No matter the season, one of the best resorts in the U.S. is Colorado’s Limelight Snowmass. It starts with ski-in/ski-out access to the titular mountain, Aspen’s world class family friendly ski hill. But remarkably, Snowmass might be even more fun once the snow melts and long days are filled by mountain biking, golf, tennis, or a gondola ride to the top of the mountain for ridge top hikes through aspen groves and fields of wildflowers. For kids, ski school builds skills and confidence, or in warmer weather, keeps them engaged with single or multi-day camps filled with ropes courses, rocket building, and bike rides. For parents, in any season there’s downtown Aspen’s glitzy nightlife and boutiques — what locals call “purse museums” — a short drive away.
Now, all of the above is accessible from any of Snowmass’s half-dozen hotels. But what none of them has is Limelight’s unbeatable family vibe. That begins with the hotel’s signature Lounge, essentially a hip, 5,145-square foot family room that encapsulates a bar, restaurant, game area, and music stage beneath airy 30-foot ceilings.
Happy hour in the Lounge is a hive of activity with live music, kids playing Xbox on bean bag chairs, and visitors and locals alike mingling and munching hand-tossed pizzas and knocking back signature cocktails like an old fashioned crafted with local bourbon and chai syrup. In the morning, it hosts a lavish breakfast buffet sure to sate even the pickiest kids. Another thing none of those hotels have: a five-story indoor climbing wall that’s free to guests. The rooms themselves are comfortable and well-equipped, with balconies and indoor fireplaces ideal for relaxing after a long day of runs.
Arguably the coolest thing about skiing in Aspen is that one lift ticket gets you access to four different mountains, each with its own unique character and all linked by an efficient bus system. Aspen is the classic, an intermediate haven whose lifts load right downtown; Aspen Highlands is famed for its expert runs; Buttermilk is mostly mild cruisers but also site of the X-games’ enormous half pipes and terrain park.
But Snowmass basically combines the best of all of them into a vast 3,332-acre complex. Kids can snowplow down beginner favorites like Fanny Hill and Dawdler or rip the three terrain parks, while parents can re-live their glory days on test pieces like Cirque Headwall and the chutes of the Hanging Valley. The area offers the best on-site amenities for non-skiers or off-days too: a mountain coaster, dogsled tours, snow tubing, and the Snowmass Base Village ice rink just steps from the Limelight lobby.
Come summer, that ice rink is covered in astroturf and used by the Snowmass kids’ camp for soccer and tag. Other activities include fishing, mountain bike skills clinics, and mountainboarding—skateboards equipped with all-terrain tires. Single-day and multi-day programs are available for kids 4 and up, and include downhill bike clinics for teens in the world-class Snowmass mountain bike park. For younger children, there’s also drop-in childcare in Snowmass Village.
If the family is feeling worn out from all of that (and beware: the Limelight Snowmass is perched at 8,104 feet above sea level) there are plenty of spots to just chill out. There’s the Pac Man table in the Lounge, a pair of pool-sized hot tubs, or a shuttle to downtown Aspen to watch the beautiful people and their pets stroll the streets in matching designer outfits. Whatever season, whatever events you choose, it’s a truly epic experience.