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Aspen Gears Up For The Winter 2013-2014 Season With Major Renovations, New Openings, Deals And Events

November 18, 2013 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

The start of each new season brings in a surge of changes in Aspen, with winter 2013-2014 being no exception. This winter season Aspen boasts major renovations around town, new restaurant and retail openings, increases in air services and festivals galore.

For more information and a complete calendar of events, visit or call 970.925.1840, or 800.670.0788.


  •      The Little Nell received renovations on two of its VIP suites during fall 2013 from renowned designer Holly Hunt, who also helped transform the property in 2009 with a guest room makeover and in 2011 with a lobby remodel. The final four suites will be renovated during the spring of 2014. The suites will be more eclectic, taking inspiration from the West and will include stone fireplaces with blackened metal as well as bronze chandeliers. (675 E. Durant St.)
  •     Hotel Jerome, Aspen’s historic gem, an Auberge Resort, reopened its doors last winter after a multi-million-dollar renovation by renowned designer Todd Avery Lenahan, which kept the historical relevance of the property while enhancing its elegance for the modern traveler. The lobby has been opened up to create a dramatic new space to socialize. The new Auberge Spa and movement room for yoga has quickly grown to be a HH250x250-2favorite new place to rejuvenate and revive. (330 E. Main St.)
  •     Wheeler Opera House will debut their major renovations with a grand reopening on Friday, Dec. 21. The renovations include a new, reconstructed balcony featuring excellent sightlines, comfortable seating, and state-of-the-art sound, light and film technology. The Wheeler features everything from acclaimed performers and feature films to unique performance series and festivals. View upcoming Wheeler live events and season highlights here. (320 E. Hyman Ave.)
  •     OPENING SOON! Aspen Art Museum‘s new 30,000-square-foot Shigeru Ban-designed building is scheduled for completion for summer 2014. Founded in 1979, the Aspen Art Museum is a non-collecting museum for contemporary art and a leading voice in the intellectual discourse of international contemporary art. More information about the project and images of the model can be seen here. (Corner of S. Spring St. and E. Hyman Ave.)


  •     NEW! David Burke Kitchen will open in Feb. 2014 from New York City chef David Burke. The menu will be farm to table using local and seasonal ingredients. Dishes will include venison, elk, wild boar, pig, trout, short ribs, aged cheeses and more to round out the menu selection. (204 S. Galena)
  •     NEW! Acquolina Trattoria & Pizzeria is a new informal, though elegant trattoria and pizzeria serving up authentic Italian cuisine in a fun atmosphere. The expansive menu is available for both lunch and dinner, and a condensed bar menu will be offered during happy hour. The restaurant will be open year-round, daily starting Nov. 29. (415 E. Main St.)
  •     NEW! Spring Café opened their doors to Aspen in summer offering a full organic food and juice bar. Aspen’s first all organic eatery serves breakfast, lunch and early dinner offering salads, hearty vegetarian sandwiches, soups and baked goods. Spring Café cooks with organic cold-pressed oils, sea salt and fresh herbs, and their dairy and eggs are locally sourced and cruelty free. (632 E. Hopkins)
  •     NEW! Trecento Quindici Decano, translating to “315 Dean,” is the St. Regis Aspen’s newest restaurant concept. Trecento Quindici brings the best of Italy to Aspen with hand-crafted Italian cuisine served in a Mediterranean villa-inspired design. Executive Chef David Viviano prepares fresh pasta and sauces daily as well as pizza baked to order. The space is family friendly with an adjacent game room featuring table tennis, air hockey, a Nintendo Wii and arts and crafts. (315 E. Dean St.)
  •     NEW! M&M Catering & Cooking School offers catering from early morning breakfast to gourmet dinners, cooking classes, and meal delivery services including box lunches, dinners, backpacks, picnics and private jets. The M&M chefs focus on using seasonal, local foods and make an effort to use organic whenever possible. 


  •     NEW! Filson, a Washington state-based seller of high-end outdoor clothing is set to open in December. The shop will offer a mix of Filson signature luggage, leather accessories, apparel and iconic outerwear. (402 S. Hunter St.)
  •     NEW! French company Zadig et Voltaire moved to town this fall selling men’s, women’s and children’s clothing and accessories. Zadig et Voltaire embodies a new type of luxury by creating a refined casual clothing that is still original and affordable. (218 S. Mill St.)
  •     NEW! GoLite opened their doors this fall offering high performance apparel and equipment. The Boulder based brand carries both men’s and women’s outdoor gear and clothing. GoLite products and high performance gear is designed for consumers to be able to experience nature with less weight, fuss and weight. (414 E. Cooper Ave.)
  •     NEW! Valentino Accessories is set to debut in December in Aspen along with four other retailers at the corner of Hopkins and Galena. The store will showcase luxury women’s accessories such as shoes, purses, scarves and more. (204 S. Galena)
  •     NEW PROGRAM! Aspen Center for Environmental Studies offers morning birding in fall, winter and early spring. The program, which runs on the first Tuesday of the month from Oct. through April at Hallam Lake. Guests will exercise their birding skills, learn non-breeding plumages and observe foraging behaviors of migratory and resident species with naturalist Rebecca Weiss. (100 Puppy Smith St.)
  •     NEW PROGRAM! The Limelight Hotel is introducing a new way to explore the mountain for non-skiers with their new winter adventure for non-skiers. Complimentary snowshoe tours will be offered on Wednesdays during the winter seasons, January through March. Limelight Hotel will also offer their “Inside Tracks” program, allowing guests to receive the insider’s scoop on Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands and Snowmass while meeting other guests and skiing with Aspen’s top ski/snowboard professionals. (355 S. Monarch St.)
  •     NEW CLIMBING AREA! Pitkin County Open Space and Trails (OST) acquired Gold Butte as open space in Jan. 2013 and began working with an enthusiastic steering committee of local climbers to develop this climbing management plan. The climbing area is now easily accessible to the public from town with parking at the Sunnyside pull-off on McClain Flats Road and at Stein Park. For a Gold Butte climbing guide click here.
  •     NEW EVENT! On Jan. 18, 2014, Aspen Gay Ski Week will celebrate equality with a group civil union ceremony in downtown Aspen with cake and champagne to follow. Organizers are planning for this to be the largest same-sex ceremony in the U.S. and also the highest elevation group ceremony at Aspen’s 7,908 feet above sea level.
  •     NEW EVENT! Wintersköl, Aspen’s annual toast to winter, plans to add a new event to this year’s celebration, the first annual Fat Bike Race. The Wintersköl Fat Bike Race will be held in town on Smuggler Mountain Road, one of the most popular recreation areas in the immediate Aspen vicinity. Details for the race will be announced in Dec. 2014.

The Aspen Chamber is offering a whole host of incredible deals on lift tickets, ski and snowboard school lessons, equipment rentals, and complete vacation packages for the 2013-2014 ski season. Kids can even stay, eat, and ski for free! For a complete list of deals, click here.

  •     Early Escape Package: Take a deep breath between Thanksgiving and Christmas when you Book a minimum of 2 days and receive a free day on lift tickets 10% off on any ski & snowboard school product as well as a resort card with discounts on everything from dining to shopping. Book by Nov 25, 2013: Valid Nov 28- Dec19, 2013.
  •     Perfect Holiday Package: Kids ski free with the purchase of a three-day minimum adult lift ticket. Kids also eat lunch free with a comparable adult purchase at select on-mountain restaurants. Book by Nov 15, 2013: Valid Dec 20-25, 2013.
  •     Perfect Storm Package: Get a free day on lift tickets, equipment rentals and lodging throughout most of the ski season when you buy a minimum 4-day package. The Perfect Storm also includes 10% off on any ski & snowboard school product as well as a resort card with discounts on dining and shopping. Book by Dec 23, 2013 (for Jan); Jan 24, 2013 (for Feb.); Feb 21, 2014 (for March): Valid Jan 5- March 31, 2014.


  •     NEW! Delta Airlines will add new nonstop seasonal service to Aspen/Snowmass with daily flights from Atlanta and Saturday only flights from Minneapolis-St. Paul, effective Dec 21, 2013 through March 29 for Minneapolis-St. Paul and March 30 for Atlanta. 

During winter 2013-2014, United Airlines will offer nonstop flights between Aspen/Pitkin County Airport and Los Angeles International Airport and Chicago O’Hare International Airport from Nov 25- Apr 7 as well as George Bush International Houston Airport and San Francisco International Airport from Dec. 19- Apr 7. United Airlines will continue daily service (between 6-11 flights) between Denver International Airport and Aspen/Pitkin County Airport throughout the winter season. American Airlines will offer one nonstop flight daily from Los Angeles International Airport and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport from Dec. 19- March 31.

Aspen boosts an array of events and festivals all winter long with musical performances around town, culinary and art festivals, sporting events and more. Following are some highlights of Aspen’s winter 2013-2014 events calendar:

Aspen Writers’ Foundation Winter Words Season 17, Nov. 30- March 31, 2014

  •     Aspen Writers’ Foundation’s Winter Words is a series of readings and talks featuring prominent contemporary writers. Discussion topics range from the creative process to the role of art in today’s world. Events take place at Paepcke Auditorium throughout the winter and are open to the public. This year’s lineup includes the following: Nov. 30: James Slater; Jan. 28: Richard Blanco; Feb.8 Dani Shapiro in conversation with Nick Flynn; Feb. 25: Carole Desanti in conversation with Karen Joy Fowler; March 19: Tom Reiss; March 31: Maria Semple. 

JAS Cafe Downstairs at The Nell, Dec 20, 2013- April 4, 2014

  •     Jazz Aspen announced a fourth winter series of its popular JAS Café Shows, Downstairs at The Little Nell. Described as the new “oasis of cosmopolitan cool” JAS Café Shows has an exciting line-up of music including multiple Grammy winners and nominees, will include: Dec. 20-21: Stacey Kent, Dec. 28-30: Gypsy Allstars, Jan. 10-11: Wycliffe Gordon, Hello Pops!, Jan. 30-31: Kathy Kosins, Feb. 14-16: Eliane Elias, Feb. 20-22: Spyro Gyra, March 7-8: Cyrille Aimee & Diego Figueiredo, March 21-22: Lavay Smith & the Red Hot Skillet Lickers, April 3-4: Pedrito Martinez. Winter Series passes, including one ticket to six shows of your choice, are available for just $150. Individual show tickets are available for $35. 

12 Days of Aspen, Dec. 20-31, 2013

  •     During the 12 Days of Aspen, the charming downtown of Aspen becomes a winter wonderland of holiday cheer. Free ice skating, visits with Santa’s reindeer, s’more-making parties, cookies, cocoa, holiday drink specials, and more light up the streets of Aspen. To top it all off, ring in 2014 with a New Year’s Eve fireworks extravaganza over Aspen Mountain.

Aspen Film Academy Screenings, Dec. 22, 2013-January 1, 2014

  •     A favorite holiday tradition for more than two decades, Aspen Film Academy Screenings offers resort residents, visitors, and film industry professionals a unique opportunity to see the newest buzzworthy movies vying for Oscar nominations, many of which will screen only in Los Angeles, New York, and Aspen over the holidays. With two screenings each evening, this multi-day film extravaganza presents about 20 of the season’s most anticipated movies. 

Wintersköl, Jan. 9 – 12, 2014

  •     Now in its 62nd year, Wintersköl is Aspen’s spirited toast to winter with four days of free and nearly free celebrations throughout Aspen and Snowmass, including the popular Soupsköl, Wintersculpt and the Canine Fashion Show.
  •     NEW! Wintersköl, plans to add a new event to this year’s celebration, the first annual Fat Bike Race. The Wintersköl Fat Bike Race will be held in town on Smuggler Mountain Road, one of the most popular recreation areas in the immediate Aspen vicinity. Details for the race will be announce in Dec. 2014. 

Gay Ski Week, Jan. 13 – 19, 2014

  •      A weeklong celebration that is both on and off the slopes, Aspen Gay Ski Week, celebrating 37 years, includes events such as comedy shows, retro pool and dance parties, a film series, and, of course, skiing on all four area mountains.

o    NEW! On Jan. 18, 2014, Aspen Gay Ski Week will celebrate equality with a group civil union ceremony in downtown Aspen. Organizers are planning for this to be the largest same-sex ceremony in the U.S. and also the highest elevation group ceremony at Aspen’s 7,908 feet above sea level.

X Games Aspen , Jan. 23-26, 2014

  •     The X Games Aspen, the premier action sports event in the world, returns to Aspen/Snowmass for its 14th year in a row with snowsports’ greatest athletes battle for glory in events including ski and snowboard slopestyle, superpipe, freestyle and big air. 

Aspen Music Festival & School Winter Series, Feb. 13 – March 15, 2014

  •     The Aspen Music Festival and School returns for their winter music series with three elegant recitals in the beauty of Harris Concert Hall. The winter series will be: Feb. 13: pianist Joyce Yang; Feb. 20: violinist Jennifer Koh; March 15: star violinist Robert McDuffie with pianist Elizabeth Pridgen. 

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Feb. 14- March 29, 2014

  •     Aspen Santa Fe Ballet is an internationally acclaimed professional dance company that brings dance to Aspen year-round. The 2014 winter series will have performances Feb. 14- 15, Les Ballets Tockadero De Monte Carlo March 16 and an encore performance underwritten by Bebe and David Schweppe March 29. 

Aspen International Fashion Week, March 13-16, 2014

  •     Aspen International Fashion week will showcase and market winter resort, ski and technical outwear. The four-day event includes daily après ski events and shows, nightly runway shows, in-store presentations and after hour rock shows. 

Bud Light Spring Jam, March 14-23, 2014

  •     The premier Colorado spring festival will bring two weekends of competitions including downtown concerts and parties. The festival kicks off on March 14 with the Nature Valley NASTAR National Championships and continues through March 23 with the KickAspen Big Air Invitational, Terrain Park Boot Camp, three Bud Light Hi-Fi Concerts, and other popular events such as Schneetag and Helly Hansen Battle in the Bowls. 

AspenFilm’s ShortsFest, April 8-13, 2014

  •     Aspen Film ShortsFest, now in its 23rd year, is considered one of the world’s premier international short film and video showcases for the trend-setting art form: the short. Aspen ShortsFest offers a lively, thought-provoking, and humorous selection of drama, comedy, animation and documentary – all at 40 minutes or less.

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