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Brandon Wenerd's picture

Aspen Hotels: Aspen Meadows

Without drifting into flowery hyperbole or bogus profundity, the key word to summarize the Aspen Meadows resort is “escape.” The resort is a retreat in the truest sense of the word. Secluded on 42 acres in Aspen’s West End, the Aspen Meadows a full service resort for the ultimate pastoral getaway. A bon fide mountain Shangri-la, the Aspen Meadows reduces the loud and cacophonous the distractions of the outside world to a barely audible whisper.

Brandon Wenerd's picture

Aspen Hotels: The Top 10 Aspen Pool Scenes

Summer is here and the living is easy. We’ve assembled a list of 10 magnificent Aspen swimming pool scenes where one can unwind, revitalize, and refresh in heavenly waters.

The St. Moritz Pool in Aspen, ColoradoThe St. Moritz Pool in Aspen, ColoradoKicking back poolside and taking a plunge into the deep end is a touchstone of many summer vacations. Yet Aspen’s high alpine pool scene doesn’t quite capture the traveling public’s imagination like the glitzy, anything-goes sizzle of Las Vegas casino pool parties, the rooftop pools of Rio de Janerio, or the seductive palm-fringed hideaways in Southern California and Miami. Perhaps it is because Aspen is mythologized exclusively as a cold weather ski destination rather than a place to sport swimwear, drape a beach towel, and spend an afternoon floating in the water.

While the pool scene in Vegas and Miami is hardly under-the-radar, Aspen’s pool scene is one of its best-kept summer secrets.

Brandon Wenerd's picture

Aspen Ideas Festival: A Guide to Who Said What at the 2009 Aspen Ideas Festival

Festival Attendees in Anderson Park - Photo by Dan BayerFestival Attendees in Anderson Park - Photo by Dan BayerThe 5th annual Aspen Ideas Festival redefines what it means to "Go Big" in Aspen by hosting large personalities, powerful world leaders, thoughtful discussions, and - most of all - big ideas. Presented by the Aspen Institute and The Atlantic magazine, the 2009 Aspen Ideas Festival was a gathering of great thinkers with innovative ideas for a seemingly-nonstop series of lectures, presentations, debates, interviews, and panel discussions. Here at, we accumulated a collection of newspapers articles, blog posts, podcasts, and social media video to provide an annotated day-by-day summary and an in-depth chronological guide to who said what over one of Aspen's biggest weeks.

Brandon Wenerd's picture

Aspen Literature: Ten Great Books putting Aspen on the American Literary Map

For decades devoted bookworms and “Dead Poets Society” quoting high school English teachers have flocked to Hemingway’s Key West, Tennessee Williams' New Orleans, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s New York, Steinbeck’s Monterey, Ginsberg’s and Kerouac’s San Francisco, Faulkner’s Mississippi, and Robert Frost’s New England on their summer vacations to celebrate the authors who worked there and assess the creative muses inspiring the great works of American literature associated with these locales. Yet, for whatever reason, well-read literati and travel list arbiters have never ranked Aspen, Colorado on the lists of great American literary destinations. This is understandable, to a degree, because of the exhaustive litany of cities, towns, and regions worthy of such lists.

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Aspen Pot Heads: Don't You Worry About a Thing.

Aspen druggies: Don’t you worry about a thing.

That’s because The Man in Aspen believes buying and selling drugs is not that big of a deal. At least if the city’s Police Policy and Procedures Manual is to be believed.

Brandon Wenerd's picture

Aspen Restaurants: The Top 10 Places to Dine Al Fresco in Aspen, Colorado

.Dining Al Fresco on the Patio of D19 and Pacifica in Downtown Aspen with a Postcard Perfect Mountain Panorama.Dining Al Fresco on the Patio of D19 and Pacifica in Downtown Aspen with a Postcard Perfect Mountain PanoramaWhether conquering the coals of a casual backyard barbeque or relaxing over a romantic four-course treat, one of life’s simple summer pleasantries is dining outdoors. Feasting on a delightful meal while lounging on a patio or deck in the warm sunshine and fresh air is nothing short of an obligatory pastime. Time seems to whisk away with sweet nonchalance into dreamy oblivion when dining outside with good-humored company. Here in Aspen, the epicurean nirvana is heightened when enjoying a tableau vivant of regional specialties like blue agave margaritas, a warm brie paired with the perfect merlot, a main entrée of fresh Colorado lamb, or a palate cleansing antipasto before dessert.

Using a little imagination, dining al fresco in Aspen’s thin Rocky Mountain air is like dining in sylvan realm of Fairyland, the fictitious setting of Shakespeare's classic romantic comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream . Many bistros and cafes in this charming Victorian ski town pride themselves on well-appointed porches, patios, and decks in woodsy settings with postcard-perfect mountain panoramas and menus of artisan haute cuisine.

Brandon Wenerd's picture

Aspen Restaurants: Willow Creek Bistro

Surf and Turf at Willow Creek Bistro, Aspen HighlandsSurf and Turf at Willow Creek Bistro, Aspen Highlands The Roaring Fork Valley is chock-full of spectacular culinary offerings. Nonetheless, if you are a serious foodie vacationing in downtown Aspen and find yourself short on time, there are only a handful of reasons to leave the Highway 82 Roundabout. Examples include a romantic dinner date in Snowmass, an evening sipping margaritas and munching nachos in the eccentric charm of the Woody Creek Tavern, and a late afternoon partaking in a rustic feast and scenic splendor of the Castle Creek Valley at the Pine Creek Cookhouse. Add one more to the list: The Willow Creek Bistro, just a short drive up Maroon Creek Road at the Aspen Highlands Ski Area.

Brandon Wenerd's picture

Aspen Shopping: A 101 Guide to Aspen Art Galleries

Aspen is spiked with sensory overload. The region boasts a breathtaking panorama of majestic mountains, beautiful people, a cloudless cerulean sky, fresh air, and irresistible culinary flavors.

Colin Flaherty's picture

Aspen Snow Job

Aspen concert promoters who want to cancel a show have millions of good reasons: Pine beetles. Global warming. Punishment for the 23 percent of us who voted for someone other than Barack Obama.

But one reason you cannot give is snow, as the oft-Grammy nominated bluegrass band Cherryholmes recently did when it opted out of its March 13 appearance at the Wheeler Opera House.

A refresher for those who need it: Snow is the reason people come to Aspen. No snow means no people.

Presumably when they booked their show the band knew that Aspen gets more than 10 feet of snow every year. Yes there was snow that weekend. Both on the ground and in the forecast.

Brandon Wenerd's picture

Aspen Spas: A Guide to the Spas of Aspen, Colorado

Confluence Pool at the The Remède SpaConfluence Pool at the The Remède SpaASPEN -Spend enough time in Aspen, Colorado and you’ll surely stumble upon a reference to “The Aspen Lifestyle.” Walter Paepcke, the godfather granddaddy behind Aspen’s inception as a modern resort town, envisioned a secluded getaway synchronized by holistic ideological trinity of mind, body, and spirit. This trivium is the raison d'etre of the so-called “Aspen Lifestyle:” to exercise the mind, body, and spirit while striving for individual self-actualization. Each piece of this philosophical pie has an observable facet in Aspen’s civic life: A vibrant intellectual, musical, and artistic scene strives tirelessly to stimulate the mind; soaring peaks, buttes, rivers, and natural splendors of the Rocky Mountains provide a seemingly infinite number of recreational pursuits like skiing, biking, and hiking to fine tune the body’s physically fitness; and the town’s geographical serenity, inspiring natural majesty, and compassionate residential community stirs the soul with ecstasy.