Overview

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.

History

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

Demographics

People

Total Population7,234
Male Share of the Population52%
Female Share of the Population48%
Senior Citizens18%
Employed Population 16+4,767
Age of the Population42

Families

% of people married32.1%
Average household size2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher82.4%
Median Earnings25+$46,274
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification$50,250
Median Earnings With High School Degree$41,005

Wealth

Median Family Income$105,060
% Above Poverty Level92.5%
% Below Poverty Level7.5%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time17 minutes
% Working from Home11.6%
% Walking and Biking to Work19%
% Using Public Transportation23.4%

Housing

People Living Alone43.3%
Median Gross Rent$1,336
Median House Value$641,600

Ancestry

Other(often includes Hispanic and African American)22.9%
German14.5%
Irish11.5%
English10.8%
Italian6.3%
French Except Basque4%
Russian3.7%
Polish3.7%
New Zealand2.3%
Scottish1.9%
Norwegian1.9%
Austrian1.4%
Swedish1.4%
Danishn1.1%
Czech0.9%
Portuguese0.5%
Dutch0.5%
Welsh0.5%
Arab0.4%
Hungarian0.4%
Belgian0.4%
Canadian0.4%
Romanian0.3%
Israeli0.3%
Brazilian0.3%
Australian0.3%
Greek0.2%
Syrian0.2%
Iranian0.2%
Latvian0.1%
Swiss0.1%
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Aspen Almanac

CategoryValue
CountyPitkin County
Standard Zip Codes81611
P.O. Box Zip Codes81612
Phone Area Codes970
Time ZoneAmerica/Denver
Approximate Latitude39.13
Approximate Longitude-106.84

Aspen Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

Notes:

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

StationASPEN 1 SW
Distance1 miles
Jan Temp7 to 34 F
Apr Temp25 to 51 F
Jul Temp46 to 77 F
Oct Temp29 to 58 F
Annual Precip23.2 inches
StationMEREDITH
Distance12.7 miles
Jan Temp1 to 33 F
Apr Temp21 to 49 F
Jul Temp40 to 79 F
Oct Temp23 to 59 F
Annual Precip16.3 inches
StationSUGARLOAF RES (LEADVILL)
Distance24.5 miles
Jan Temp4 to 28 F
Apr Temp17 to 43 F
Jul Temp39 to 71 F
Oct Temp23 to 50 F
Annual Precip16.6 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

LocationPopulationMedian Family Income
Basalt3,955$88,289
Crested Butte1,332$92,031
Marble105$94,167
Mount Crested Butte967$89,583
Snowmass Village2,824$71,397

Aspen Public Libraries

Pitkin County Library
120 N MILL STREET
Aspen, Colorado
(970) 429-1900

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Aspen Hospitals

Aspen Valley Hospital
(Government - District/authority)
0401 Castle Creek Road
(970) 544-1261

Aspen Public Schools

Aspen Elementary School
235 High School Road
ZIP: 81611
Primary
Total Enrollment 526
Aspen High School
235 High School Road
ZIP: 81611
High
Total Enrollment 562
Aspen Middle School
235 High School Road
ZIP: 81611
Middle
Total Enrollment 486
Aspen Pre-school
235 High School Road
ZIP: 81611
Primary
Total Enrollment 53

Aspen Private Schools

Aspen Country Day School
3 Music School Rd
ZIP: 81611
Elementary
Total Enrollment 178
Sources :
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Historic Aspen

photo

Aspen and Aspen Mt.. c1893.
Additional Resources
Info for Aspen Government Officials


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