Author Archives: Meag Lynch

It’s hard to deny that the farm-to-table movement has gained popularity in recent years. It is a great shift in consumption that encourages us to think about the source of our food, support our local economy and surrounding farms and ranches. This seemed like a natural fit for Aspen Skiing Company given its strong sustainability values and active outreach to the community.


This summer ASC offered farm-to-table Tuesdays at Elk Camp restaurant. This event provided a free ride up the Elk Camp gondola to the Elk Camp Restaurant where guests could enjoy locally-sourced ingredients in a farm-to-table-inspired a la carte dinner with full cash bar, outdoor family activities and live music. Five percent of food sales from this event benefitted the Thompson Divide Coalition and Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES). To check out the action if you missed it this summer visit:


In addition to farm-to-table Tuesdays, The Little Nell partnered with ACES this summer to support its Sustainable Agriculture Programs. The evening offered farm tours, auctions, live music and a delicious al fresco meal. The element 47 cuisine team hosted the dinners which featured fresh ingredients from local purveyors, such as Roaring Fork Valley watercress, Spit Roasted Emma Farms Sirloin Butt, Paonia Peach Cobbler, and much more. Ride along with the action of the Ride and Dine dinners in this short video:

_34A0154 In their first year, both farm-to-table dinners saw a great turnout and resoundingly positive feedback.  The success of the events was reflected in the $20,000 raised for Aspen Center for Environmental Studies which will go to building a living wall at the ranch and towards their Field Studies Center’s renovation project. The check was presented this fall by Simon Chen, Managing Director of The Little Nell, to Chris Lane, Chief Executive Officer for the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (as pictured).


Aspen Mountain Spirit Nests


Big Sur Spirit Garden is located out of the Big Sur Valley between the Santa Lucia Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. The Spirit Garden is built on the initiative of integrating art, culture and nature into a single experience.  A mantra that in many ways echoes Aspen Skiing Company’s efforts  to instill a sense of mind, body and spirit into its business.


The nests are in their final stages of being built on top of Aspen Mountain. As pictured, there will be three nests that live just below the Sundeck year-round.  The nests are made from tree branches harvested from local forests, which in our case, come from the surrounding Aspen forests. The branches are chosen meticulously and cut to maintain the overall health of the tree and incur minimal damage. The best branches typically come from the top of the tree as they tend to be more mature, strong and have more unique shapes sculpted by wind and time.


The building process consists of fitting the branches together like a puzzle that integrates both structural integrity and artistic flow. The wood is bent using tension and counter sunk screws that are nearly invisible. The base of the nests are built strong enough to support up to 2000 pounds of wet wood and people. After the base is constructed, the nests are put together and trucked out to their final location–in this case, Aspen Mountain.


The last steps in the construction process is to create the spiraling wreath on the front, install an exterior grade woven mat for guests  to sit comfortably inside, and make a ladder. The nest spirals both inside and out making it particularly aesthetically appealing. Be sure to check them out at the top of Aspen Mountain.