Paul E. Anna: High Points
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
The line used to be “only in Aspen.” But thanks to the Viceroy Snowmass, it may have to be amended to “only in Aspen and Snowmass.”
Since it opened in November, the stylish and, dare I use the word, trendy, Viceroy has begun to reshape the image of what it means to be in Snowmass.
Fine dining? Sure Aspen’s got it. But the 8K restaurant has been turning heads and convincing people that a drive up Oak Creek Road can be a fine idea for fine cuisine. Apres-skiing? There may be no better pool to lounge about in the sunshine and sip a white wine spritzer, a glass of champagne or a cold beer than the one off the Assay Hill lift behind the Viceroy. Culture? I came off the hill the other day, walked into the bar and there was Bobby Kennedy Jr. addressing an intimate group on the need, no the requirement, for this country to come to grips with its energy addiction.
Yes, the Viceroy is feeling very Aspen while still maintaining the peace and quiet, and the family feel that has come to symbolize Snowmass over the years. And that, methinks, is a very good thing indeed.
For years Snowmass has been saddled with the image of a second-rate Aspen. Let’s face it, nobody brags that they are going to Snowmass on the airplane in. They all say they are going to Aspen.
Don’t get me wrong. I love Snowmass, especially the mountain. But we all agreed before the GEC, that’s the Global Economic Crises, that it was time to update the resort. Delays, mismanagement and a foreseeable but unexpected funding catastrophe stopped what may have been an overly ambitious construction project in its tracks. Other than the Treehouse Ski School Building and the Snowmass Town Hall (or whatever they call that ski lodge where the mayor and town council meet), the only thing we have to show off is the Viceroy.
And it is a miracle that they were able to open it given the economic climate in November. But thanks to some very determined people, led by the Viceroy’s General Manager Jeff David and a construction team that worked around the clock, the building not only was completed, but it opened three weeks ahead of schedule.
Each month it has taken new steps to become a part of the community. A sold out Oscar party, a fundraiser for Rooms to Read, the Kennedy presentation, the Saturday afternoon apres parties. The Viceroy is feeling like it belongs.
One day it may be even more Aspen than Aspen.
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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused untold amounts of suffering and disruption, and we’ll probably tell those stories for the rest of our lives.