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Cloud Nine

Cloud Nine, Colorado 81611, USA

Spend an Afternoon Dining at Cloud Nine

Just off the Cloud Nine lift on Aspen Highlands, you'll find a Swiss-looking log cabin with a large patio and pristine views of the Maroon Creek Valley. When you walk in, the pungent smell of cheese may overwhelm you, but don't be deterred. The delicious fondue is worth it. The best time to go is after a full day of skiing; make a late-lunch reservation because that's when all the action starts. As it gets later, the crowd starts getting a little rowdy and dance parties have been know to break out, with people taking to the tabletops. Ski patrollers sometimes has to shut it down during their last sweep of the mountain, but don't fret: If you don't feel comfortable skiing down, they'll graciously give you a ride.

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AFAR Local Expert
about 5 years ago

Ski-boot dancing, French cuisine, and champagne showers in Aspen Highlands

The bass is loud and steady, thumping through my body as I do the ski-boot heel-toe across the kitchen of Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro, an iconic midmountain restaurant at Aspen Highlands.

As I am licking my fingers after one last round of cheese-smothered potatoes, meat and garlic, the music from the front room gets louder and poundier. I pull my gear back on and make for the door, clomping past sous chefs bouncing to the beat — and into complete chaos. There are women dancing on tables and champagne dripping from wooden beams and $800 ski jackets.

The music builds in intensity, people are shaking up bottles of bubbly, then suddenly, the beat drops, everyone screams, and another shower of champagne fills the air. The hard, straight bass picks up again and I dance my way through the throng until I am squeezed out into the mountain air.

I wipe champagne off my goggles, click back into my skis, and point downhill.

For lunch at Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro, make reservations at 970-544-3063 (prix-fixe $45 for salad, fondue and raclette — champagne is extra).