Holiday Happenings by Stephen Kotler

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We were thrilled when the CEO of Brokerage of the Western Region for Douglas Elliman, Mr. Stephen Kotler, said yes to sharing with us his fondest memories of Aspen Snowmass over the holidays. Here Stephen also reflects on the history of Snowmass as we celebrate the 50th anniversary as well speaks to what he envisions the future holding for Aspen Snowmass for the next 50 years.

Stephen, what are your fondest memories over the holidays in Aspen Snowmass?

There’s nothing like being in Aspen Snowmass during the holidays. No matter where you are, whether it’s shopping in an exclusive boutique, browsing art in the galleries, hitting the slopes, or warming up by a fireplace, the commercialized aspect of the holidays is overshadowed by the true sense of community, and the pleasures of small town celebration. One of the most memorable holiday events is the annual Snowmass torchlight parade and fireworks to ring in the new year. The parade takes place down the slopes and it’s fun to participate or just watch the mountain light up.

Of course, there’s also no better memory than being with friends and family spending the day on the slopes and then heading back to Little Nell.

I was here in 1983 and part of the team that built Ruthie’s Restaurant on Aspen Mountain “Ajax.” In the 80’s and 90’s Ruthies was the hottest place in Aspen to be and be seen. The restaurant has since shut it’s doors but in an effort to make Old Aspen New Again, there are serious talks and options proposed to bring life back to Ruthie’s, and I sure hope they do so it can continue on for the next 50 years.

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What does the Snowmass 50th anniversary celebration mean to you?

The celebration means a great deal to me as it coincides with the great success Douglas Elliman has had in Aspen as we came into the market guided by Joshua Saslove and not only were accepted by everyone but have grown tremendously. The Rulon Kelly Team, for example, dominate Snowmass Village and have one of the largest market shares in the area. I would say that’s something to celebrate in addition to being part of this strong community with activities planned for all ages and all different passions. Picnics, scavenger hunts, historical mountain tours, Après ski parties, costume parties, a gala, and a lift ticket for the price it was in 1967??! That’s how you start off a celebration.

What do you see for the future of Snowmass in the next 50 years?

Continued success. Aspen Skiing Company just placed $600 million into the mountain, the major developer East West is on track to develop the remainder of Base Village and more people are coming year-round to partake in all the beauty Aspen has to offer, not just skiing in the winter. Snowmass has become one of the country’s best place to mountain bike, and hopefully will be coined as the Mountain Biking Mecca of Northern American.

As more and more people realize they want to purchase a second or third home here from the luxury markets we are in, including California, South Florida, New York, the Hamptons and more, the real estate in Snowmass will continue to be successful, and you can count on The Rulon Kelly Team and Douglas Elliman!


Stephen Kotler

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