Aspen Colorado – History, Lifestyle & Real Estate

Native American Ute Indians were the first known Aspen visitors. No permanent settlement, just summer hunting. The Spanish Conquistadors next arrived in the late 1500’s in search of gold treasures and a route to present-day California.

French trappers and traders followed in the early 1800’s.

Precious metals, gold and silver primarily, attracted miners in search of “riches” in the late 1800’s. During the peak of the mining madness, Aspen’s population swelled to 12,000 residents making it second in size only to Denver in the Colorado Territory.

The 10th Mountain Division was formed during World War II to train soldiers for mountainous war zones. Training centered in the Leadville area. After the war ended, many of these soldiers returned to the Rocky Mountains. A group of returning veterans together with local business people opened the Aspen Mountain ski area in 1947. It was a start, buy hardly the economic engine that the ski industry represents today.

Chicago businessman Walter Paepcke first visited Aspen in 1945. Inspired by Aspen’s natural beauty, in 1949 he organized a 200th anniversary celebration honoring German philosopher Goethe’s birthday attracting nationally known artists, intellects and musicians. The following year, Paepcke founded what would become the world-renown Aspen Institute.

Aspen grew sporadically until the ski industry took hold in the 1970’s. Since then, Aspen has gone “straight-up”. The Aspen area is home to four ski mountains — Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass Village. On average, these ski mountains receive 300-inches of snow each winter.

It is true that many of the world’s “rich and famous” frequent Aspen. The Pitkin County Airport, which services Aspen, is one of the busiest airports serving a community of 6,500 people in the world. World-class restaurants and boutiques line Aspen’s downtown central core.

Summer months bring the exciting festival season and outdoor activities of hiking, camping, biking, horseback riding and more. Daily temperatures range between 65 and 85-degrees.

Visit Aspen and see for yourself why the locals consider Aspen their private paradise.