Walking across Aspen Glen in the early morning, it’s easy to let your mind wander back to the historical role this property played in the Roaring Fork Valley. Human habitation at the Aspen Glen property actually dates back to the Ute Indians, many of whom relocated to southwestern Colorado and Utah when European settlers started moving into the valley in the mid-1800s. Richard Sopris, an early pioneer, led an expedition into the valley to explore its mineral wealth. Mount Sopris was named for him in 1889.
When gold and silver were discovered in the valley in 1879, prospectors and homesteaders poured into the valley. Along with the homesteaders came workers for the new railroads and mines that produced marble and coal up the Crystal River around Redstone. The big news of 1887 was the arrival of the Colorado-Midland, operator of the turn-around (built near our second tee.)
The four brothers of the Sievers family operated a ranch they formed in 1885 on about 640 acres of what is now Aspen Glen. In 1894, the partnership dissolved and George Sievers retained the original ranch property, which operated until it was sold to Aspen Glen in 1992.
The southern portion of the Aspen Glen property, about 300 acres, was owned by the Crane and Peebles families from 1895 to 1920. It was later sold to Peter Chuc, the Seeburg family (who built the Seeburg Lodge, which was used as a temporary clubhouse from 1993 to 1999), Phillip Anschutz and finally Aspen Glen in 1992. The Aspen Glen project was a concept by John Elkins and John Brown, who bought the property in 1992, but sold it to the Melrose Company and Club Corporation of America in 1994 due to financial challenges.
Jack Nicklaus and his son, Jack Nicklaus II, were hired to design the Aspen Glen golf course. The back nine opened in July 1997, and in September, Jack Nicklaus and Jack Nicklaus II played the inaugural round consisting of all 18 holes at the Aspen Glen Club. The clubhouse was built in two phases and completed in July 2000.