Originally from Chicago, Claire Smith has been in the valley since December 2001 and lives in Snowmass Village with her husband. She worked for Frias Properties from 2005-10 as a marketing specialist, and rejoined the company in July 2015 as its online vacation specialist. In her new position, Claire plays a pivotal role on our Aspen reservations team, focusing on the company's partnerships with worldwide vacation rental vendors like Expedia, VRBO and TripAdvisor.
In her free time, Claire enjoys skiing, hiking and playing bocce. You'll also find her rooting on her beloved Chicago Bears, or following another one of her passions: cooking. With all this diversity, our blog team couldn't wait to sit down with Claire and get her local recommendations. Let's see what she has to say:
Q: What brought you to Aspen? A: "I was looking for a change of pace and I wanted to be in a place where they knew what to do with snow in the winter."
Q: Do you prefer the summer or winter season? A: "I love both. I moved here to ski, but I love hiking in the summer."
Q: How would you describe the winter season in Aspen? A: "Fun and energetic."
Q: Do you ski or snowboard? A: "I've been skiing for 33 years."
Q: Where is your favorite place to ski? A: "Bull Run and Naked Lady on Snowmass Mountain."
Q: What other winter activities do you enjoy? A: "AprA"s ski and watching football. Go Bears!"
Q: What's one thing I should make time for during a winter visit to Aspen? A: "Skiing."
Q: What's one thing that I should not miss while I'm in Aspen? A: "Take a gondola ride. Beautiful in either winter or summer."
Q: What's the one thing you have to do while in Aspen? A: "Eat!"
Q: What's your favorite restaurant in town? A: "L'Hostaria."
Q: What do you usually order there? A: "Spaghetti Carbonara or the Boar Gnocchi (when it's on the winter menu)."
Q: Where's a good place to grab a quick snack? A: "Kenichi for their happy hour specials."
Q: Where's a good place to grab a beer or drink? A: "The Red Onion."
Q: What's the best show or concert you've been to? A: "Recently it was Lake Street Dive at Belly Up."
Q: What retail stores or local shopping should I do while in Aspen? A: "Pitkin County Dry Goods and Aspen Jewelers."
Q: What's your favorite Frias Property complex? A: "The Clarendon."
Q: If your parents were coming to town, where would you recommend they stay? A: "Chateau Chaumont or Dumont for their location."
Q: If a group of your friends were coming to Aspen, where would you recommend they stay? A: "Fasching Haus. They have a great pool area."
Q: What's the best thing about Aspen? A: "All the outdoor activities."
Q: How would you describe the summers here? A: "Beautiful and peaceful."
Q: What summer activities do you enjoy? A: "Hiking and playing bocce."
Q: What's the one thing I should make time for during a summer visit to Aspen? A: "Theatre Aspen." Thanks, Claire. Those are some great recommendations. We're definitely going to have to put boar gnocchi on the to-do list!