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Entries in snowmass (8)


Prime Time in Aspen. Fashion, Cocktails and more Cocktails

This week is a doozie.  All the party people are in Aspen.  Click the links for tickets and info.



* SNEAK-a-PEAK, The WINE PARTY et al.  Mar 13-16  in Aspen

Aspen International Fashion Week ( under new ownership). Click for tix and info.

Drink Well, Laugh Often, Ski Much. Please Sip ResponsiblyCome as your favorite Bond Girl or Super Villain


The Road to Snowmass

Double Black Noodle Bar at The Wildwood Snowmass. Tasty noodles!!AspenSpin doesn't get over to Snowmass much, but when we do we like to go HUGE.  

Click 4 pix:

The Road to Snowmass

We received a special invite to try the newest eatery in the Mass...Double Black Noodle Bar at The Wildwood. Mmmmmmm mmm, dat sh*t is goooood.  Affordable by Aspen standards Black Noodle Bar offers entrees in the $10-14 range.  A wide variety of Asian offerings made to order and served up hot and fresh in a newly renovated second floor space at The Wildwood.  Everything was delish..but I especially liked the Smoking Pig Bowl (look it up) and the Singapore Shrimp Bowl. The funky Japanese / Mountain decor is super-laid back and group friendly.  The space was designed by Ski Radical founder Carlton DeWoody.  Check it out: DOUBLE BLACK  NOODLE BAR.

Once again Carmelo and I got to crash at The Westin in Snowmass.  Slope side awesome-ness is how we like to roll.   The place was jumping with Orthopedic Surgeons,  all the Docs were at The Westin Snowmass for a conference.  The lobby bar, the pool , Jacuz and spa were all active. 

I don't ski Snowmass as often as I should. Jeeeeze this place rips. Duh?  Today, nobody was here and there was plenty of good clean family fun spread out over 94 trails and 3,332 acres.  We got up early and ripped several pristine groomers and had to experience only a few long traverses and lift rides. The highlight of the day was the wind-blown freshies in Hanging Valley after a short hike.  Some nice lines in there...and very few skiers.  What a fun day.

High Society in Snowmass. 10 years strong.We stopped by the new High Society showroom on the Snowmass Mall to chill with J. Flynn a founding partner.  Money can't buy class...but it can buy High Society snowboards, skis and clothing...right here on the Mall.  Yeaaaaaaaa High Society.

Snowmass Tourism threw a little shin-dig at the Ice Age Discovery Center to un-earth a 100,000 year old Mastodon tusk that had been preserved in a field jacket for months.  Paleontologist Tom Temme from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science cracked open the plaster and burlap field dressing to reveal another awesome fossil found near the Zeigler Reservoir in Snowmass.  Temme's lecture was fascinating and the Snowmass crowd gasped when the tip of the tusk was eventually revealed.   We were the first to lay eyes on the bone in over 100,000 years.  The Ice Age Discovery Center is certainly worth a perusal anytime you're on The Mall in Snowmass.   

Late night we hit the brand new bowling alley in Snowmass.  Slopeside Lanes was a pleasant surprise.  The well appointed and totally legitimate bowling alley is the real deal.  We rolled a few lines...chowed on some very tasty pub grub and even played the silver ball.   I haven't bowled since 2007, the time I out-rolled Brady Quinn at a charity function... just after he got drafted in the first round by the NFL's Cleveland Browns.  I knew immediately...after I blasted him on the lanes...that he would be an NFL bust.  Sorry B.Q.  Slopeside Lanes was fun and is a great addition the the Snowmass social scene.

Not a bad  little stay-cation.  Wheels Up.  Back to Aspen soon.    

Click 4 pix:  THE ROAD to SNOWMASS                                                                                     

Snowmass Tourism at the Ice Age Discovery Center for the un-earthing of their latest discovery.Paleontologist Tom Temme of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science un-earths the 100,000 year old tuskSkiing in Snowmass...simply excellent.


Stay-cation: Westin Snowmass Resort.

Super Moon over Westin SnowmassI'm cool with Snowmass.  Snowmass is a good neighbor.  In the Winter they have over 3330 acres of skiing.  In the Summer they have the Snowmass Rodeo, the biking is siiiiiick, free music on Thurdays and there's golf ( but I abhor golf) and its wide open and generally pretty relaxed.

Aspen has a different vibe in the Summer. All the show ponies are in town. It's more accessible by car, its crowded, it's noisy, there are tons of guys on scooters, from Long Island & Miami claiming to live here. There are 100 bars and 500 outdoor dining seats, but there is no more skiing. The 15 or so major construction projects in the 5 block core have brought a flurry of BIG machinery to town.  It appears as if the banks have opened the spigots and Aspen is a development opportunity again.  Throw in all work on the parks and the curb upgrades...and it's as noisy as NYC.  I needed to de-stress.

Click for pix:  Stay-cation Snowmass.

So When the Westin Snowmass Resort invited Carmelo and I to come over for a stay-cation, a food frenzy and a pool party at The Wildwood...I looked at my dog..and said hellllllz yeah.  So off we went.  9 miles via Owl Creek Road into a different world.  As we passed the imposing structure known as base village that blocks the sun.  We weren't stopping at the imposing concrete parking stucture that is reminicent of The Wall that borders the Northern edge of the 7 Kingdoms, guarded by The Night's Watch that defends the Realm in the Game of Thrones.  No way...we were headed up the hill to The Mall.  Last year, a new ownership group began flying the Westin flag at the Snowmass Conference Center and The Westin Snowmass Resort was born. They did a complete remodel bringing the hotel into modern times.  The same group did a total re-do on the The Wildwood, right next door.  Kudos on the rad re-design at The Wildwood to my pal Carlton DeWoody, a founding member of Ski Radical.  Excellent job, bro. The bright, primary colors speak to me...and everybody loves the New Belgium Beer bar and the game room in the lobby.

Someone loves luxury hotelsCarmelo, my best friend is getting a little older now, but she still gets excited and loves to turn it on in luxury hotels. Her booty was shaking so hard in the lobby that everybody wanted to pet her.  Then she dropped into the belly rub position on the cool marble floor...and indicated "I'm good".  The staff couldn't have been nicer.  It's very clear that The Westin Snowmass has professional management in place.  All the details are covered.  When we got to our beautifully appointed room...Carmelo gave me a look that said " yeah, I can't jump up on the bed anymore...but turn up the A/C... full blast, will ya pal".  We both sacked out. Carmelo on the floor, and me on the Heavenly Bed.  I'm not exactly sure what makes it a Heavenly Bed...but I slept like a log...heavy drool and everything. 

The next morning we skipped yoga in favor of a spirited game of fetch on Fanny Hill.  The slope-side spa and pool at The Westin Snowmass Resort looks siiiiick...but brunch at Snowmass Kitchen was calling my name.  Several media members had spent the night in Snowmass and we were scheduled for a grazing session at the Westin's awesome in-house restaurant.   Before I started blogging, I never realized how many media people were just one free meal away from starvation.   Any way, it was full-on feeding frenzy...a four course, 3 hour brunch.  I don't know what I enjoyed more the bagels & lox (Jewish soul food), the waffles & fried chicken (real soul food) or the Eggs Benedict (1% soul food).

Next stop...the first Sunday pool party of the season at The Wildwood.  Luckily I brought my underwater camera cause sh*t got crazy. It was a great crowd for the first of a series of Sunday fundays at The Wildwood.   DJ Naka G was spinning, the sun was shinning, skin was showing and the food and drink specials were too good to pass up.   It was a very fun scene.  The Wildwood Pool is open to the public...so feel free to get after it. Luckily we got hooked up with a late check out so Carmelo and I spent the afternoon jamming poolside.  It was a great weekend in Snowmass.  A little stay-cation never hurt anybody. 

Thank you WESTIN SNOWMASS RESORT. To para-phrase Arnold... We'll be baaaaack.

Click for pix:  Stay-cation Snowmass.


The Eggs Benny was off the charts at Snowmass Kitchen. Click 4 pix.The WildWood pool in Snowmass is open to the public. Huge pool party on Sundays. Click 4 pix.Media babes copping some rays at The Wildwood. Click 4 pix.




Love, Peace & Snow: The Brotherhood 40th Anniversary in Aspen/Snowmass

Love, Peace and SNOW. Click 4 pix.The National Brotherhood of Skiers (NBS) is in Aspen/Snowmass for their 40th Anniversary.  NBS, a.k.a. The Brotherhood is one of the largest affiliated ski groups in the USA.  NBS has over 3000 members from 60 ski clubs in 43 cities.  Almost 1500 skiers, riders, families and friends made it to Aspen (one of the whitest towns in America) to celebrate the NBS 40th.  The Brotherhood is composed almost entirely of African American winter sports enthusiasts...people of color.  Maybe you've heard the often repeated stereotype that Black people can't ski.  The Brotherhood dispels that notion all over the world,  everywhere they go.  Ski clubs like Jim Dandy Ski Club (Detroit), Inner City Ski Bums (Cleveland), All Seasons Ski Club (Oakland), Chicago Ski Twisters (Chicago), Black Ski, inc. (Washington D.C.) and Sno-Burners (New York) showed up in Aspen to slide down the slopes and enjoy all the extra cirruicualars that come with that.  The Brotherhood is one of the friendliest, most fun loving and jovial groups that we see in Aspen/Snowmass.   That is as long as nobody schralps my lines.   It's always fantastic to see people enjoying their lives to the fullest and getting after it on the mountain.

Click 4 Pix: LOVE, PEACE & SNOW

Most of the NBS crowd stays in Snowmass.  So on a beautiful bleubird Colorado day, Andy Party made an unusual trip past the traffic circle to Snowmass in order to ski and BBQ with the Brotherhood.  It's been well over a year since I've skied at Snowmass.  I forgot how HUGE that place is.

Snowmass has 3300+ acres of terrain vs Aspen Mountain's 675 acres. There were powder stashes everywhere.  The Mall and the Village Express lift were mobbed with Brothers...but once I cleared the mousetrap at the bottom...it was a POW POW Party.   After a few runs up top I straightlined a groomer past several Brothers and cruised to the BBQ at the Spider Sabich Cabin.

Many of the Brotherhood picked up skiing late in life...as adults.  The group's skill level ranges from first-timers to intermediates and a few experts. The Brotherhood may not be the most talented ski group in Aspen...but they sure know how to BBQ.   Over 500 attendees ate & drank and grooved to the music.  I mention the music because it was so refreshing to hear old school funk & soul.  Not the sampled beats I'm used to hearing today. The Brotherhood was spinning classic easy to dance to grooves... the music that I love so much.  Dancing in ski boots is not my forte...but lets just say the white boy has a few moves left. All the Nubian Empire skiers were cheering me on.  The Temps., Smokey, James Brown, Sly, The Four Tops, The Isley's etc.etc.  It was great to see old friends  bonding and new friends being made and an unbridled passion for skiing and riding.

Each club has their own distinctive and colorful ski parkas complete with their club logo on the back and often with an embroidered nick name on the front.  Much like motorcycle gangs, The Brotherhood members take great pride in their "colors".  

The members of The Brothehood have as much fun as anybody on the mountain. They are passing their love of winter sports onto the next generation.  Here's to 40 more years of POW POW for the NBS. 

Click 4 pix:  LOVE, PEACE & SNOW (The Brotherhood)

The Jim Dandy Ski Club from Detroit. The first African American Ski Club. Click 4 pix.





Sunrise @ Snowmass

Tetrah takes off at The Snowmass Balloon Festival. Photo: Patsy Popejoy Click 4 more pix.I can't recall ever watching the Sun rise in Snowmass.  For the first time in about 10 years I had to set an alarm clock, Why?.  Up and at 'em at 6 a.m. Why?  Walking the dog, in the dark , on frosty grass at 34 almost freezing degrees...why, you ask?   The 37th Snowmass Balloon Festival, that's why.  Thanks to Snowmass Village P.R. for hooking me up with a ride on TETRAH, a tetrahedron shaped balloon, the largest and most unique rig in the festival.  Pilot /owner Steve Hunter and his chase crew gave me a quick course in ballooning.  Hunter built the Tetrah in his garage and it's one of the only  home-built balloon set-ups at the fest.   With about 100,000 cubic feet of hot air, Tetrah has superior lifting power. 

Click 4 pix  SUNRISE @ SNOWMASS   and    RUGGERFEST 45

Captain Hunter, a veteran of 25 straight Snowmass Balloon Festivals assured me "today is a perfect 10 for flying". He would know, he flies between 30 and 50 times a year, depending on his wife's wishes.  "After 25 years..my wife finally said "it's your passion, not mine" so we don't travel as much as we used to" laughed Hunter.  The very chilly morning exploded into one of those beautiful Colorado blue-bird days that defies description.  As we rose above the balloon launch field the entire Snowmass Valley opened up and we were greeted with spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains and the environs.  It was a fantastic flight, an uneventful landing and AspenSpin got a brand new perspective. 

Inside the Balloon at Snowmass Balloon Fest. click 4 pix.Click 4 pix:

Sunrise @ Snowmass.   

After the flight, I ripped a quick mile at the Snowmass Rec Center pool which boasts a beautiful outdoor setting.  I followed that up by taking a quick power-snooze at a handy hammock in Snowmass and then hit the village for the Snowmass Wine Festival hosted by Snowmass Rotary.  The Snowmass Mall was lined with food and wine vendors and packed with happy people.  Eating and drinking plays right into AspenSpin's  core competency, so I tried a few wines and bulked up on fine foods.  It was a great day in Snowmass.  A mini-vacation, just 9 miles from my door.

A full day at Snowmass brought back some nostalgic memories for me.  AspenSpin donesn't get to Snowmass very often and I truly forgot how nice and beautiful it is over there.   The Snowmass Mall still maintains a quaint character that seems to be missing in some of the new developments in Aspen and throughout the Valley.  The open space and family atmosphere reminded me of AWESOME ski trips I took in the 70's & 80's driving out from Michigan.   I barely noticed the 1/2 completed Base Village and I'm hopeful that Related Companies can finish what they started with a "right-sized" version. 

Come to think of it...I have discovered a few secret POW stashes over in Snowmass.  If you know where to look, one can usually find some un-tracked lines in the trees 2 or 3 days after a storm.  Hmmmm, and they do have over 3,000 acres of pretty sweet terrain.  I'll see you this Winter, Snowmass.  To quote Arnie..." I'll be baaaack".

Also this past weekend, Aspen hosted the 45th Annual Ruggerfest.  The town was chock full of BIG burley guys with lots of scars.  Aspen Ruggerfest brings teams to ZG from all over the country.  Florida, Virginia, Utah and even the U.K.   The tournament boasts a very high level of play.  For the 3rd straight year The Denver Barbarians came out as open division champs.  The Barbos dominated their cross-town rivals, the Glendale Raptors in the final match, outscoring them 70-21. 

Click 4 Pix:  RUGGERFEST 45.

A perfect day for flying in Snowmass. Click 4 pix.

The 37th Annual Snowmass Balloon Festival. Up, Up and away. Click 4 pix.The Snowmass Wine Festival followed the Balloon Fest. Good times in Snowmass.Back in Aspen. Blood, sweat and Rugby at Ruggerfest 2012. Click 4 pix.