Originally named Ute City, Aspen was founded in 1879 and officially called Aspen in 1880. During its infancy Aspen was known for silver mining and the almost perfectly pure nugget of silver weighing in at 2060lbs. Aspen’s population grew to 15,000 residents during the silver days.
In the 1893 silver crash, Aspen’s population shrank from a bustling community to just 700 residents by 1930. Aspen remained almost forgotten until the mid-1930’s when a group of ski enthusiasts were considering Aspen for a ski resort.
After World War II soldiers who trained in the 10th Mountain Division near Aspen purchased property and mining rights to the area. Their goal was to open the wonderful winter conditions of Aspen to other ski enthusiasts. This goal was reached in 1946 when Walter Paepcke founded Aspen Mountain.
The early 1950’s was an important time in Aspen. The world’s longest chair lift was constructed on Aspen Mountain and the 11th Annual FIS World Ski Championships were held there from February 13th to the 18th. That was the first in two ways, never had a FIS championship been held outside of Europe; it was also the first championship not paralleled with the Olympics.
Today Aspen is a well known destination where visitors can ski at Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands Mountain, Buttermilk Mountain and Snowmass Mountain. As the love for Aspen grew, so did the variety of activities one can enjoy from cultural events to a vibrant night life.