St. Regis Aspen, Hyatt Aspen Grand Residences, The Little Nell (only 5-Diamond AAA 2010 hotel in Aspen), and Kimpton’s Sky Hotel are lined up in close proximity along the streets at the base of Aspen Mountain (Ajax) ski slopes. Step out the back door of The Little Nell and step right into the gondola center for a ride up the mountain.
The elevation change driving from Glenwood Springs (5,633 feet) to Aspen (8,000 feet) is a bit over 2,000 feet rise although most of the climb is subtle and occurs in the first few miles of the 40-mile trek from Interstate 70 along Highway 82. From Glenwood Springs the road changes speed limit every few miles to allow you to cruise anywhere from 35 to 65 along the highway. But hit some of the heavy traffic commuting in or out of Aspen and that upper speed limit will only be a wishful dream for clear roads. There really is not a lot of parking in the town and overnight parking between 3am and 7am is severely restricted. The Highway 82 roadside bus stops heading into Aspen from Glenwood Springs at 6:30am were crowded with workers heading up the valley.
Flying into Aspen deposits travelers just a couple of miles outside the city and saves a five-hour drive (in good conditions) from Denver.
Unfortunately Frontier and Delta both announced plans July 29 (Aspen Daily News) to eliminate their Aspen flight routes for winter 2011, reducing total seats into Aspen by 20% or 41,000 seats for this coming winter. Frontier is suspending service after September 30 as their parent company phases out its Q400 turboprop planes. Frontier operated about four flights daily for over two years. This past winter Frontier had about a 65% passenger load factor flying into Aspen. Delta operated Salt Lake City to Aspen service for the past four years. The service was underutilized and the elimination of service is a cost savings issue. Delta offered direct flights in winter from Atlanta since 2008 but will also cut that route. This leaves United Express as the only commercial service flying into Aspen.
St. Regis Aspen
Website: St. Regis Aspen
Aspen Hotel Pictorials:
Kimpton Sky Hotel