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Aspen in April?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Aspen April 7-15, 2012?


The wife's mom wants to give us her Starwood points which will let us get a condo in ski country for a week. As you can imagine I have no problem with this! In looking at all the options, it looks like Aspen is the clear winner. Because lifties are so expensive during the regular season, flights into Aspen are not too expensive from BHM at that time, and I'm still recovering from ACL reconstruction surgery back on June 24th, we are looking at staying slope side in a condo in Aspen April 7-15th. The weekend of the 15th is their regularly scheduled closing weekend (Buttermilk will be closing the 8th). 


I personally have never had any issue with late season skiing and thoroughly enjoy it. I have never been to Aspen and was wondering:


How feasible is getting around town without a car for a week? 


Where can I buy groceries in town that are not SUPER expensive? Is there a Safeway or anything like that in town?  


I know there are TONS of variables here but 'typically' how is the skiing at the Aspen mountains in April? 

  • Is the terrain typically only 30% open when they could easily be 100% open, but are not because of cost saving measures? 
  • Or is it lack of snow that makes terrain close, especially on the lower mtns.   


Are the mountains an empty ghost town this time of year like at most other resorts? 



post #2 of 14

I'm not aware of any condos in Aspen participating in the SPG program.  However, I've stayed at the St. Regis every winter for the past 7 or 8 for free.  It's a great hotel, although they do ding you $20/day for parking.  Your spa bill will be higher.


If you can make it CO before mid-November, you can buy a Aspen Classic Pass which is considerably cheaper than the walk-up rate.  See info here:




That'd let you come earlier in the season.  You don't need a car.  Even though I drive to Aspen (I live in CO, after all), my car is parked pretty much from the time I arrive until I leave.  The spouse, a non-skier, does drive to some snowshoeing spots, although she often goes with the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) in which case they pick her up.  The bus is more convenient that attempting to find parking in Aspen or Snowmass, and avoids having to pay for parking at Highlands or Buttermilk.


The restaurants in Aspen are very good, although expensive.  Given that you are getting a free room, mightn't you splurge and eat out?  Unless you know something that I don't, none of the rooms at the St. Regis include cooking facilities.  And I'm pretty sure you can't use Starwood points to get one of the residences.  So, I think you will be pretty much committed to stimulating the Aspen economy.



post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks Habacomike.


Unfortunately we won't be able to make to to CO to take advantage of the classic pass. Don't quote me on the Starwood thing but the free condo has something to do with the wife's parents timeshare. Whatever organization it is through (might not be starwood) does have condos with kitchens in Aspen. We will mainly just cook our own food in the condo and hit the slopes.  

post #4 of 14
Oki doke. There is a grocery store in town that you can use. The prices shouldn't be too bad. And if you have to come in April, you'll get to experience spring skiing. That can be good or bad. It's good if it's warm and we still have snow and corn or powder (April is often one of our biggest snow months), and bad if it's cold frozen coral reef or no snow. I've had great skiing in Aspen in April. Just go with the flow.

Aspen is rarely crowded, so no problems there.

post #5 of 14

If you are staying close to the godola you will not need a car to get around town. The "City Market" is only a couple short blocks from the gondola and they will have everything that you need at reasonable prices. There will be no crowds in April and was long as there is decent snow coverage the whole mountain should be open.

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys, that pretty much answers my questions! 


  • We won't really need a car.
  • There is a grocery store with reasonable prices in town. 
  • The mtns should not be packed this time of year.
  • If they have snow/adequate coverage the mtns won't be in partial operations.
  • April skiing in Aspen can be great or not so great. (Like most places that time of year)  
post #7 of 14

Can I hijack here to ask if there're ski storage facilities at the base of Ajax? Not important, really, but just wondering.

post #8 of 14
Originally Posted by jimintokyo View Post

Can I hijack here to ask if there're ski storage facilities at the base of Ajax? Not important, really, but just wondering.

Yes, but I don't know the details...some may be restricted to the public, but I would guess at least one of the shops there would let you.


For a reasonably priced meal in Aspen, many of the restaurants have bar or happy hour menus.

post #9 of 14

Lot's of good information above.  The Classic Pass is a great deal,  everyone in Denver should get one!


 Hyatt Grand Aspen condos are timeshare, nice and a very good location.  Aspen is really good in April.  I've never seen the ASC close anything late season to save money.  Sometimes in really warm spells, patrol will close the dumps or under 1a because of wet slides. 


City Market and Clark's Market offer very high end fare, at reasonable prices.   The fresh fish from City Market is far superior  to anything I can get in a supermarket in Chicago.


Lot's of restaurants will start to have Prix Fixe meals in April and the bar menu's are always a great deal.

I cook at home at Christmas, I go out the rest of the year!


ASC has a kiosk at the base of each hill,  that will store or transport your skis to the different hills for a couple of bucks.

post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks SHREDHEAD! Lots of great information being offered here by everybody. I lurk on here a lot more than I post, but I always get great information. I'm glad to hear they don't close parts of the mountain to save money. Closing things because of wet slide risk is perfectly reasonable to me. 

post #11 of 14

While the ski patrol generally doesn't close areas, the freeze/thaw cycle can be pretty brutal that time of year. Until the sun softens the snow, you should expect to stay on groomed runs in the Aspen-Snowmass area. Aspen Highlands will be your best bet for later season skiing. Buttermilk will be closed.


If anyone is looking for an affordable place to stay in Snowmass, I rent rooms in very nice view house for $88/night. Checkout airbnb.com


If Aspen is a place where you think you'll return year after year, flying into Denver to pick up a classic pass on a weekend morning and then heading home in the afternoon is quite doable. The next year you can just renew the pass online/phone.

post #12 of 14

We are going the week before you to hit the last week of Buttermilk.  The kids really like the parks there.  We were there last year a few weeks earlier and had every condition imaginable (Coral reef in the morning, soft in the afternoon, woke up to 13" of fresh another morning).  Like they say, just roll with it.  We stay at the base of Ajax and never needed our car for in town stuff.  Ate out at Annies one night, hit the Truffle fries at Ajax Tavern another, and grilled out others.  City Market was under construction when we were there last but still was quite handy.  We drove to Aspen so we did the initial grocery shop in Glenwood Springs.  We did our tickets about a week in advance.  Not much for tickets discounts unless you can get to CO.  The great thing is no lift lines.  The thing about Aspen is that you don't have to go that far to get good skiing.  Most Denver skiers hit Vail area and Winter Park due to its proximity to Denver.  Making the extra trek to Aspen filters out a lot of people.


Have a super trip!

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hey everybody. Soooooo thanks for all the input, but the timeshare swaps were not available in Aspen so we are booked for Vail April 7-14. Thanks for all the input and I hope someone else will come along and get useful information out of this thread. 

post #14 of 14

I expect you will have fun. And often it starts dumping in April... Mike

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