The Rocky Mountains hold hundreds of hiking trails, slopes to ski, beautiful scenes, and pockets of character known as mountain towns, and recently, I decided to take a short getaway to scenic Aspen.
Aspen, CO is one of the most popular mountain destinations along the Western slope. Tucked away a few hours outside of Denver, this small, cozy mountain town becomes a home away from home for any number of travelers. From tourists and skiers, to young professionals and celebrities, Aspen has attracted people from all walks of life to live, work and play throughout the year.
“Aspen is very international, people come from all over to be here; it’s very unique,” said the Director of Marketing for the Hotel Jerome, Andrea Heffner.
On the drive into town, Aspen trees line the road, infiltrating the community. Throughout the seasons, the town is freckled with vibrant
colors; from luscious greens in the spring to the golden yellow, pumpkin orange and deep red shades of fall, Aspen’s scenery can be said to rival that of Ouray or Vail.
Walking along the blocks of Main Street, colorful houses housed different businesses and retailers, and near the middle of town, on the corner of Main Street and Mill Street, sits the oldest hotel in Aspen, the Hotel Jerome.
Built in 1889, the Hotel Jerome has become an innovative staple and one of the hottest spots throughout the mountains and Aspen — and it remains so today.
“This is a one of a kind building,” said the General Manager of the Hotel Jerome, Tony DiLucia , “There’s only one Hotel Jerome.”
In 2012, the hotel was redesigned by Todd-Avery Lenahan to provide a more modern, but historic look. Lenahan placed vintage photos, silver mining artifacts, and antiques original to the Jerome together with contemporary but era-reminiscent pieces creating a vibrant feel while staying true to the Jerome’s historic nature.
“They spared no expense” said Heffner, “everywhere you look there are nice touches; every piece of furniture, every piece of architecture has a meaning.”
The Hotel Jerome has a casual elegance environment with high-class amenities, such as the Auberge Spa, the Prospect fine-dining restaurant, and spacious guest rooms and suites, but still maintains a welcoming, down-to-earth environment that embodies the characteristics of Aspen.
“Here, the hotel has it’s own local identity,” said Director of Rooms for the Jerome, Barbara Piper. “All three things come together in Aspen: the Ute history, the mining years, and outdoor adventure.”
Amongst it’s amenities, the Hotel Jerome also stands out as a popular hangout for locals, who frequent the Jay Bar or the Living Room, to watch a football game, imbibe in a drink or two, or enjoy live entertainment.
While there, it was evident the Hotel Jerome is more than just a meeting spot or a place to stay the night, it’s a sports bar, an American restaurant, a museum. a relaxing hangout; it’s whatever you want it to be.
“We’re right in town; you can walk across the street and have everything from shops to restaurants, it’s right outside the door,” said Heffner.
And she’s right. After visiting the Hotel Jerome, I decided to walk across the street and experience more of this picturesque mountain town. Within a few small blocks, I passed by numerous restaurants such as The White House, the Creperie Du Village and Aspen Brewery and found my way through several retail shops and galleries along Aspen’s pedestrian mall.
By the end of my visit, I found myself wanting to linger, for this happenin’ hood is a town full of character, history and outdoor adventures waiting to be explored.
All photographs by Crystal Anderson
Crystal Anderson is an adventure-seeking journalist, who loves geeking out to Lord of the Rings, meeting new people and traveling. She’s interested in exploring all of Denver’s hidden wonders and hotspots. Have a favorite hidden haunt you want covered? Divulge your secrets to [email protected]