For years, Snowmass has had a reputation as Aspen’s outdated but friendly family resort, a place where wide-open runs were beautifully groomed and laid out like a red carpet for guests who might be less-than-expert skiers. While it boasted an ample supply of slopeside accommodations and user-friendly terrain, the bulk of its development, which had been mostly neglected since the early 70s, was in need of an upgrade.
That day has finally arrived.
“The big news in Colorado ski country is that the Snowmass Ski Area is finally – finally – getting some respect,” reported Forbes Magazine. “Snowmass not only has a true luxury trajectory but will soon offer a sleek, modern village that is ready to compete with the best … It’s been a long time coming.”
The Snowmass Base Village (SBV) development project, which has been 10 years and $600 million in the making has finally come to fruition. The completion of the long-awaited Limelight Hotel, featuring a 30-foot glass-enclosed climbing wall in its lobby, slope side access and an ice-skating rink out front have injected a new spirit of modernity and luxury, not to mention record-breaking sales. Luxury residences at the Limelight, Viceroy Snowmass, One Snowmass are in high demand, and the Lumin is completely sold out.
With luxury also comes family-friendly attractions and amenities, something that (let’s be honest) is sorely lacking in Aspen. SBV tailors to kids, and therefore, to parents who are thrilled to be able to enjoy their vacation, too—without having to sacrifice true Aspen style.
Here’s our hit-list of family-friendly favorites:
Move over, Rockefeller Center. Nothing screams winter charm like an ice-skating rink. Yes, SBV joins the ranks of other world-class ski resorts around the world with an ice rink at its epicenter, a virtual winter hive of activity. Located between the Elk Camp gondola and the Limelight, the brand-new arena is open to the public daily. In the warmer months, the ice rink transforms into an open space where families can enjoy lawn games, movies and educational series, among other daily events. Visit The Collective website for more information.
At the epicenter of SBV bustling winter scene is The Collective, a gathering space that just opened in December and has created a buzz for visitors and local families who are loving the one-stop-shop for a lively social scene, good food and dedicated space for kids to play. We’re talking about a state-of-the-art game lounge downstairs featuring a Ziegler Reservoir ball pit (yes, the one where Mastodon fossils were found in), neon foosball, a music wall, giant pin art, video game lounge, classic arcade games and more. For more information, visit The Collective website.
That should keep the kids good and occupied so the parents can check out the new restaurant and bar scene on the main level by award-winning local Chef Martin Oswald, also the owner of Pyramid Bistro in Aspen. Here diners become chefs in the new mix6 restaurant creating their own custom dishes from a variety of veggies, proteins, legumes and rice and home-made sauces. Adjacent is moxiBar with indoor/outdoor service featuring creative cocktails, craft beers, wine and a shareable bar menu. As if that’s not enough, there’s also a community space, offering a place to hear live music, Ted-style talks with educational speakers, kids’ programs and videos.
Treehouse Kids’ Adventure Center
For parents who want some serious alone time, this conveniently located adventure center allows parents to rest assured their little ones are getting the best possible child care, state of the art facilities and award-winning ski school programs. For more information, click here.
Just in case skiing all day doesn’t provide enough excitement, SBV has created a slew of fun places to play. The Limelight hotel proudly offers the state’s largest climbing wall, standing at a staggering five stories tall. In the summer months, kids can get escape the heat and cool off in a brand-new state-of-the-art Splash Park, featuring pop jets and shallow pools. At the base of Snowmass Mountain, enjoy year-round fun at the Ski Beach with live music, events for foodies and holiday celebrations. For more information, click here.
When the kids start to meltdown because they’ve run out of gas, run over to Mawa’s Crepe Shack for the best sweet and savory crepes this side of the pond, not to mention the best hot chocolate in town. For burgers and bears slopeside, ski on down to the Viceroy for five-star service that’s still kid-friendly at The Nest. And because some kids like sushi too, venture over to Sake Sushi bar or grab a slice of wood-fired pizza during SBV’s most happening après scene at the Limelight.