I’m on the List
Ahhhhh. Aspen in the summertime. Search the world over and you would be hard pressed to find anywhere more breathtaking, more vibrant, more intellectually stimulating than this little town with big ideas.
“You come for the snow and stay because of the summer,” goes a favorite local saying. By June the snow-kissed slopes turn a verdant shade of alpine green, the crisp blue skies are interrupted by only the occasional fluffy white cloud and the town springs to life with a cultural scene unlike any other in the Rockies or anywhere, for that matter.
A tiny town with a cosmopolitan spirit, Aspen has been a hotbed of art, music and philanthropy for decades. It all started in the 1960s with Walter Paepcke who founded the Aspen Institute and Aspen Skiing Company in the 1950s, which transformed the area into an international resort for the world’s boldest of bold faced names.
Paepcke had a vision for the once crumbling mining town that he named “The Aspen Idea,” which was the concept of creating a place for the mind, body and spirit to thrive. And thrive it does with world-class cuisine, philanthropy, theater, music, art and everything in between.
Every day of the summer season, from Memorial Day weekend through the middle of September, is packed with more chic soirees, plein aire parties and see and be seen celebrations per square inch than anyplace west of The Hamptons.
And, while the Aspen Food & Wine Classic, ARTCrush, JAZZ Aspen, The Aspen Music Festival and Aspen Ideas are known as the must-attend events, summertime in Aspen is about so much more than just the tried and trues.
Sure, there are few things more fun than a packed wine tasting amidst the cool mountain breezes or the sea of festival goers jamming to Latin jazz and classic funk. But the real fun happens when the sun goes down. While the masses are enjoying the bling ring wine dinners and $1,000 ticket benefit galas, the locals know where the party really starts.
“The locals have the inside story,” says Jennifer Slaughter, owner of Different Indeed, an Aspen-based boutique marketing agency. “After a few years, a lot of these events get a little stale, so we just create our own fun.” The best part is that this kind of fun usually costs a lot less than the big stuff and sometimes requires nothing more than a really good pair of sunglasses to hide your puffy, weary eyes the next day.
So where does a girl find out about these secret soirees and insider access? We have the scoop from some of the town’s most “in the know” guys and gals.