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Aspen's Open: What's New and Exciting in Aspen This Winter

The skies have been busy the last couple of months in the Colorado high country, plunking an impressive early season base onto Aspen and Snowmass mountains (over 60 inches have landed thus far on Aspen mountain). As a result, locals enjoyed the fruits of Mother Nature 2 weeks early this year, when Aspen Mountain opened lifts for a sneak peak weekend of skiing on November 16 and 17 with 6 inches of fresh powder, 3 lifts and 21 trails. Aspen, as well as Snowmass, will reopen Saturday, November 23 for the 2013-2014 season. This is an exciting time in Aspen, as skiers will be able to enjoy the hill well before the originally scheduled opening on Thanksgiving Day. It’s the official start of the season, as well as the beginning of the Thanksgiving holiday week. There are plenty of new additions on and off the mountain to make this 2013-14 holiday stay a whole new Aspen experience!

The new “Glades” in Highlands Bowl are the biggest buzz in Aspen for the 2013-2014 ski season. This new gladed terrain in Highlands Bowl introduces 2 new lines in what was formerly a closed area of the bowl. “Lucky Finds Glade” and “Mystery Gully” will bring a whole new dimension to skiing Highlands Bowl, Aspen’s backcountry experience within bounds.

Snowmass has also experienced a terrain expansion over the summer “Burnt Mountain”. This new 230 acres of rolling, low-angle meadows has transformed a former backcountry section of Snowmass into a very user friendly new area within bounds. This is a significant expansion, as it elevates Snowmass into the second largest ski area in Colorado. Another addition to Snowmass this year is the addition of the Elk Camp mid-mountain restaurant, a $13 million dollar restaurant and event space project that has seating for 300 and is the site of the family favorite Ullr Nights on Friday evenings through the ski season. For more information on this and the terrain expansion please visit aspensnowmass.com.

Another piece of exciting news for Aspen this season will help make your travel experience easier than ever. The ultra-convenient Aspen/ Snowmass Sardy Field Airport welcomes Delta as a new carrier to Aspen this year, with daily flights from Atlanta, and weekly flights from Minneapolis/ St. Paul beginning December 21. These 2 new flights offer dozens of new opportunities to fly direct or connect to the Aspen Airport, only a 5-minute ride to Molly Gibson Lodge on our convenient free Aspen airport shuttle. These flights join those from United, with nonstop winter service from Denver, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Houston, and American Airlines with nonstop service from Los Angeles and Dallas/ Ft. Worth.

In town, upgrades and novelties abound to creatively fill your time off the mountain. The historic Wheeler Opera House has been under renovation all summer, and will reopen its door son December 21 with a brand new look, sound, seating and lighting and film technology. A performance by legendary crooner and composer Burt Bachrach will ring in the grand reopening on the 21st, and concerts from greats such as Judy Collins, Randy Newman and Keb’ Mo’ will round out this spectacular new season.
For another cultural upgrade, be on the lookout for the brand new construction of the soon to be relocated Aspen Art Museum. You can see the progress of the museum on this exciting new space at the corner of Spring St. and Hyman Ave, scheduled to open Summer of 2014.

In addition, no less than 5 exciting new culinary experiences await you in Aspen for the upcoming season. Acquolina Trattoria and Pizzeria opens November 29 with casual Italian cuisine; Spring Café offers fresh organic eats and juice bar; Trecento Quindici Decano is a family-friendly spot in the St. Regis hotel; M&M Catering and Cooing school can provide catering for any meal or event and cool cooking classes; and David Burke Kitchen will offer farm to table cuisine beginning January 2014. For more information on these creative new places to nosh, click here.  All of these exciting changes are recipe for fabulous new Aspen experiences, just steps from the modern Aspen hotel rooms of the Molly Gibson Lodge!