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The Town of Vail is a Home Rule Municipality located in Eagle County, Colorado. According to 2005 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 4,589. The town was established in 1966 at the base of Vail Ski Resort, which opened in December 1962. The town is famous for its skiing and other winter sports in addition to being a year round destination for outdoor activities.

Vail Mountain has a maximum elevation of 12,250 feet (3526 m) and low of 8,120' (2475 m), a vertical drop of 3450' (1051 m). It has 5,289 acres (21 km2) skiable, 33 lifts, 193 marked trails on three faces: the front side, the back bowls, and Blue Sky Basin. The seven back bowls are Sun Down Bowl, Sun Up Bowl, Teacup Bowl, China Bowl, Siberia Bowl, Inner Mongolia Bowl, and Outer Mongolia Bowl. Vail was ranked as the top ski resort in SKI Magazine's reader's poll for the 2006-07 season.

The Vail economic community relies mostly upon tourism. Though the majority of the tourism industry revolves around seasonal winter activities like skiing and snowboarding, Vail has become increasingly popular as a summer vacation destination. Popular summer activities that take advantage of Vail's picturesque surroundings include guided hikes, mountain biking,horseback riding, carriage rides and fishing.Vail is also developing as a cultural center, with various art and music venues through out the summer. Vail also has a developed culinary center with a diverse variety of restaurants.

Annual cultural events:

Vail Film Festival world-class annual film festival taking place in March or early April Bravo!

Vail Valley Music Festival featuring the New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra & the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra

Museums and other points of interest:

Betty Ford Alpine Gardens

Steadman-Hawkins clinic world renowned clinic for knee injuries

Colorado Ski Museum

Vail Ski Resort

 

Vail is served by Eagle County Airport, which is near Gypsum. Native Americans used to call the area near this airport the "hole in the sky" because storms seemed to avoid it. Vail is modeled after European ski towns, many of which are car-free, and the town is partially car-free. Vail hosts the largest zero-fare shuttle bus system in the USA and has one hybrid-electric bus (For schedules see Vail Transit, for estimated arrival times visit NextBus). At each of the several bus stops a sign tells you how long until the next two buses arrive. Interstate 70 runs east-west through the middle of Vail and is the only road to Vail. East of Vail along the highway is Vail Pass and Denver, located 97 miles away. To the west, it passes through Avon, Eagle, Grand Junction and reaches the State of Utah, where it ends at the intersection with Interstate 15.





The City of Aspen is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous city of Pitkin County, Colorado, United States. The United States Census Bureau estimates that the city population was 5,804 in 2005. Founded as a mining camp in the Colorado Silver Boom and named because of the abundance of aspen trees in the area, the city is now a ski resort and an upscale tourist center. Its per capita is among the highest in the nation. In the late 20th century the average home price reached approximately $6 million and the city developed as an off-beat haven for celebrities, attracting such people as John Denver (who wrote several folk songs about the town, including "Aspenglow", and "Starwood in Aspen") and Hunter S. Thompson.  Aspen was also the destination of Lloyd Christmas(Jim Carrey) & Harry Dunn(Jeff Daniels) in the Comedy, "Dumb & Dumber".

This historic character of the city has been challenged in recent decades by skyrocketing property values and the proliferation of second homes, increasingly shutting low- and middle-income workers out of the city and creating a large pool of commuters from nearby bedroom communities such as Basalt and Carbondale. At the same time, in stark contrast to its historic character, the city has emerged into international fame as a glitzy playground of the wealthy and famous. The downtown has been largely transformed into an upscale shopping district that includes high-end restaurants, salons, and boutiques. Aspen boasts a Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci, Fendi, Tod's and recently a Burberry boutique, 3 of which are the only locations in Colorado. The booming real estate market has forced the city to struggle between permitting growth and restricting it. The city today remains a mix of high-end luxury homes and condos intermixed with legacy residences and mobile home parks populated by an old guard of Aspen residents struggling to maintain the unique character of the city. Aspen has become a second and third home to many international jet setters.

Roaring Fork Transportation Authority or RFTA, provides bus service in Aspen, and pay service to the surrounding communities of Snowmass Village, Basalt, El Jebel, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs and Rifle. Local RFTA bus service within Aspen and to the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport is free.

Aspen's only airport is Aspen-Pitkin County Airport also known as Sardy Field. The airport is an FAA Class 1 airport, and has one asphalt runway, 100 ft (30 m). wide and 7,006 ft long. Its hours of operation with FAA air traffic control is 7am to 10pm MST/MDT. Sardy Field is Colorado's third busiest airport. The airport has a large General Aviation section which can accommodate the many corporate airplanes and private jets which can crowd the airport during the busy holiday seasons. The F.B.O., which operates the General Aviation section, is Atlantic Aviation. The airport also has 4 regular commercial air carriers: United Airlines and Delta Airlines (operated by SkyWest Airlines),US Airways (operated by AmericaWest Airlines), and Frontier Airlines.

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