Big Labor Day weekend in store for Aspen, Snowmass |

Big Labor Day weekend in store for Aspen, Snowmass

Andre SalvailThe Aspen TimesAspen CO Colorado

ASPEN – As usual, Labor Day weekend is shaping up to be a busy time in Aspen and Snowmass Village.Good luck finding a hotel room if you need one. Bill Tomcich, president of reservations firm Stay Aspen/Snowmass, said hotels and lodges will be full, especially Saturday night. It doesn’t help that three hotel properties representing 420 rooms – the Hotel Jerome in Aspen and the recently renamed Westin Snowmass Resort and Wildwood Snowmass – are closed for extensive renovations.”Both Aspen and Snowmass are going to be packed this weekend,” Tomcich said. “We are just about sold out of every hotel room in both Aspen and Snowmass, which happens periodically in Aspen, but very rarely does it happen in both communities simultaneously.”Labor Day weekend is the biggest weekend of the summer, he said, in terms of lumping both Aspen and Snowmass Village together. Historically, the weekend is one of the top seven of the year for hotel bookings and out-of-town visitors, rating among New Year’s Eve, the Winter X Games, Mardi Gras, Presidents Day, the Food & Wine Classic and the Fourth of July.There could be as many as 10,000 out-of-towners, perhaps more, staying in Aspen and Snowmass Village on Saturday night.Anchoring the weekend is the annual Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Festival, a three-day musical extravaganza in Snowmass Town Park that begins Friday. The event is in its 22nd year.Artists on tap Friday include the Steve Miller Band at 6 p.m. and Sugarland at 8:30 p.m. Saturday’s lineup features Saints of Valory at 3 p.m., Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue at 5 p.m. and Mumford & Sons at 7:15 p.m. On Sunday, the event will include Vintage Trouble at 3 p.m., Michael Franti and Spearhead at 5 p.m. and Kid Rock at 7:15 p.m. Other artists and bands are scheduled to play in the Outside Music Lounge, also on the festival grounds. In addition, an After-Show DJ Dance Party is planned for Saturday from 9 p.m. to midnight. Visit for a full schedule, ticket information and transportation suggestions.The weekend’s action doesn’t just take place in Snowmass Village. Here’s a list of other events planned for the Aspen area over the next few days:• Motherlode Volleyball Classic: The 40th annual event began Thursday and ends Monday. Hundreds of men’s and women’s teams from around the United States and Canada will square off at seven sites in Aspen, including Koch Lumber, Wagner, Willoughby, Rio Grande and Rotary parks as well as the Moore Athletic Fields near Aspen High School. Admission is free, and food and beverage concessions will be located at the different sites. Tournament finals are scheduled Monday. For more information, visit• Aspen Mountain: Take the Silver Queen Gondola (in Aspen’s Gondola Plaza) to The Sundeck restaurant (at the top of Aspen Mountain) for the last Bluegrass Sunday event of the summer from noon to 3 p.m. Scheduled to perform are the Smuggler Mountain Boys, a traditional band from the Roaring Fork Valley that features Ross Kribbs on fiddle, Mike Leavy on bass, Dave Notor on mandolin, dobro and vocals, Brennan Buckley on banjo and vocals and Craig Snow on guitar and vocals. While the Bluegrass Sunday series is coming to a close, the gondola service itself will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Monday and will continue to run on weekends in September and the first weekend of October. Call 970-923-1227 for more information.• Rocky Mountain Oyster Festival and BBQ: The first-ever Labor Day event at Ajax Tavern in downtown Aspen (next to The Little Nell hotel) is set for Monday from 4 to 9 p.m. The all-you-can-eat-and-drink affair (for a single price) will feature oyster hors d’oeuvres (both saltwater and the Rocky Mountain variety), whole-roasted lamb and pork, and more. Libations will include specialty cocktails from Peach Street Distillers, beers from New Belgium Brewing and various wines. Live music will be provided by the Damien Smith Trio. For more information, visit

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