Is Aspen a sexy locale? |

Is Aspen a sexy locale?

Andre Salvail
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado

ASPEN – We’re sexy, and we know it.

That’s because Orbitz, the Internet travel company, told us so. In an annual nationwide survey of 752 people in late January, respondents ranked Aspen No. 4 among the top seven sexiest cities in the United States.

Las Vegas, in the top spot, Miami and New York City ranked higher than Aspen. Rounding out the list were San Francisco, New Orleans and Los Angeles.

The respondents didn’t comment specifically on why they thought Aspen was a sexy locale, according to Allison+Partners, the San Francisco public relations firm Orbitz hired to release information about the survey. It appears that the survey results and accompanying news release were designed to stir interest in travel destinations for Valentine’s Day, which is Tuesday, and the Presidents Day period, which for some American workers will be a four-day weekend, Feb. 17 through 20.

“While nearly 40 percent of those surveyed plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day on the actual day this year, Orbitz data reveals that many are also taking advantage of the holiday weekend following. Fifty-six percent more hotel bookings are planned for President’s Day weekend (than last year),” the press release states.

Zemfira Alieva, owner of Lacy Stuff Lingerie on South Hunter Street, said she would describe Aspen as more romantic than sexy. Her 3-year-old store sells various types of lingerie, including nighties and panties, and novelty items, such as blindfolds and other types of fun accessories used for sex, “but nothing extreme,” she said.

“It’s hard for me to say because I live here, but I guess if you’re visiting it’s a bit more romantic than anywhere else you would go in the country,” Alieva said. “There’s atmosphere. It’s elegant.”

She pointed out that what’s sexy or romantic to some people might not be for others.

“You can go out and have a nice romantic dinner where everybody is nice to you,” Alieva said. “Aspen is a place that’s very relaxed and you can enjoy your feelings; it’s not a big city where you don’t think of traffic or other things you need to do.”

Of course, skiing, hiking and shopping, all of which are favorite Aspen pastimes, also could be considered romantic, she said.

“There’s a lot of jewelry stores – which I think is romantic,” Alieva said.

According to Orbitz, more than 80 percent of respondents have never received a trip for Valentine’s Day. For the second year in a row, “a bungalow on a remote beach” was the most preferred type of romantic vacation, getting the nod from 46 percent of those surveyed. A trip to a “ski chalet in the mountains” was the top choice of 9 percent.

“Nearly 60 percent of Americans want a trip to a romantic destination or dinner at a romantic restaurant more than anything else this Valentine’s Day,” the release says.

It’s evident that Aspen has a romantic side. Couples can take sleigh rides through the snow outside of town or horse-and-buggy rides through the downtown streets. They can hike to the top of area mountains and view a gorgeous sunset. Celebrities often come to Aspen during the holidays to shop, ski and be seen while clutching their significant other’s arm or hand, mere months before the big tabloid breakup.

There’s also the not-so-glamorous aspects of the city: youths in their late teens and early 20s vomiting in the pedestrian malls during New Year’s Eve and the ESPN Winter X Games; the smells in the downtown alleys after a busy night in the bars and restaurants; any City Council or Board of County Commissioners meeting that involves a discussion on land use.

David De Lalio, senior market manager for Orbitz, said Aspen is a sexy destination because of the people and the city’s genuine atmosphere.

“You’d be hard pressed to find a destination with more beautiful people, both on the slopes and off,” he said. “Because Aspen has always been a town first, and was not built as a resort, the atmosphere is relaxed but also upscale.”

Romance also can be found through Aspen’s world-class dining establishments, he said.

“Aspen has several nationally recognized chefs who create some of the finest food in the world,” he said. He mentioned Cache Cache, which he described as “an excellent spot for people watching and one of the best restaurants in town.

“Whether it’s a romantic getaway, or a singles night out, there’s a restaurant in Aspen that will please any palate,” De Lalio continued.

He spoke of hotspots such as 39 Degrees, the bar at the Sky Hotel, where a quiet drink can evolve into “a lively affair.” And he mentioned the Caribou Club, which offers private memberships and features “cozy couches and blankets for snuggling up to that special someone.”

Julia Theisen, vice president of sales and marketing for the Aspen Chamber Resort Association, said the organization doesn’t sell Aspen as a sexy getaway, but the city’s romantic qualities are obvious.

“I think Aspen could be considered a romantic city and we’re very popular as a wedding destination,” Theisen said. “We have breathtaking scenery and we offer so many unique experiences where couples can connect, whether it’s on the mountain skiing or at the restaurants that provide a lot of room for romance and celebration as well.”


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