City 105 miles W of Denver, Colorado
County Pitkin
Standard Zip Codes 81611
P.O. Box Zip Codes 81612
Phone Area Codes 970
Time Zone Mountain (-7 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 39.191
Longitude -106.816

Aspen Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)
Station ASPEN 1 SW
Distance 1 miles
Jan Temp 7 to 34 F
Apr Temp 25 to 51 F
Jul Temp 46 to 77 F
Oct Temp 29 to 58 F
Annual Precip 23.2 inches
Distance 12.7 miles
Jan Temp 1 to 33 F
Apr Temp 21 to 49 F
Jul Temp 40 to 79 F
Oct Temp 23 to 59 F
Annual Precip 16.3 inches
Distance 24.5 miles
Jan Temp 4 to 28 F
Apr Temp 17 to 43 F
Jul Temp 39 to 71 F
Oct Temp 23 to 50 F
Annual Precip 16.6 inches
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Aspen Population (2000)

Category Count Percent
Total Population 5,914 100%
Male 3,165 53.5%
Female 2,749 46.5%
Under 18 777 13.1%
18+ 5,137 86.9%
65+ 435 7.4%
Median Age 36.7
Average Family Size 2.67
White 5,615 94.9%
African-American 26 0.4%
Asian 86 1.5%
American Indian & Alaskan 14 0.2%
Other 97 1.6%
Mixed Race 71 1.2%
Hispanic (included in categories above) 363 6.1%

Estimated Aspen Population Growth 2000-2005

Category Value
Est. 2005 Population 5,804
Growth -110
Growth % -1.9%

Aspen Ancestry

(From 2000 Census, as reported by individuals)

Note: This is national, not racial, ancestry, so, e.g., the Census doesn't have categories for Hispanic and African-American people. CityTownInfo is currently gathering additional ancestry data for this site.
Ancestry Percent
German 15.7%
Other (often includes Hispanic and African American) 12.8%
English 12.2%
Irish 10.4%
US/American 6.7%
Italian 6.3%
Scottish 3.6%
Swedish 2.7%
Russian 2.6%
French (except Basque) 2.4%
Dutch 2.3%
Norwegian 2.1%
Polish 1.9%
Scotch-Irish 1.8%
European 1.3%
Austrian 1.2%
British 1.1%
Danish 1.1%
French Canadian 0.9%
Portuguese 0.9%
Swiss 0.9%
Welsh 0.9%
South African 0.7%
Yugoslavian 0.7%
Hungarian 0.7%
Lithuanian 0.6%
Czech 0.6%
African 0.5%
Finnish 0.5%
Canadian 0.5%
Northern European 0.5%
Ukrainian 0.3%
Greek 0.3%
Belgian 0.3%
Australian 0.2%
Brazilian 0.2%
Romanian 0.2%
Luxemburger 0.2%
Serbian 0.2%
Slavic 0.2%
Slovene 0.2%
Latvian 0.2%
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Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Pop. Median Family
Income (2000)
Aspen 5,914 $70,300
Basalt 2,681 $73,375
Crested Butte 1,529 $49,118
Marble 105 $47,292
Mount Crested Butte 707 $64,167
Snowmass Village 1,822 $86,338

Aspen Public Libraries

Pitkin County Library
Aspen, Colorado
(970) 925-4025
Library Web Site

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Aspen Hospitals

(Government - Hospital District or Authority)
(970) 544-1261
Emergency Service: Yes

Starbucks in Aspen

(As of 2005)
555 E Durant
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Aspen High Schools (2004)

Serves 474 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 12.7

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City, State Similarity   1 Person Houses 65+ College Grads Commute Minutes Family Income Kids 0-4 Non White Pop. Poverty Prop. Crime Seasonal Housing Viol. Crime
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1. Key West, Florida 84.1   31.4% 11.7% 27.3% 14 $50,895 4.7% 15.1% 25,478 10.2% 76.1 8.3% 7.8
2. Newport, Rhode Island 82.7   39.4% 12.9% 41.5% 18 $54,116 5.8% 15.9% 26,475 14.4% 47 6.5% 5.6
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Historic Aspen


Aspen and Aspen Mt.. c1893.

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