Doors of AspenThis website combines the work of five accomplished citizens of Aspen, who – despite already having amazing lives and careers – decided it was time to learn to write about them. Enrolled in the inaugural class of the Isaacson School For New Media, our writers have made a window, through which you can look, to learn about aspects of Aspen.

The Doors of Aspen is a metaphor because trading city life for a life in the mountains – at 7,900 feet – comes with compromises. Like the pending snow or awaiting the never ending days of summer, concerns about home, love, and work are ever present.

For some, the doors open easily, for others, they remain open, but with a constant struggle. For many – no longer here – the doors closed. Like the early settlers, the rewards of living here are very rich, but so is the cost.

This presentation is about the lifestyles of people who live in Aspen, Colorado, as residents, and the challenges and benefits that face us.  Year round, we enjoy the majestic beauty of the mountains, valleys and rivers, rich with history and vitality.    The pleasures of living here are anchored in both the past and the present, and the spirit of the mountains influences all of us.

Explore our site and learn about the ways in which the people here represent the quintessential spirit and lifestyle of mountain living. Make your own conclusion about whether, or not, the doors are open for you.

In the video, we show front doors of buildings in Aspen to reflect the changes that affect locals and visitors alike. Beautiful places always succumb to the pressures of change, and we experience this change as quickly as the changing seasons.

Patrick Badalian, Toni Case, Joni Keefe, Mirjam Rosner, Merrilyn Tuma

Music credit:   Soul Free by George Michael


Smuggler Mine, 1898
Prada – 312 S. Galena Street, Andre’s Building, built before 1940
Ralph Lauren –  Independence Building, 501 E. Cooper Avenue, built 1950
Cooper street mall, looking west
Mill Street mall – restaurant owner suicide, now Above the Salt
Pomeroy Sports store – E. Durant Avenue
Silver Queen Gondola in summer – new in 2006
Brunello Cucinelli – 508 E. Cooper Avenue, restaurant owner suicide, now a boutique, high rise condos, and a vacant basement restaurant
Justice Snow – corner of Hyman and Mill, Justice Snow Restaurant
Teepee – home to a local resident
Li’l Boogie’s 533 E. Cooper, formerly the Bowman Musee Saloon, 1888
Trailer-converted condo – built with faulty electrical wiring leading to arrest of the builder
Casa Tua – night club for members only, in the former red light district
Main Street Bakery – 201 E. Main Street, local eats and treats since the 1960s
Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Dior and other corporate luxury goods have all operated in the Brand Building, 1888
Local consignment store, Crystal Palace, Mother Lode – all vacant buildings in the 300 block of E. Hyman Avenue
Thrift Shop -begun in the 1940s, sells donated goods to support school and college students of the Roaring Fork Valley
Bloomingbirds – Ute City Building, closed for higher rent paying tenants
Jet Set – in the Aspen Block Building, valued over $12 million, one of the most expensive commercial building in Aspen