Though we have already ushered in the first day of Spring, many snow worshippers have ascended upon the mountain towns of Aspen and Snowmass to partake in final runs, closing-weekend parties and all-around shenanigans to officially mark the end of ski season.
While most of young America will be either attending or dreaming of sundrenched Coachella this weekend, Snowmass celebrates the end of the ski season on Saturday, April 15 with beach-themed festivities both on the mountain and around the village. From 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. there will be a Surf & Snow Beach Party at Elk Camp with DJ Naka G, free leis, volleyball, drink specials, taco bar, margarita bike blenders, raffles and giveaways. The event will culminate with a cheeky Swimsuit Ski Down at 3:30.
If a slightly more subdued atmosphere is what you had in mind, head on over to contemporary Mexican eatery Venga Venga for live music on the deck from noon-6 p.m. or Gwyn's High Alpine for Berkel Beats and cocktail specials at the bar.
If you haven't partied yourself out by then, join in on the Spring Fling Beach Party at base village from 3 p.m.-7 p.m. to enjoy a real sand dance floor and beats from dueling DJs Berkel Beats and Naka G. If that's not enough, in addition to a Kid's Beach fun zone and bounce house with entertainers, there will be a big cook-off featuring chefs from Base Camp, 8k and Mountain Bayou benefiting Challenge Aspen.
In Snowmass, the end of the ski day doesn't mean you have to hang up your gear and head home for a quiet family supper. The evenings and nights can be made just as memorable as the days with snowcat dinner rides at Lynn Britt Cabin which consist of a four-course gourmet meal on Tuesday and Thursday nights and family-friendly Chuckwagon Dinners on Wednesdays with live music. Catch the magic of Doc Eason every Tuesday and Thursday at the Stonebridge Inn from 6 p.m.-10 p.m. or go bowling at Slopeside Lanes which features 300-inch projection T.V.s and a wood-fired Mugnaini pizza oven. On Friday nights, the Elk Camp Restaurant is transformed into a winter playground with family activities from ice skating, sledding, snowbiking and fireside s'mores.
With so much happening in Snowmass this spring and summer, you may opt to stay at the chicly appointed Viceroy Snowmass or the family-friendly Westin Snowmass Resort. If, however, you are looking for an overall more upscale experience and more colorful nightlife, book a room or suite at the five star St. Regis Aspen.
Nestled at the base of Aspen mountain, the luxurious St. Regis Aspen Resort offers a contemporary version of a Gilded Age mountainside manor which provides guests with the world-renowned Reméde spa, signature ski services, butler service, two top-rated restaurants and a busy apés ski scene.
Guests have a choice of 179 rooms and suites, including a Presidential Suite and Residence Club with a leather bed and desk designed by none other than American designer Ralph Lauren. The exquisite marble bathrooms offer double vanities, an elegant tub and Reméde bath products. There are five Junior Suites which offer stunning courtyard, mountain or town views with a separate living area and the exclusive Residence Club which consists of 25 villas located in a separate wing that feature two and three bedrooms, a kitchen and fireplace.
Named one of the 100 Best Restaurants in the country by Time Magazine, Aspen's Chefs Club located in the St. Regis treats lucky diners to 20 of the best, signature dishes from 20 of the world's top chefs. On the opposite side of the resort lies The Portal @TQD where Executive Chef Samir Roonwal wows diners with his innovative interpretations on both local and global cuisines with menu items such as Colorado Bass, Spanish Sausage Skillet and Tiramisu in a Box.
Some things in life are just unexpected enough to work. In the case of Grey Lady, a Nantucket-style seafood restaurant in the heart of land-locked Aspen, not only does the unexpected work but it works flawlessly. Despite its location well-above sea level, the Aspen outpost of the well-known East Coast eatery is about as authentic as it gets. Thanks in large part to co-owner and New England native Ryan Chadwick, whose father, a Maine lobsterman, ships his catch out to Aspen each day.
Centrally located on Mill Street in the heart of downtown Aspen, The Grey Lady offers an impressive dinner menu of classic seafood dishes and localized interpretations of New England inspired staples such as the Aspen Clambake: a hearty stew comprised of Maine Lobster, clams, mussels, shrimp, Old Bay cornbread and wild boar sausage. For the equally discerning but less complicated palate, the Classic Lobster Roll is purist approved in the form of one pound of sweet Maine lobster on a perfectly buttered bun. You can't go wrong with the Lobster Deviled Eggs and the P.E.I. Mussels steamed in a flavorful prosecco-aji amarillo broth, served with crusty country bread and paired with a full-bodied white from Grey Lady’s well-edited wine list.
After dinner, Grey Lady’s lively bar scene is worth a visit with live DJs and an eclectic and youthful crowd. Grey Lady is also a great option for post-apres ski cocktails. Not to be missed, is Grey Lady’s innovative bar program, which in keeping with the menu keeps a few things local by using locally distilled spirits. We recommend the ever-popular Moscow Mule, made special with a vodka from local Woods Creek Distillers and a house-brewed ginger beer.
So just what does a ski town do after apés ski when the season has wound down? Aspen still has plenty of life left in its nightlife with live music venues such as Belly Up playing home to wandering artists such as Gary Clark Jr and Jurassic 5, themed dinners at private clubs such as the members-only Caribou Club, and the always happening watering-hole Eric's Bar.
On our latest visit to Aspen, we were pleased to venture upon the lively dance club Boosty Bellows but not before delighting in hand-crafted cocktails from Hooch. Exposed-brick walls and dimly-lit chandeliers set the mood at this subterranean bar, giving it a speakeasy feel. Hooch has a variety of plush seating, allowing for intimate conversation over craft beer, wine, or specialty cocktails. There is also a small selection of light-bites on offer such as a Meat and Cheese Board, a Paté Board, and even a Smoked Salmon Board. For those wanting something a bit more filling there are the Lemongrass Meatballs, Dan Dan Noodles and Round Eye Banh Mi.