Its Moab again, the winner in this category for as long as anybody can remember. The red-rock playground in southeastern Utah is almost everyones retreat for biking, climbing, hiking or just drinking beer beneath the stars. It received 21 votes.Crested Butte was the closest runner-up with 14 votes, and from there it spread out to some 28 other places from the Sky Hotel, right here in town, to Denver, Telluride, Lake Powell, Las Vegas, Santa Fe, Durango, Leadville, Salida and others. There were numerous outdoor spots as well, from Independence Pass to the Maroon Bells to the San Juan mountains.One alcoholic voted for Glenwood detox.
Virtually every local gathering place got a vote in this race, but the clear winner with 21 votes was Paradise Bakery, which in this case means both the business itself and the corner patio in front, where locals and tourists hang out, drink coffee, gobble pastries and ice cream and scope each other out.Local bars racked up a number of votes in this race Erics, Jimmys, Caribou Club, 39 Degrees, J-Bar as did all the coffee shops. The pedestrian malls are popular, especially the fountain.Its also clear that special events, from Food & Wine to the concerts at Fanny Hill and the Benedict Music Tent, attract lots of gawkers.
Rio Grande Trail wins again, with Smuggler Mountain following closely behind.Nearly every in-town trail and public park got a mention here, with Hunter Creek and Wagner Park getting the most votes.Siberia and not here apparently came from the anti-dog lobby, while members of the pro-dog faction made some statements of their own, such as anywhere and up a mountain off leash.Aspenites will debate anything.
Heres a sign of the times. The winner in this category, which has varied over the years from church to chairlift to other quiet sanctuaries, switched this year to the Internet.Thirty-three other spots garnered votes as well, most of them from one to three apiece. There were bars, bookstores, restaurants, concerts, yoga classes, public schools, workplaces and other unlikely choices like Aspen Valley Hospital cafeteria and RFTA bus stop 2:15 a.m.Philosophical types offered answers like in your heart and everywhere you dont look.
Club Chelsea won this one, although Erics a winner in past years was a close runner-up.Most of the bars in town got at least a few votes, including Jimmys, Bar Aspen, 39 Degrees and Bentleys.Other apparently hot spots included Fire pit, presumably the hearth on the Cooper Avenue mall, the gym and any liquor store.One reader said simply Aspen, which we take to mean that the whole town is a meat market, and another said Vail, just to even the mountain-town score.
Again, a few hapless respondents didnt know the meaning of shag, so here are a few synonyms: Make love, have sex, get down, bump uglies.The gondola won the blue ribbon again this year, and were guessing the new seating configuration tilted the scales even further.Of course, the runners-up in this category are often the most interesting. If some of these responses are to be believed, then this town is a full-on den of sin: Anywhere, RFTA bus, Glory Hole Park, Regis hot tub, Erics, Hunter Creek pool, Northwoods Bowl, Smuggler, golf course, Conundrum, and the list goes on and on.Of course, home was a popular response as well.
This year we had a tie in this category between the Grottos and Conundrum Hot Springs with 16 votes each.Other popular spots include Sky Hotel, Molly Gibson Lodge, Hunter Creek pool and Penny Hot Springs.Of course, there were a number of votes for anywhere, my place and my shower.American Lake got one vote, and one reader said flatly too cold!
Fourteen local haunts received votes in this category, including several spots in Snowmass Village, but the hands-down winner was 39 Degrees at the Sky Hotel.Other conveniently located spots drew a lot of votes, such as the Tavern at the Little Nell, ZG Grill at Highlands and, out in Snowmass, the Mountain Dragon and Cirque Cafe.A few lucky slopeside dwellers said home and walking distance to your door.
Explore Booksellers drew the most votes on this one; we just hope, for the bookstores sake, that people are buying books as well as reading them.Anyway, local parks like Wagner, Paepcke and Glory Hole got a lot of votes. Plenty of folks went for the old standbys like bed and home. Two commuters said bus, and others opted for airport, under a tree and outside.