Tales of Aspen
Aspen... It takes 13 long minutes to make it to the top of Aspen Mountain, in one of the new European-made gondolas. So while traveling in the six-passenger enclosed-bubble vehicles, skiers here break out their cellular phones. With luck, their faxes can be waiting for them. Since this is Aspen, the little hut at the summit offers two telecopiers. Why waste time Faxes and phones are fine on the slopes, but cigarettes are not. On a recent gondola trip, longtime resident Melanie Griffith lit up. Fellow passengers pleaded, Please put that out. She refused, igniting a local media storm.
After they've caroused the night before, Aspenites invariably spend the next day working off the toxins... jogging in the snow, monoskiing, snowboarding in the backcountry, or mountain biking with studded tires. For indoor exercise, Grand Champions, near the airport, is the place where Barbra Streisand and other Fast Folk go. The Aspen Club is out. Anybody can get in there, the high rollers protest. But the hottest workout is with private trainer and Belgian import Jean-Robert, whose exercises often seem to involve ski poles. Jean-Robert (he dropped the last name years ago) keeps his client list a secret, divulging only that it includes 50ish women who can pay me. This is one of the few places in the country that shows little sign of the recession. Dozens of luxury shops have opened, including Bulgari. I compare Aspen not to Sante Fe, but to Gstaad, says manager Marta Ortega, It's more Europeans and fewer Texans here,and they like to shop well.