One of four ski mountains owned by Aspen Skiing Company and one of the best intermediate hills in the country, Snowmass has more ski-in ski-out lodgings and a slower pace than Aspen. Snowmass was built in 1967 as Aspen's answer to Vail—a ski-specific resort—and although it has never quite matched Vail's panache or popularity, it has gained stature with age, finding its identity as a resort destination rather than the
village it once called itself. In general, Snowmass is better for families with young children, leaving the town of Aspen to a more up-at-the-crack-of-noon crowd.
The town at the mountain's base, Snowmass Village, has a handful of boutiques and upscale restaurants, but it's less self-absorbed and more family-oriented and outdoorsy than Aspen.