Aspen has a little something for everyone tonight

Karl Herchenroeder
The Aspen Times

New Year’s Eve events are running the gamut this year in downtown Aspen, with prices for parties ranging from $10 to nearly $1,000.

“Access to excess” is how The Little Nell’s wine director Carlton McCoy described the lodge’s $395-per-person bottomless Cristal party. The event will feature two stages, with a DJ and jazz musicians.

“It’s about taking a luxury, whether it be an ingredient or wine, and having more than you’d ever need to consume,” McCoy said. “That’s what New Year’s Eve is about at the Nell.”

On the other end of the spectrum is a double DJ set at the Aspen Brewing Co. that commands a $10 cover charge. Owner Duncan Clauss said that because there are no reservations for the annual event, the bar typically reverts to a one-in-one-out basis with a capacity of 65 people. Clauss said the price point is aimed at inclusivity.

“That’s what we’re going for — to be a very accessible party,” Clauss said.

Other offerings include an $870 ($350 for general admission) show at Belly Up featuring Huey Lewis and the News, a $250 courtyard event at the St. Regis Aspen Resort, a $200 open bar at Escobar Aspen, a $100 event at Hops Culture, an $89 show featuring the Dirty Dozen Brass Band at the Wheeler Opera House and a $75 event at Ryno’s Pints & Pies.

Casandra Foister, director of sales and marketing at the Sky Hotel, said her lodge is going all out for its $300 to $600 vintage-Hollywood soiree.

“This is the biggest (event of the year),” Foister said. “We obviously do some big Food & Wine (Classic) parties. We do a couple other really big ones, but this by far is the biggest on the all-out side.”

For New Year’s Eve, Aspen Police Department will increase its patrol from three officers on a typical Wednesday to eight officers. There also will be a detox center staffed at the Rio Grande building beginning at 8 p.m., as well as the increased presence of the Aspen Fire Marshal to ensure downtown venues are not exceeding capacity.

Aspen Police Department spokeswoman Blair Weyer said handling illegal marijuana consumption will be at the discretion of officers. It is common practice for police to try to educate first, she said, but if compliance is not met, an officer may take additional action.

“As you know, New Year’s Eve in Aspen attracts all types, from families with small children to school-aged children and adults out for a good time,” Weyer said. “We want everyone in Aspen to be able to enjoy the celebration, which is why we ask that out of courtesy for families, business owners and those who choose not to consume marijuana, individuals partake in the privacy of their residence.”

Melissa Wisenbaker, of Promo Communications, which handles public relations for the Aspen Chamber Resort Association, said those looking for a family-friendly event might consider the $65 to $90 ($35 for children) dinner at Mezzaluna, featuring a three-course prix fixe meal.

Other dinner offering include a $45 to $105 meal at the St. Regis, a $175 meal at the Hotel Jerome, a $75 meal at Rustique, a $95 meal at Acquolina, a $95 meal at Creperie du Village, a $180 meal at L’Hostaria Ristorante, a $195 five-course meal at bb’s Kitchen, a $195 to $250 dinner at Ajax Tavern, a $250 meal at Campo de Fiori and a $400 to $600 meal at Casa Tua.

Fireworks will take place on Aspen Mountain at 8 and 11:59 tonight.