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Brandon Wenerd's picture

Aspen Golf: A Guide to the Golf Courses of Aspen, Colorado

High Altitude Golf at the Aspen Golf Club, Photo by Keith BarnholtHigh Altitude Golf at the Aspen Golf Club, Photo by Keith Barnholt ASPEN, CO -In the last twenty years, the golf scene in the Roaring Fork Valley has gained nationwide prominence with the addition of exciting new courses with provocative challenges. However, this was not always the situation. There was a time in the 1970s and 1980s when the only course in Aspen was the Aspen Golf Club, notoriously frequented by a rowdy crowd more focused on imbibing adult beverages than chalking in a serious round. That era has passed, to some degree. Nowadays Carbondale and Glenwood Springs have attracted affluent retirees from around the country for private golf and fly fishing clubs, rustic residential communities, and an active four-season lifestyle of Rocky Mountain fun. Arnold Palmer is known to spend Christmas skiing at Snowmass , so the region can stake claim to some sort of atmospheric magnetism for golfers.

Jamie Lynn Miller's picture

Aspen Gone Wild: Just Say No to Drexting

The Wild West just got a little tamer. Not that Aspen has ever been the reckless, outlaw capital of Colorado but truly, curtailing the use of handheld electonics while driving around Aspen may well be the equivalent of asking Wyatt Earp and crew to surrender their weapons when they roll into town.

Colin Flaherty's picture

Aspen Greens Turn a Lighter Shade of Pale.

You are an environmental group. You hate carbon footprints. At least from other people. You hate even more when punk-ass bloggers stomp on the carbon footprints that come from all the fossil fuel you burn whenever you travel to far away places to meet with your environmental buddies to complain about other folks creating carbon footprints.

To quote the great philosopher Karl Malden: “What will you do? What … will … you … do?”

Brandon Wenerd's picture

Aspen Hiking: Smuggler Mountain

The view of Aspen from the top of Smuggler MountainThe view of Aspen from the top of Smuggler MountainDuring the peak of Aspen’s silver boom, the world’s largest silver nugget was mined out of Smuggler Mountain’s shadowy innards. The nugget had a weight of 2,054 pounds and was estimated to have a consistency of 93 percent pure silver. Unfortunately for the prospectors, the silver jackpot occurred a year too late; the Sherman Silver Purchase Act was repealed by Congress in 1893, significantly diminishing the value of the precious metal. The mine closed in 1918, ending the town’s silver era and ushering in a pre-skiing period known as “The Quiet Years.”

Brandon Wenerd's picture

Aspen Hiking: The Ute Trail

A hiker in awe-struck contemplation at the top of the Ute TrailA hiker in awe-struck contemplation at the top of the Ute Trail
ASPEN -In the 1879, the U.S. Army chased the native Ute Indians away from their ancient hunting grounds in the Roaring Fork and Crystal River Valleys to make way for settlement and mining. However, before exiting Colorado for the rugged deserts of Utah, the Ute are rumored to have placed a curse on the Western Slope, mystically bewitching the land while handing it over to the white man and decrying the region would never make him truly happy. This old tidbit of Wild West folklore is occasionally applied to ski bums who take a semester off from college or med school for a winter with the intentions of going back but end up staying in the Roaring Fork Valley for 50 years trying to slap together a career as a bartender, barista, or lift operator. I’ve even heard the term referenced to overzealous developers and real estate agents pimping magnificent multimillion-dollar estates on once-sacred land who abandon their principles in the covetous process of building, buying, land acquisition, and ego conquest.

Brandon Wenerd's picture

Aspen History Week

In 1890, as silver mining boomed in the snowy footholds of the Elk Mountains, Aspen’s population ballooned and a rustic mining camp became the third-largest city in the state of Colorado. Boasting a population of 13,000, only Denver and Leadville were bigger. The Aspen area was the single largest silver producer in the country until the mine-town era came crumbling to a halt.

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.

Angela Shy's picture

Aspen is EXTREMELY versatile!!

Aspen MountainAspen Mountain Today officially begins Winter X-Games 15, being held at Buttermilk Mountain in awesome Aspen, CO January 27th-30th, and though I won't be there until Friday, my nerves are already tingling with excitement!! Aspen is certainly cool enough on it's own, but with the added extreme adrenaline running through the hills one can't help but be a bit overwhelmed in the best way ever!!

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.