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Something strange happened to Colorado in the late '60s and early '70s. Once regarded as a provincial backwater - stunning, to be sure, but largely insignificant - the state began attracting a certain element. It started with Hunter S. Thompson, who famously ran for sheriff in Pitkin County. Before long, Jack Nicholson lay down roots. And so on.
Today, Aspen is America's resounding answer to the Whistlers, the Zermatts, the Kitzbuehels of the world. Bright with the flashbulb of celebrity, perhaps, but first and foremost a ski town. The result is a laid back luxury unique to the area. (Why is that mountains invariably have a calming effect on the people who live near them?)
Meanwhile, Vail and Beaver Creek continue to grow in popularity.