You don't have to pay Aspen Extreme prices to spend a week in Aspen-Snowmass. Sure, you could rent one of the other homes on our street for almost twice as much, or save by renting a dilapidated shack down the hill for about the same price as ours — but you've lucked out and stumbled upon our killer big mountain view, so save those bucks for a new pair of ski boots and spend a minute reading our affordable tale.
A Snowmass Pioneer, my grandfather paid cash for a small plot of land at the end of a jeep road back in 1966 and built himself a cabin overlooking the future town of Snowmass Village. In the 1980s, concerned that those working in the valley were no longer able to afford to live in the valley, he dedicated the entirety of his retirement to organizing what is now the crown jewel of the Aspen/Snowmass community: the Affordable Employee Housing Program.
In 2005, with the roof leaking, the single-pane windows drafty, and the property taxes mounting on our grandfather's lucky strike, we sold the homestead and set our sights on a seldom-used, modern, comfortable home with a remarkable view just one ridge west.
In 2010, after five years of my family allowing a property management company to hawk our home at $800-$1200/night (and somehow still owing money at the end of the month), I decided to move out to the mountains and try my hand at it myself.
It turns out that cutting their commission out, upgrading the amenities, and flashing a friendly smile works wonders — We now sell out each winter, pulling in just enough to ensure that this view will be enjoyed by my family (and yours) for generations to come.
Last fall, we hacked out the grass turf and revegetating with native plants. Trying to do our part to keep the valley as it was in 1966 when my grandfather took a jeep ride in search of paradise.
I hope you are able to make it out this winter. Think snow, and I'll see you on the slopes!