Aspen will be opening new shops, restaurants and hotels, and host extreme sports festivals during the 2012-2013 ski season.
A hotel that recently reopened after a multi-million-dollar renovation is Hotel Jerome, with all 94 rooms, lobby, and restaurant completely redesigned. There will be a new Auberge Spa, a movement room for yoga, and a new restaurant directed by Executive Chef Rob Zack. The Sky Hotel also began a two-part renovation in the spring of 2012, with the second part of the renovation beginning in the spring of 2013.
In addition, Opa's Taylor Hut, which will be managed by the 10th Mountain Division hut system, sleeps eight with three bedrooms capable of accommodating two each and room for two in the living room. Reservations for Opa's are accepted starting now. There will be a flat fee of $200 for the hut.
Restaurants have also reopened after the renovation including The Little Nell’s Montagna Restaurant, renamed Element 47, which boasts a new contemporary design, concept and menu.
Chefs Club, a new restaurant concept that opened in June 2012 in conjunction with the annual Aspen Food & Wine Classic at St. Regis Aspen Resort, has also joined the local cuisine. Chefs Club will select a bi-annually rotating group of Food & Wine's Best New Chefs to curate a unique menu of seasonally inspired, American regional cooking for The St. Regis Aspen Resort. Chefs George Mendes, James Lewis, Alex Seidel and Sue Zemanick created the restaurant’s inaugural menu, with this winter’s lineup slated to be announced soon.
The Meatball Shack, which also opened this June by Aspen locals, serves classic and unique meatball dishes such as meatball tartare wrapped with Tuscan summer truffles and lobster balls with caviar, micro chives and crème fraîche.
Aspen guests looking for a place to grab drinks, lunch or dinner can stop by Ryno’s Pies & Pints, Ajax Tavern, Pacifica Seafood & Raw Bar, which have also gone under renovation. Their menus are comprised of pizza, pasta and sandwiches, and featuring lunch and après-ski specials.
The arts community and retail businesses of Aspen too have faced revamping as Aspen Art Museum began construction of its new 30,000-square-foot Shigeru Ban-designed building in spring 2012. Targeted completion date is in late-2013, and a grand opening in early 2014. The AAM will continue its programming of internationally significant contemporary art at its current location throughout the construction of the new facility.
The Aspen Art Museum and Aspen Skiing Company will continue their eight-year-old partnership this ski season as the two organizations collaborate again on limited-edition lift ticket products for the 2012-2013 ski season as well as a site-specific installation at the new Elk Camp Restaurant on Snowmass Ski Area. United Kingdom artist David Shrigley created the six different works to be featured on the lift tickets, while L.A.-based artist Dave Muller created a wall painting for the new Elk Camp restaurant.
The Aspen Chamber is also offering a whole host of incredible deals on lift tickets, ski and snowboard school lessons, equipment rentals, and complete vacation packages for the 2012-2013 ski season. Kids can stay, eat, and ski for free.
Furthermore, Aspen’s winter calendar celebrates everything from extreme sports and world-class dance to top-notch film festivals and other special events including JAS CAFÉ Downstairs at The Nell, now through March 30, 2013. The line-up of music features Catherine Russell (Jan. 25-26), Eliane Elias (Feb. 8-9), Curtis Stigers (Feb. 15-16), Monty Alexander Harlem-Kingston Express (Feb. 28-March 2), special guest TBA (March 14-16), Pedrito Martinez (March 29-30). Winter Series passes, including one ticket to six shows of your choice, are available for just $150. Individual show tickets are available for $35.
Aspen also hosts Gay Ski Week, a weeklong celebration running now through Jan. 20, 2013 that is both on and off the slopes, celebrates 36 years and includes events such as comedy shows, retro pool and dance parties, a film series, and, of course, skiing on all four area mountains. Money raised from Gay Ski Week goes to support the various charities of gay and lesbian interest in Colorado.
To further experience Aspen’s arts and culture, Santa Fe Ballet will present its annual performance of “The Nutcracker,” a show featuring acclaimed group River Dance North Chicago, as well as pieces by choreographers Jiři Kylián, Alejandro Cerrudo and Trey McIntyre.
Also well-known for The Winter X Games, Aspen/Snowmass will host the action sports event for its 12th year in a row. Guests can watch as snow sports' greatest athletes compete in events like ski and snowboard slopestyle, superpipe, snowmobile freestyle and snowcross, big air and more.
The Bud Light Spring Jam will also bring two weekends of competitions including downtown concerts and parties. The festival kicks off on March 21 with the Nature Valley NASTAR National Championships and continues through March 31 with events including the KickAspen Big Air Invitational, Terrain Park Boot Camp, three Bud Light Hi-Fi Concerts, and other popular events like Schneetag and Helly Hansen Battle in the Bowls.
Aspen Film ShortsFest, which will be held from April 9-14, 2013, offers a lively, thought-provoking, and humorous selection of drama, comedy, animation and documentary – all at 40 minutes or less. Tickets will go on sale in March.
For more information and a complete calendar of events, visit www.aspenchamber.org or call (800) 670-0788.