The resorts of Aspen and Megève are winter holiday hotspots for international jetsetters, and owe their reputation to the boom in the skiing industry. We took a look at these two traditional mountain villages, respectively in Colorado and Haute-Savoie.
Aspen: Snow-capped silver mines
Aspen was not always an alpine village home to the upper echelons of Hollywood. The land originally belonged to the Native American Ute people, and the peaceful setting was transformed with the arrival of the first gold prospectors during the winter of 1879. Christened Aspen in reference to the multitude of aspen trees in the valley, the town was first renowned for its silver mines, which produced more than 15% of the United States’ reserves. But the drop in the price of silver plunged Aspen back into anonymity for more than 40 years, and it wasn’t until the invention of leisure skiing that the town was reborn. At the start of World War II, the town became a training camp for soldiers, and after the conflict a large number of veterans returned[...]