45 years ago this Sunday, Snowmass Mountain was born.
Then called "Snowmass-at-Aspen, Snowmass" officially opened December 16, 1967 as a joint venture of Aspen Skiing Corporation and the Janss Corporation. There were five chairlifts and 50 miles of trails including Big Burn, Sam’s Knob, Coney Glade, and Campground. Lift tickets were a whopping $6.50 and ski school cost $8/day. The Silvertree Hotel opened as did the Snowmass Village Mall, which was designed as a cutting-edge European-style village by architect Fritz Benedict who was trained by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Today, the Snowmass Ski Area boasts 3,332 acres of terrain, 94 trails, 21 chairlifts that access trails, parks, and on-mountain restaurants. This year 230 acres of terrain on Burnt Mountain opens up glades, powder, and excellent views to skiers and boarders, and the new Elk Camp Restaurant establishes a hub on the mountain for food, drink, and family entertainment. The Silvertree Hotel has undergone a $55 million renovation—transforming the slope-side center into the new Westin Snowmass Resort and Wildwood Hotels.
"Our past is something to be proud of, but we're really shaping the future of Snowmass right now by creating greater alignment between Aspen, Snowmass, and the entire Valley," said Snowmass Marketing and Tourism Director Susan Hamley.
At the 2012/2013 Snowmass Tourism Winter Launch, the Way Past (as in the Ice Age), past, present, and future were all celebrated as Snowmass Tourism, Aspen SkiCo, and StayAspenSnowmass shared good news for the season with a crowd of 250 at the Westin Snowmass Conference Center. All agreed that the future—at least the very near future—is something we can all get excited about.
According to Snowmass Tourism and SkiCo, we're already off to a great start. SkiCo continues to bolster their environmental commitment as evidenced by the recent groundbreaking of an unprecedented coal-mine methane capture project
. Snowmass nabbed the top spot from Freeskier magazine for its terrain park, a host of new merchants have set up shop in Base Village and the Village Mall, and group sales are up due in part to a big advertising push dovetailed by an equally aggressive social media campaign.
SkiCo’s video and blogging efforts recently tempted tourists to experience our 15 inches of new snow with GoPro shots of skis gliding through fresh powder (and delivering face shots to other unsuspecting cameramen), making you feel almost as if you were there.
"It’s important to reflect the character of our Town by introducing the characters in it," said Beth Albert, sr. marketing manager for Snowmass Tourism as she shared a video vignette of a local ski instructor. "Whether it is past, present, or future, one thing in Snowmass remains the same—it’s all about the people."
Check out all of the winter events coming up in Snowmass Village. For a full calendar, visit http://www.snowmassvillage.com/play/activities/calendar.html. And, visit our Facebook page for more photos from the event.
Want to celebrate Snowmass' 45-year anniversary? Base Village merchants are planning a celebration. View the full schedule here.