Small-Town Charm with Big Altitude


It’s about the altitude in the High Rocky city of Aspen, which at almost 8,000 feet above sea level, offers a bird’s eye view of the world. And it’s about the lifestyle. Building on a reputation for its world-class slopes and the best in Colorado luxury homes for sale, Aspen draws not only ski-lovers but also many for its leadership in environmental stewardship. Residents never take their breathtaking natural assets for granted.

Aspen was first developed around the 1880s as a silver mining camp. By the 1940s it became better known for white powder than silver, in large part to Chicago industrialist and philanthropist Walter Paepcke and his wife, Elizabeth. The two became Aspen’s cultural ambassadors, touting Aspen’s natural aesthetics as a place where the body, mind and soul could thrive. Minions joined them creating an Aspen renaissance. Today, this alpine village nestled at the head of Roaring Fork Valley and surrounded by the public lands of White River National Forest, is an eco-oasis.

It has, at once, both a small-town charm and an urban sophistication, among the reasons international second and third-home owners are drawn to one of the priciest real estate markets of luxury ranches, private estates, mansions, ski homes and condos in the country. That only a small percentage of land can be developed due to zoning laws and the physical constraints of the surrounding mountains keeps values strong.  Fine dining abounds, along with cultural amenities and institutions, arts, culinary and food festivals and exclusive shopping. 

Just a short distance from Aspen is equally enchanting Snowmass Village. Its real estate inventory includes townhomes, ranches, spectacular compounds and exclusive lots for custom residences. Snowmass offers superb skiing and, like Aspen, plenty of action year-round for seasonal homeowners including golfing, hiking, biking, fishing, as well as top-notch wining and dining. A former ranching region, Snowmass, at 25 square miles, is encircled by the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area. It’s not uncommon to witness migratory elk herd around Burnt Mountain or mountain lions meandering through the valley--perfect for those who like their nature wild.