Summer in Snowmass shapes up as tourism group unveils 2019 events |

Summer in Snowmass shapes up as tourism group unveils 2019 events

Erica Robbie
Snowmass Sun

As the weather starts to warm up and winter turns to spring, Snowmass Tourism is officially looking toward summer, releasing its 2019 event lineup this week.

The season will include the treasured weekly staples that people associate with summer in Snowmass Village — including the 46th annual rodeo and the free Thursday night concerts on Fanny Hill — as well as four new events spanning mid June to late September.

“We try to provide a balance of events that are both bringing guests into the community, as well as events that are adding vitality and allow something for people who are already in Snowmass, locals, to do,” Snowmass Tourism groups and events manager Kiesha Techau said. “I think it’s always a balance trying to get that mix correct.”

Three events not returning to Snowmass this summer are the vintage car race, Tough Mudder and the Zoppe Italian Family Circus.

Asked about the vintage car race, Snowmass Tourism Director Rose Abello wrote via email: “Most love this event, but our lodging partners provided us some feedback: Overall, our occupancy is just too high that time of year to disrupt traffic the way the car race does. We are hoping to get them back in the future for a mid-week race or a different time period in the summer.”

As for the circus, Abello said: “Feedback and ticket sales suggested that we take some time off of having the same circus here. We may try to still add another similar event to the calendar.”

Snowmass Tourism special events manager Julie Hardman offered: “We’re leaning towards, as just a change to our area, bringing a circus that’s more of a Cirque du Soleil feel.”

Replacing Tough Mudder, which Abello said would relocate “closer to a metro area,” is a new obstacle course race called Spartan Snowmass. A Tough Mudder official could not be reached by the Snowmass Sun’s press time.

Spartan Snowmass is one of three new events in Snowmass this summer themed around athletics or biking.

Spartan is an international endurance and lifestyle brand that hosts races across 35 total countries, and 70 in the U.S. alone, Spartan spokeswoman Shannon Flynn said. On average, Spartan races will see between 8,000 and 15,000 participants, she said.

Flynn estimated that the Snowmass Spartan — a mix of races and obstacles for varied ages and abilities — in August would attract about 12,000 participants.

All told, about 1 million people participate in Spartan races annually, according to Flynn.

Ride the Rockies, The Denver Post’s annual cycling tour, also will make a stop in Snowmass Village in June for the first time in its 34-year history.

With about 2,000 riders and a few-hundred-person crew of support staff and family, tour director Deirdre Moynihan estimates the race will draw about 2,500 people to Snowmass.

“Without the elephant, it feels like a traveling circus,” Moynihan said of the tour, which this summer will total 445 miles and an elevation gain of more than 28,000 feet. A majority of the funds raised benefit The Denver Post Community Foundation.

Another cycling cause is the Colorado High School Cycling League, which will debut a race in Snowmass Village in late September.

The league will host cross-country mountain bike races in Snowmass for about 600 student athletes from Colorado and New Mexico, Colorado High School Cycling League executive director Kate Rau said.

Rau said local high school cycling teams, including in Aspen, Basalt and Glenwood Springs, are slated to participate.

“We have a lot of athletic, enduro events because we have such a perfect playground for it,” Hardman said.

Also new to the calendar this summer is “Rock for a Reason,” a Saturday concert July 13, with proceeds benefitting area nonprofits.

Snowmass Tourism is still working on details for this event, Hardman and Techau said.

“We are constantly looking to enhance our summer experience,” Abello said, noting there is something for families to do in Snowmass most nights of the week.

More recently, Snowmass’ marketing gurus added the farm-to-table dinners at Elk Camp Restaurant on Tuesdays as well as the “Fridays on the Mall” series.

Other returning favorites this summer include the Snowmass Craft Beer Rendezvous, Heritage Fire, Yoga on the Mountain, the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Experience and the Snowmass Balloon Festival.

To view Snowmass’ summer calendar in full, visit


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