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How best to celebrate the grandest dame of Aspen’s hotels? Probably with an Aspen Crud at the J-Bar, while contemplating all that’s happened within those brick walls. Jerome B. Wheeler was the co-owner of Macy’s when he built the hotel for $150,000, the equivalent of nearly $4 million today, creating this timeless local landmark. Hard to believe as it is, however, the Jerome closed for several years in the 1960s, even as Aspen was growing as a ski town. Hunter Thompson—who else?—helped make it cool again, other celebrities followed, and the Jerome bar became the place to be, not a see-and-be-seen scene, just a hangout that felt more authentic than anywhere else. In one of the more remarkable runs Aspen has ever seen, it’s pretty much stayed that way ever since.

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