Aspen, Snowmass make the lists, enjoy the buzz | AspenTimes.com

Aspen, Snowmass make the lists, enjoy the buzz

As the tourists keep lapping it up this week, the service industry and Aspen Skiing Co. have some lofty reputations to uphold.

The friendly press oozing from a number of publications and websites declaring both Aspen and Snowmass Village as home to some of the best skiing and lodging to be found in mountain towns can be a deciding factor for those booking vacations.

"It can impact the decisions of visitors," said Maureen Poschman, founder and president of Aspen-based public relations firm Promo Communications. "And it helps keep (the Aspen and Snowmass brands) front of mind."

Some publications' rankings carry more clout than others, Poschman said, pointing to Conde Nast and Travel and Leisure magazines, as well as SKI Magazine.

The four local resorts got a nice collective PR bump in October when SKI Magazine lumped them together as the West's top ski destination in 2019.

"The four mountains that make up Aspen-Snowmass are the gold standard for American skiing," SKI said. "Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass each have their own character, which is why most skiers visit a different mountain each day of their visit."

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Aspen-Snowmass didn't fare as well in the list of top North American resorts for 2019 compiled by Forbes and ZRankings.com, which placed it sixth overall. But two Aspen businesses also got plugs — The Gant ("comfortable old town, stress-free and private") and White House Tavern ("crush the chicken sandwich").

Other listings rank the ski resorts individually rather than together.

In its Reader's Choice Awards for best ski resorts, Conde Nast Traveler placed Aspen Highlands seventh, Aspen Mountain eighth, Buttermilk 14th and Snowmass 15th.

"Aspen-Snowmass' four mountains are each wildly unique, and Buttermilk might (be) the most playful," the magazine said.

If Snowmass felt slighted by Conde Nast, two of its lodges were soaking in the accolades.

The new Limelight Hotel at Base Village made "The Go List" for Outside Magazine's "Best Places to Sleep in the Mountains This Winter," which praised it for its "ski-in, ski-out lodging, a stellar European-style breakfast spread, live music and drink specials during apres, and a free ride to Aspen's three other mountains."

Another readers' survey, recently revealed by USA Today, lauded Viceroy Snowmass as the "Best Ski Hotel in 2018."

"The Viceroy Snowmass, situated near downtown Aspen in the heart of Snowmass Base Village, offers ski-in, ski-out luxury lodging with amenities like a heated pool, spa pools, three on-site restaurants, full-service spa, fitness center and free shared transportation to Aspen-Pitkin County Airport," USA Today said. "In-room offerings like pillow-top mattresses, gas fireplaces and soaking tubs set the scene for a perfect winter vacation."

Coming in at No. 4 was the historic Hotel Jerome, noted for its "ski boutique, concierge and valet, as well as an outdoor heated whirlpool for soothing tired muscles."

The June debut of W Aspen, the former Sky Hotel, got some love from a Forbes contributor who put it among his "most exciting hotels to open in 2019."

"The redeveloped property will feature some contemporary Colorado conceits, including an outdoor 'wet' deck with a pool, jacuzzi and fire pits plus a dance floor with views of Aspen Mountain," the article said. "There will also be an underground speakeasy, a restaurant called 39 Degrees 2, and a full-service ski shop on the premises. The hotel will have 88 guestrooms, including six suites and 11 fractional-ownership residences."

As vacationrenter.com noted, Aspen and Snowmass aren't just about zipping down the hills.

Aspen topped its list for "Best Ski Towns for Snow Bunnies (Non-Skiers and Non-Snowboarders)," which noted that Aspen's "off-the-slopes activities range from snowshoe tours and spa days to live music and great food. Aspen is home to more than 100 restaurants with an international reputation for excellence, including some surprisingly good seafood. Nervous about eating fish in a landlocked state? Their local airport flies in fresh seafood daily."

The Treehouse Kids' Adventure Center in Snowmass also got a shout-out for its "Colorado-themed play rooms and supervised activities," while the restaurant element 47 — located at The Little Nell — was a suggested dining spot.

rcarroll@aspentimes.com

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