Local Beta: Aspen, CO

Local Beta: Aspen, CO

TASTERS:A great italian/pizza place in Snowmass (across from the base village) and Aspen (across from the skatepark) to grab lunch or dinner. Great subs, pastas, and tasty pizza. They deliver and are always open, just what the doctor ordered on a ski bum budget.
JOHNNY MCGUIRE’S: A classic Aspen sub shop. Look for the Volkswagen bug with the giant pickle on its roof out front. The restaurant is a consistent stop for athletes passing through town; you never know who you’ll see there. With a motto of “health food sucks” you know it has to be good. Try the Hot Buddha, it’s the bomb!
LULU WILSON: Super-upscale Aspen fine dining. Great food, service, decor, and you won’t get out of there for less that $150 a head. Here’s a secret: Sit at the bar, have a Stella with Mike the bartender, and order a $12 bar burger. You just ate at the nicest place in Aspen for under $20!
ERIC’S: The best party spot in Aspen. Located across from the historic Wheeler Opera house, Eric’s is below street level with three other hot spots, Su Casa Mexican restaurant, Aspen billiards, and the Cigar Bar. The place goes off most nights with the fastest bartenders and stiff drinks. Go early, as the line gets huge on weekend/holiday nights.
BELLY UP: Aspen’s premier live music club with an unbelievable sound system, and a capacity of 450 on three levels. In the past year this place has seen ZZ Top, Steel Pulse, Method Man, Redman, Damian Marley, Snoop Dog, Ice Cube, and Jurassic 5. Check the website for upcoming shows.
RADIO BOARDSHOP: Stop in and see owner and X Games gold medalist Travis McLain. Radio will meet all your needs with Lib Tech NAS, Empire, and the best selection of streetwear in town. Be sure to check out their astounding selection of shoes, and ask Travis about his collection of Nikes.
HAMILTON SPORTS: A true skiers’ ski shop. Need a tune to keep you running while in Aspen? Hit this place up. Boots not feeling so hot? Stop in to Hamilton and they will dial in your fi t. Be sure to ask where the best snow is as all the employes are on the hill every day.
SKY HOTEL:Located right at the base of Aspen Mountain with a beautiful lobby, and stylish rooms. The 39 degrees bar is the après hot spot with an outdoor pool/hot tub that goes off more often than not. It’s also the cougar watering hole.
THE GANT: A 300+ unit private condominium complex that holds one of Condé Nast Traveler’s top 50 ski hotels ranking. One, two and three bedroom rentals in east Aspen. Pools, hot tubs, and a free shuttle to the slopes, and out on the town. The perfect place to go in on with a few buddies for a ski trip if your having trouble finding couches to surf.

This story was originally published in the November 2009 issue of Freeskier.

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