‘Snow beach’ coming to Aspen Mountain | AspenTimes.com

‘Snow beach’ coming to Aspen Mountain

Skico will rent mountaintop lounge chairs and cabanas beginning Presidents’ Day weekend

A rendering of Gray Malin’s “snow beach,” which will open on the Sundeck over President’s Day weekend. (Courtesy Aspen Skiing Co.)

The Aspen Skiing Co. will rent private cabanas at a “snow beach” on top of Aspen Mountain beginning over President’s Day weekend, in an experience launched by its luxury brand ASPENX and designed by photographer Gray Malin.

The “beach” will be open for six weekends, popping up on a stretch of snow adjacent to the Sundeck, not previously used for winter events, with beach-themed décor and service by the Little Nell with amenities like food and bottle service.

Malin, the Los Angeles-based fine art photographer whose “Gray Malin in Aspen” photo series from 2019 staged a vintage fantasy version of local ski culture in 29 locally shot and meticulously staged images, described it as an “experiential wonderland.” Before the Aspen photo series, he was best known for aerial photographs of beach scenes. This project combines his ski and beach-related work.

Malin said he pitched the “snow beach” project to the ASPENX team and its founder Paula Crown, the artist and member of the family that owns the Skico, and they committed to bring it to life.

“My goal was to create an immersive experience inspired by my work and pay homage to the chic après-ski culture that Aspen has perfected,” Malin said this week via e-mail, repeating what he said in the Skico’s “snow beach” announcement. “I want guests of Snow Beach to step into a whimsical Gray Malin photograph where they can take their own pictures and create their own unique memories of Aspen.”

The “snow beach” offers experiences ranging from $300 to $4,800. The entry level includes an uncovered outdoor lounge chair and menus of paired food courses with champagne, wine, caviar, charcuterie, individual black truffle pizzas and kettle corn. Two-person cabanas run $600-$1,600. A six-person cabana ranges from $1,800-$4,800 and includes a DJ and bottle service. Sessions begin at 1 p.m.

The “snow beach” experience is among a spate of recent announcements and product launches from ASPENX, the new luxury brand operated by the Aspen Skiing Co.

Still in its early days, the brand is aggressively catering to the highest-spending of Aspen guests. Along with the “snow beach” experience, which is offering an exclusivity that is yet more private than the Skico’s mountaintop members-only Aspen Mountain Club, AspenX has collaborated with Prada on a limited-edition clothing line selling a $5,100 ski jacket and $1,970 sweatshirt (the first ASPENX retail space recently opened at gondola plaza). Among the first branded ASPENX events is a wine dinner with Napa’s Harlan Estate at the Aspen Mountain Club that costs more than $3,300 per plate.

Malin designed the cabanas, beach chairs and lifeguard stands that will comprise Aspen Mountain’s “beach.” Last fall, on a visit to Miami, Malin walked the entire stretch of South Beach, he said, studying the clubs there in order to sketch and conceptualize what his dream snow beach might look like.

“Referencing my own aerial photography archive, I was inspired to incorporate a vintage aesthetic into playful details such as the striped design of the ‘beach’ cabanas and the lifeguard stands,” he said. “Snow Beach is truly an artistic vision, one that I hope will inspire any and all who see it.”

In advance of launching the “snow beach” experience, Malin this month released his new “Dogs of Aspen” photo series, featuring dogs posed in winter scenes on Aspen Mountain and at the Little Nell.