by Peter J. Bates

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Snow Bliss at Snowmass & Aspen

It appears that Aspen and Snowmass ( are weathering the economic downturn fairly well. After ending last year about 7% down, the Aspen Ski Company reported it is 5.5% ahead of last year at the end of January with all indications that if March is a good month, they will have had a good season. While these statistics are encouraging, the economic downturn is certainly having an effect in Aspen. Some retailers and restaurants are going out of business, and there is vacant retail space in prime locations. Even, the best book shop in Aspen (at Little Nell), has disappeared after more than 20 years of providing a fine selection of books, DVD’s and newspapers.

Snowmass continues to develop although the much talked about Little Nell development is shuttered. The foundations have been laid but work has stopped while the developers try to renegotiate loans.

The good news for all Snowmass devotees is that the new Viceroy Hotel is open (, and it is a wonderful addition to the selection of accommodations in the area.

Bright and modern and affording fantastic views of the mountains, this new 173-room luxury resort has everything a skier could require – pleasant décor, a great spa, two superb restaurants, a wonderful après ski atmosphere and bar scene, an outdoor heated pool and Jacuzzis, and most importantly, ski-in/ski-out facilities and an excellent ski valet service. For a young hotel (having only opened in November 2009), the Viceroy possesses some of the best resort staff you could ever ask for. Providing guests with a high level of personalized, professional service is paramount, and this is reflected in the staff’s friendly, willing and resourceful attitude. They already operate like a well-oiled machine!

Developed by Related (, the apartments are not yet selling well and an aggressive marketing and pricing campaign is underway – although by no means is this obvious to hotel guests, which is a pleasure as compared to other condo developments around the county.

While during ski season this new resort will undoubtedly do well, it remains to be seen if it can capture a market during the spring and summer. Can the Snowmass community create sufficient activities to attract consumers when many visitors prefer to stay in Aspen where so much is offered year-round? For a marketer this is a great challenge and opportunity. With the Viceroy open and the Little Nell site bound to be developed over the next two to three years, does this generate enough reasons for consumers to select Snowmass over Aspen and pay the rates that these new resorts will need to survive? Only time will tell.

1 comment:

  1. Another one-of-a-kind at the new Snowmass base area will be a bronze statue of paralympic great Cara Dunne-Yates. Cara was totally blind at age 5. She was one of a handful of athletes ever, Olympic or Paralympic, to win medals in both a summer (cycling) and winter (skiing)Olympics. She is a Harvard grad, and was president of her 1992 class. Cara recieved her Law degree from UCLA. She participated in 3 Olympic games for the U.S.
    Dunne-Yates will be an tremendous inspiration and will be a role model for many generations to come. The bronze statue will be life size and include her guide dog Haley. Braille messages will be inconspicuously located on the statue along with 4 large plaques describing her journey. Cara died in 2004 at the age of 34. The statue will be located near the gondola and be erected this spring. For more info;