1. Travel
Send to a Friend via Email

Aspen's Private Residence Clubs

By

Aspen's Private Residence Clubs

View of Downtown Aspen and Aspen Mountain.

Photo courtesy of Jeremy Swanson

You Don't Have to be a Celebrity to Live Large in Aspen:

Aspen, Colo. is one of the world's most desirable vacation home destinations. It has four ski mountains, an active cultural scene, a quaint pedestrian-friendly downtown bursting with shops and restaurants, and an interesting history steeped in silver mining.

Aspen is also one of the most expensive real estate markets in the world. According to the National Association of Realtors, the average listing price in Aspen is hovering around $3.3 million, but that's small change when it comes to homes at the top of the market. Aspen has seen some of the world's highest priced real estate transactions, such as the spectacular 95-acre Hala Ranch, which recently sold for $49 million. The 15-bedroom, 16-bath, 56,000-square-foot home is larger than the US White House, and holds an exclusive address in the Starwood enclave, Aspen's only gated neighborhood.

Outside the elusive Starwood, Aspen offers an eclectic collection of neighborhoods, each offering its own distinct personality. The quiet West End enclave harbors a quaint collection of charming historically designated Victorian homes, all with well-kept lawns, matching color palettes, and a location close to the Aspen Institute. Those who prefer a loftier location head to Red Mountain, a hill dotted with major mansions and stunning views of Aspen. Space seeking country lovers find solace in McClain Flats while golfers will enjoy the private country club lifestyle of Maroon Creek.

Mountains of Adventure and Culture:

While Aspen is a magnet for celebrities and the moneyed set, it is also a playground for outdoor enthusiasts. During the winter, Aspen's four mountains offer a diverse selection of terrain for skiing and snowboarding. During summer, Aspen offers miles of trails for hiking and biking, including the iconic trek to the Maroon Bells, on of Colorado's most photographed mountain ranges.

Aspen Mountain, also known as "Ajax," is renowned for its black-diamond runs and classic fall lines. Gentle Buttermilk Mountain caters to beginners while Snowmass delivers wide-open cruising runs for intermediates and above tree line skiing on the Cirque. Aspen Highlands is known for it's high-alpine bowl, a must-do for expert skiers and snowboarders who are fit enough for the hike and brave enough to take on the steep terrain.

During the summer months, Aspen comes alive with cultural activities. The season kicks off with the Food and Wine Classic in Aspen, a three-day celebration that includes tastings and seminars lead by the world's best wine and food authorities. Other popular summer events in Aspen include the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, and Jazz Aspen. On the outskirts of downtown Aspen, in the quiet and historic West Aspen neighborhood, the Aspen Institute and the adjacent Aspen Meadows Resort, are home to the the Aspen Ideas Festival and the Aspen Music Festival, an eight-week series of concerts held in conjunction with the Aspen School of Music.

Aspen for a Fraction of the Price of Vacation Home Ownership:

If Aspen is your dream home destination, but a multimillion dollar price tag is out of your reach, a private residence club may be the answer. Alternatives to home ownership, private residence clubs are shared-ownership vacation properties. They offer the benefits of vacation homes without the drawbacks of whole ownership.

  • Lower price. Private residence clubs cost a fraction of purchasing and maintaining a vacation home, allowing buyers to own a piece of a luxury home without paying the full price.
  • Maintenance free. Interior and exterior spaces are managed and maintained by a professional staff, allowing the owner more time for vacation. Private residence club owners pay annual assessments to cover maintenance.
  • Luxury. Many residence clubs are managed by five-star hotels or established luxury management companies, allowing services such as concierge, room service, airport transportation, spas, fitness facilities, and owner lounges.
  • Exchange programs. Some clubs offer the option of trading weeks for vacation time at other residence club destinations.

Aspen's Private Residence Clubs:

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.