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by Fielding Miller
Before Colorado’s late-1800s silver-mining boom and founding of the town of Aspen, the region was part of the Ute tribe’s ancestral homeland. Now Aspen is one of the world’s premier ski towns, host to international tourists and home to several thousand year-round residents, four ski areas—Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, and Snowmass—and a globally known glam-meets-grit vibe. Aspen has an airport close by but is far enough away from other population centers to keep crowds thin. Its world-class skiing, food, music, art, fashion, and nightlife make it one of the most well-balanced ski towns on the planet.