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Interesting Facts about Aspen and Snowmass
Aspen/Snowmass Geographic Info:
- Permanent Population: 5914
- Elevation of the Town of Aspen: 7,945 Feet / 2,421m
- Elevation of Snowmass Village: 8,104 feet / 2,473m
- Elevation at Base of Buttermilk: 7,870 feet / 2,399m
- Highest Elevation: 12,510 feet / 3,813m (on Snowmass Mountain)
- GPS Coordinates: 39°11'32"N 106°49'28"W / 39.192297°N 106.824470°W
- The city sits along the southeast (upper) end of the Roaring Fork Valley, along the Roaring Fork River, a tributary of the Colorado River about 40 miles (64 km) south of Glenwood Springs, Colorado. It is surrounded by mountain and wilderness areas on three sides: Red Mountain to the north, Smuggler Mountain to the east, and Aspen Mountain to the south.
- Colorado's 53rd largest city
Weather & Climate:
- Average Snowfall: 300 inches / 7.620 mm
- Winter Temperature Range: 0 — 32°F (-18°C — 0°C)
- Summer Temperature Range: 41 — 79°F (5°C — 26°C)
- Electricity: 110 volts, 60Hz, standard two pin plugs
- Time Zone: Mountain Time Zone (GMT-7)
- Country Dialing Code: 1
- Area Code: 970
- Closest Airport: Pitkin County Airport Sardy Field (ASE)
Notable Moments in the History of Aspen / Snowmass:
- The area around Aspen has been inhabited for nearly 8,000 years, and was known by the Ute Indians as 'The Shining Mountains'.
- Prospectors first discovered the silver lodes in 1879, and the mining town that resulted was called Ute City.
- The area was renamed to Aspen in 1880 due to the abundance of aspen trees.
- By 1891, Aspen became the largest silver production area in the country, and by 1893, had 12,000 residents, six newspapers, four schools, three banks, two theaters, an opera house, a hospital...and electricity (one of the first towns in North America to have it!).
- In 1893, the United States returned to the gold standard, and Aspen died as a silver-mining town, clinging to existence solely as a ranching center.
- During the 1930s and '40s, skiing was born in the Aspen area, and was enhanced by Army soldiers who came from nearby Camp Hale for recreation. (In 1935, Aspen was scheduled to become one of Colorado’s premiere ski resorts but had to postpone its opening due to the War)
- Officially opened in 1947, Aspen had the longest ski lift in the world.
- In 1950, Aspen hosted the first FIS World Alpine Championships in North America, giving Aspen international recognition as a world-class ski area.
- Friedl Pfeifer opens Buttermilk Mountain in 1958, which was followed by the opening of Aspen Highlands by Whip Jones. William Janss, a former ski racer and land developer, becomes interested in Snowmass and purchases the majority of the land at its base - 17 years after having first visited Aspen to compete in the National Alpine Championships. The first organized skiing on Snowmass begins that year.
- Aspen Skiing Corporation purchased Buttermilk Mountain from Pfeifer in 1963.
- In 1967, Snowmass-at-Aspen, just 12 miles from Aspen, officially opened Dec. 17 as a joint venture of Aspen Skiing Corporation and the Janss Corporation. There were five chairlifts and 50 miles of trails, and lift tickets were just $6.50.
- Aspen Mountain’s Silver Queen Gondola opened in 1987. It is the longest single-stage gondola in the world.
- In 1993 Whip Jones donated the Aspen Highlands to Harvard University, which sold the area to Houston-based developer Gerald Hines. Hines became a partner in Aspen Skiing Company, which assumed operations of Highlands. Highlands becomes the fourth ski mountain to come under the management of Aspen Skiing Company.
- Topping out at 12,510 feet, the Cirque lift on Snowmass was the first in the country to be operated solely by clean, renewable wind power.
- Today, Aspen is known as a cultural, historical and sports center of the United States, as well as a chic, stylish mountain resort town offering upscale lodging and shopping, complemented by Special Events and Festivals.
Aspen Landmarks & Monuments
- Silver Queen Gondola, located at Durant Street and South Hunter Street. A favorite attraction during both the summer and winter, the Silver Queen Gondola whisks visitors from the heart of Aspen up to the 11,200 foot / 3,415 meters summit of Aspen Mountain, from where you can take in breathtaking views of the valley below and the spectacular Elk Mountains.
- Maroon Bells is one of the most iconic and photographed natural landmarks in Colorado. Sedimentary layers of rock slowly shaped by glaciers have helped to form these distinct angular peaks that tower over Maroon Lake below.
- Wheeler Opera House, located at 320 East Hyman Avenue. The Wheeler Opera House was built in 1889 and has recently undergone restoration to make it one of the most attractive landmarks in Aspen. The building is beautifully designed interior hosts various theater, concert and dance performances throughout the year.
- Aspen Fountain, located at Mill Street and Hyman Avenue. This spot is a focal point for people watching and a popular spot for live music performances at night.
- Ute Cemetery, located on Ute Avenue. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the cemetery now serves as a reminder of the town's tumultuous history, with markers dating back to the 19th Century.