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July 3, 2014
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Aspen, Snowmass to be busy for holiday

Tourism officials say Aspen and Snowmass Village hotels and lodges will be busy, if not close to full for the Fourth of July weekend.

Numerous events mark Aspen’s Independence Day celebration each year, so the crowds won’t be much of a surprise. But today through Sunday in Snowmass Village, the Wanderlust yoga festival — a roving event that brings together yoga teachers, live musical acts, speakers, chefs and other performers — is expected to take over the town.

“Fourth of July is a fairly busy weekend anyway, but it’s the first year we’ve got the Wanderlust festival, four days of yoga and music. It has a very large following. Our hotels should be very close to full, if not completely sold out,” said Fred Brodsky, interim director of tourism for the town of Snowmass Village.

Brodsky said 1,000 yogis will ascend to the area for the event. A free musical performance, Wanderlust Spectacular, described as “the Cirque du Soleil of yoga,” is set for Fanny Hill today from 8 to 10 p.m.

And among the many musical acts, mostly DJs, lined up for the weekend is the alternative hip-hop group Jurassic 5 (tickets required), which will perform Saturday at 9 p.m. on Fanny Hill. More information about the festival can be found at www.wanderlust.com.

“It’s an amazing complement to the July Fourth weekend and the entire valley,” Brodsky said of Wanderlust. “We expect everybody to be very busy.”

Bill Tomcich, president of reservations firm Stay Aspen/Snowmass, said lodging sales in Snowmass have been strong over the past two weekends, but this weekend’s Wanderlust and Fourth of July events should represent a peak. Attendees of Aspen events — the Food & Wine Classic, the Jazz Aspen Snowmass concerts and the Aspen Ideas Festival — have boosted business in Snowmass Village, he said.

Both Aspen and Snowmass Village should have occupancy rates above 80 percent this weekend, based on data from June 15 provided by Denver-based DestiMetrics, a firm that measures resort activity, Tomcich said.

“It’s looking to be a very busy weekend but not entirely sold out,” he said. “Wanderlust is bringing a lot of business to Snowmass Village.”

United Airlines has added several inbound flights to the holiday-weekend lineup, Tomcich said.

Typically at this time of year, the commercial airline has nine flights a day from Denver and one each from Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles. On Saturday and Sunday, there will be 12 or 13 from Denver, plus two each from the other three markets, he said.

“They didn’t do this during the July Fourth weekend last year, certainly not at this level,” Tomcich said. “They are totally fine-tuning their capacity to match the demand.”

Tomcich said he believes the draw to Aspen this weekend represents a mix of in-town events and outdoor activities.

“Aspen has always been a very popular place for the Fourth of July; there’s so much to do here in the summertime,” he said. “Snowmass hasn’t necessarily seen those kind of occupancies. To see the huge increases in occupancy rates in Snowmass this year, over last year, that’s going to bring that many more people to the valley.”

For a schedule of events for Aspen’s “Old Fashioned July 4th Celebration,” as it is officially called, visit www.aspenchamber.org/calendar-of-events/annual-special-events/4th-of-july.

andre@aspentimes.com


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The Aspen Times Updated Jul 2, 2014 09:11PM Published Jul 5, 2014 08:22AM Copyright 2014 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.