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Gray Malin’s Mountainside Snow Beach Club Is Bringing Miami Heat to Après-Ski

Seaside meets slopeside at Snow Beach, where artist Gray Malin has brought one of his signature aerial beach photographs to life—in the snow—to celebrate the luxury of après-ski culture.

Gray Malin partnered with retail and experiential company ASPENX to construct a South Beach, Miami-inspired scene as a celebration of the luxe après-ski culture Aspen has perfected. Dubbed 'Snow Beach,' the experience is running from Feb. 18 to March 27 during Aspen Snowmass’ 75th anniversary ski season.
Gray Malin partnered with retail and experiential company ASPENX to construct a South Beach, Miami-inspired scene as a celebration of the luxe après-ski culture Aspen has perfected. Dubbed "Snow Beach," the experience is running from Feb. 18 to March 27 during Aspen Snowmass’ 75th anniversary ski season.
Photo: Gray Malin

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ASPEN, COLO.Gray Malin brought a piece of Miami’s South Beach heat to Colorado with Snow Beach, a winter-clad beach club designed to celebrate the culture of après-ski in all its glory with the luxury and vintage glamour characteristic of Aspen. Malin, known for his visionary aerial photography, partnered with retail and experiential brand ASPENX to outfit a corner of Ajax Mountain from Feb. 18 to March 27 in red-and-white striped cabanas, chaise lounges, umbrellas and chairs—a color scheme not only typical of Malin’s past work but also modeled after lifeguard uniforms. 'The red was a nice pop of color to the landscape, while the striped white offered a clean and simple look. This color combo also worked well with the beachy elements we incorporated, from constructing the lifeguard tower to the surfboards to the lounge seating and cabanas,' Malin said of where he drew inspiration for the installation."The red was a nice pop of color to the landscape, while the striped white offered a clean and simple look. This color combo also worked well with the beachy elements we incorporated, from constructing the lifeguard tower to the surfboards to the lounge seating and cabanas," Malin said of where he drew inspiration for the installation.Photo: Tyler Wilkinson-Ray

For the custom beach scene, Malin tapped Paula Crown—the Aspen-based artist behind ASPENX—as well as the team at Aspen’s only five-star hotel, The Little Nell, to bring his visions to life and said that he “wants guests of Snow Beach to step into a whimsical Gray Malin photograph where they can take their own pictures and create their own memories in Aspen.” With photo-op moments in mind, the fine art photographer also pointed out that the one-of-a-kind installation was perfectly situated with “the gorgeous Elk Mountains as the background” and scattered with props such as a lifeguard tower, surfboards and more. 

For the next six weeks during Aspen Snowmass’ 75th anniversary ski season, 72 seats are available for purchase daily, “each with Gray Malin outdoor pillows featuring an embroidered print of my signature aerial beach prints along with custom acrylic serving trays that have my photography printed in the bottom of the tray,” Malin said. Reservations for guests 21 and older can be made on ASPENX’s website, starting at $370 for a beach chair and $740 for a green cabana, a two-person lounge complete with bottle service and light bite pairings from The Little Nell team, table-side games provided by Ledge Loungers and a lineup of local DJs for an added nod to Miami’s bumping beach clubs. (Cabanas, which start at $2,218, can accommodate parties up to six.) A lineup of local DJs will be performing to bring the essence of Miami's beach clubs to the snowy mountainside.A lineup of local DJs will be performing to bring the essence of Miami's beach clubs to the snowy mountainside.Photo: Gray Malin

After having the idea to do something experiential with his work while visiting Aspen back in October 2020, Malin said he “decided to travel to Miami and walk the entire stretch of South Beach to study the various clubs.” After pitching the idea to The Little Nell and getting connected with the ASPENX team, “the rest was history!” He told BizBash that ASPENX’s recent launch made for a highly collaborative partnership that “had great synergy.” “Snow Beach has definitely become one of my all-time favorite projects. I’m very proud of what we achieved.” 

Malin explained that even after finding fame for his overhead prints of sun-splashed spots around the world, he finds himself drawn to Aspen’s “dreamy ski town,” which “has inspired my work through the years,” he said. It’s evident from his aerial À la Montagne seriesphotographed from a doorless helicopter in 2013—to his most recent Dogs of Aspen series that debuted earlier this year, which was also in partnership with The Little Nell. “It was a natural fit to debut this pop-up ‘beach club’ in Aspen and merge the snowy highlands with elements from my popular aerial beach photography, along with the luxury elements of the après-ski culture to create a unique experience for visitors,” Malin said.

Keep scrolling for a closer look inside the experience.

All reservations come with food and beverage selections courtesy of The Little Nell. Guests will receive Champagne or rosé and Ramona Amarino, a canned sparkling cocktail, plus caviar and accoutrements, black truffle pizza and more.All reservations come with food and beverage selections courtesy of The Little Nell. Guests will receive Champagne or rosé and Ramona Amarino, a canned sparkling cocktail, plus caviar and accoutrements, black truffle pizza and more.Photo: Gray Malin

Each of the 72 seats at Snow Beach have an embroidered pillow featuring one of Gray Malin's signature aerial beach prints.Each of the 72 seats at Snow Beach have an embroidered pillow featuring one of Gray Malin's signature aerial beach prints.Photo: Gray Malin

Malin's beach prints are also featured in the bottom of custom acrylic serving trays at each table.Malin's beach prints are also featured in the bottom of custom acrylic serving trays at each table.Photo: Gray Malin

Nods to sun-soaked Miami (and perfect photo-op props) include custom lifeguard chairs and surfboards.Nods to sun-soaked Miami (and perfect photo-op props) include custom lifeguard chairs and surfboards.Photo: Gray Malin

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