Platts: Why offseason is a time to celebrate |

Platts: Why offseason is a time to celebrate

by Barbara Platts

In a town that is always on during the season, some time off is necessary for a full recovery. It’s here to remind us that there’s more to life than schmoozing, partying and working (not much more, but certainly a couple of things).

For Aspenites, our time off is known as offseason, and it always arrives at the absolute necessary time. When you’re tired of taking the extra couple laps around the block in search of a parking spot. When you’re fed up with having to line up as far back as the fire station if you want something to eat or drink at Peach’s Cafe. It arrives when you’re fairly certain you cannot possibly deal with one more tourist snapping a photo in the middle of the street.

This time of year, when town empties and many of us are still here working, I like to write a column that highlights some of the wonderful things about offseason. Perhaps this is mostly to help me, and that you, as the readers, just find it repetitive and annoying. If that’s the case, then try not to worry. This column only happens twice a year, and I will be on to another fancy by next week.

But, in the mean time, here are the top four must dos this offseason, at least this time around (written in no particular order).

Go past the roundabout

I’ve written it before, and I’ll write it again — offseason is a great time to check out all that the downvalley towns have to offer. Several of the farmer’s markets are open until the end of September to early October. Plus, most restaurants and businesses remain open during the quiet months. Check out what’s on tap at the Roaring Fork Brewery in Carbondale. Do some antiquing in stores in Glenwood Springs. Hell, even spend some time at Target or Wal-Mart. After a nonstop summer in Aspen, that’s sure to give you some culture shock.

Take up a new or neglected sport

The temperatures are still tolerable, and the ground is not yet iced. Try to spend some time in the next couple of months picking up a new form of exercise or revisiting an old one. For me, I spent most of the summer running and hiking; paying little attention to my beautiful mountain bike I invested in a couple of years ago. This offseason, I plan to shift gears and take to the wheels. Not only is it a fun time, it’s a great way to get in skiing condition.

Become a regular at a new bar

It may sound silly to some, but sometimes it’s nice to go to place where everybody knows your name. And (you guessed it) they’re always glad you came. My first offseason here, back in 2012, I was really able to solidify a friend group and get to know Aspen in a more intimate way, and that was through socializing at restaurants and bars when there was no one else around except locals. Sure, many of the restaurants are closed during the offseason, but your staples tend to remain open for a majority of the quiet weeks.

Read a book, or five

The concept may seem daunting to some, but there are plenty of benefits to reap. For me, during the season, I barely have time to read even what I need to for work. But in offseason, when we have a chance to breath, I can finally make a dent in that stack of books next to my bed that I’ve been wanting to open for months. Without fail, I will mosey on over to Explore Booksellers (which is open all offseason) and buy three to eight books to add to my bedside pile. It’s a never-ending cycle, but it’s one I enjoy immensely.

From now until Thanksgiving, we get a breather from the busy crowds, outlandish tourists and a hectic schedule of events. Take advantage of the break and embrace this fall offseason with open arms.


Barbara Platts is ready for offseason deals, endless parking choices and doing a whole lot of nothing. Reach her at

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