by Jayme Lamm

Having been an avid snowboarder for 15+ years, I still can’t adjust to mountains and resorts whose lifts close mid-afternoon – those are valuable hours with or without sunshine that I could be shredding down the mountain on my trusty ole Burton board.

On my 3:15pm run on each and every trip in said towns, my heart automatically drops with the sudden urge to whine like Kim Kardashian on yet another failed marriage. Like I said, most places. That is certainly not the case in Aspen because I know on my last run I’ll pick up speed going as fast as I can, hit a jump or two (don’t get crazy here) and head on over to
39 Degrees inside the Sky Hotel (a Kimpton Hotel) for a Champagne Supernova (Moet & Chandon Imperial, St- Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Fragoli Wild Strawberry Liqueur and White Peach Puree – $18). And the rest of the world (or at least everyone in Aspen) will quickly follow suit making the bar just inside the lobby more packed than the Gondola after a fresh dump of snow. The hotel’s website boasts
39 Degrees as having “Wicked Cocktails and Aspen’s Best Burger” – how could you possibly go wrong? But the place is so much more than a cocktail or slab of beef.

39 Degrees is the place to be after a long day on the mountain, to grab unrivaled “bar” food, tasty drinks and check out some of Aspen’s finest – in the terms of locals and tourists alike. And if you don’t believe me, what about these recent accolades: The Sky Hotel recently was recognized as “A Place to be Scene” by Travel + Leisure magazine, and 39 Degrees was named “One of the Top 10 Places to Bar Hop Around the Globe” by USA Today.

The bar/restaurant/lounge is located exactly at latitude 39 degrees, so you don’t need to ask where the name came from. You can tuck away that handy little tidbit of random knowledge to use at a later date. The luxurious ambiance was conceived by Hollywood designer Dayna Lee of Powerstrip Studios back in 2007, and word on the street is the hotel (and bar) is on for a small redesign this year which will cause the doors to be temporarily shut from April 22 – May 23 with a huge relaunch party slated for June 1 (no word yet if this is invite only, but I’ll be anxiously checking my inbox to see if mine arrives).

The lounge currently boasts a retro ski-lodge feel you’d see in any classic ski flick combined with contemporary vibes throughout the place. The best place in the lounge is the sofa in the center of the bar, which wraps around the entire room allowing you to soak up all the happenings in every crevice of the dimly lit spot. Day or night you’ll find men and women of all ages there for one thing – the scene. In a place as picturesque as Aspen, that certainly says a lot.

A few good items to munch on:

Giant Pretzel $10
Assorted House-Made Mustards

Root Chip Nachos $11
House-Made Russet & Sweet Potato, Scallions, Crispy Bacon, Pico de Gallo, Aged White Cheddar Fondue

Tuna Wonton Tacos $16
Crispy Wonton Taco Shells, Ahi Tuna Tartare, Sushi Rice, Avocado & Jalapeño Puree, Sweet Soy, Tobiko Mayo

As for drinks, aside from the Champagne Supernova, which is my absolute favorite, you might also try:

Bourbon Peach Cobbler $12
Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Southern Comfort, Pomegranate Molasses, White Peach Puree, Mint

Sky Hotel and 39 Degrees
709 E. Durant Avenue
Aspen, CO 81611
(970) 925-6760