Aspen ranks first on magazine’s holiday list

Travel + Leisure, a New York-based travel magazine owned by Time Inc., recently rated Aspen as the No. 1 place in the United States for holiday cheer.

As part of its “America’s Favorite Places” survey, Travel + Leisure collected data from readers about hundreds of cities and towns across the country, scoring them on their “holiday cheer factor” and ranking them accordingly, the magazine said. The survey considered several categories, including hotels, restaurants, art galleries, holiday lights and retail shops.

“A combination of luxe living and quaint charm helped this Rocky Mountain town capture the spot as the merriest of them all,” Travel + Leisure said of Aspen. “Wandering along Cooper Avenue, you may chance upon cookie exchanges, public s’mores roasts or elf meet-and-greets.”

A brief magazine article accompanying the list focused attention on the “two most famous hotels in town,” the Hotel Jerome and The Little Nell. The two hotels “act as the nerve centers for holiday cheer,” the magazine said.

“The lobby of the Hotel Jerome regularly hosts carolers, while the (restaurants) Ajax Tavern and Element 47 at the Little Nell both serve fabulous holiday meals, with indulgences like venison loin with huckleberries, black truffles and chestnut-and-caramel profiteroles. The Little Nell also hosts the all-you-can-sip Bottomless Cristal New Year’s Eve Party.”

Aspen’s longtime competitor Vail was ranked second on the top-10 list of locations where holiday cheer abounds

“Ski season kicks into high gear during the holidays in this Colorado wonderland,” Travel + Leisure said of Vail. “December brings the festivities of Snowdaze — where the fresh powder is celebrated with live concerts every evening — and Holidaze, which includes the village’s tree lighting during the winter solstice and a New Year’s Eve torchlight parade down Golden Peak, followed by fireworks.”

The article on Vail complimented the town’s offerings of hot coffee (Yeti’s Grind and Loaded Joe’s) and equally warming cocktails.

“You might toast the New Year with a Rosemary Lemon Drop (rosemary-infused vodka with lemon juice and a sugar rim) at the icicle-decorated bar Frost, inside the recently renovated Sebastian Vail,” the magazine reported.

Rounding out the top 10 were Ogunquit, Maine; Nantucket, Massachusetts; Naples, Florida; Breckenridge; Lewisburg, West Virginia; Beaufort, North Carolina; Carmel-by-the-Sea, California; and Park City, Utah.

Aspen Animal Hospital has new ownership

Scott Dolginow has decided to step aside from his role as owner of Aspen Animal Hospital after 20 years in the role. The longtime local veterinarian will continue to practice at the hospital while also pursuing other career opportunities outside the valley, the hospital said in a statement.

Veterinarians Bisque Jackson and Anne Cooley have purchased the hospital, which is located in the Aspen Business Center. Jackson and Cooley promise a continuation of unparalleled veterinary care, the statement said.

“We have always been committed to caring for and treating every animal that comes through our doors,” Jackson said. “We will continue to do so.”

“Since I started here in 1988, there are some people I have been through two generations of pets with,” Dolginow said. “I’ll still be here for these cherished clients of mine.”

For more information, visit http://www.aspen or call 970-925-2611.

Aspen Solar owner attends industry gathering

The owner of Aspen Solar Inc., Mike Tierney, recently attended a gathering of the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials in Ontario, California.

Tierney provided assistance to the group’s Uniform Solar Energy and Hydronics Code Technical Committee, which met to discuss and finalize comments concerning development of the new 2015 Uniform Solar Energy and Hydronics Code.

This code is revised by experts in the industry every three years, the company said in a statement.

The association works with government and industry to implement comprehensive plumbing and mechanical systems around the world, according to the group. Aspen Solar, which is located in the Aspen Highlands area, handles design, installation and maintenance of active, passive and photovoltaic energy systems for heating, hot water, lighting and pumping water.

For more information, email Tierney at