Beathard: Snowmass gets chance to shine |

Beathard: Snowmass gets chance to shine

Jill Beathard

I’ve never heard so many overwhelmingly positive comments about spending an evening in Snowmass as I did this weekend.

As though a packed house on Saturday night of Food & Wine, like the one Grand Cochon had at the Viceroy Snowmass, wasn’t enough, the village also hosted what seemed to me the most talked about party of the week: Heritage Fire.

And for good reason: With 3,000 pounds of meat ranging from beef and lamb to sturgeon and octopus, it was the most food I’d ever seen at a Food & Wine party, or probably any party for that matter. Talk about great value.

But more importantly, looking around the crowd Friday night, everyone was having a great time. There was no shortage of new dishes to try, every type of beverage you could possibly desire — free Don Julio?! — and perfect, perfect weather. For once, no one was rushing off to get back to Aspen.

That being said, some thoughts for next year:

Mother Nature cooperated beautifully this year, and that was part of the fun of this event. Most of us are used to some unpredictability with our Colorado weather, but cooking over fire pits seems a pretty weather-dependent endeavor, and the party would have needed a footwear warning.

More napkins. Sorry, we want to be environmentally friendly, but when you’re walking around eating with your hands, they’re just necessary.

A better segue into the after-party: Some fellow Aspen Times staffers and I stuck around for an after-party at Base Camp, but we got kicked off the event lawn before that started, and that transition time was a little awkward. I get that we want guests to buy drinks from our establishments and not just imbibe for free all night, but some music or drink specials or something to keep the energy going seems warranted.

All in all, though, everyone from the Snowmass Tourism employees to the Base Village merchants to the lodges and restaurants that stepped up this week deserve a pat on the back, and a toast.


Jill Beathard is hibernating after Food & Wine, but you can still reach her at