Gina Murdock gets the good life in Aspen. As founder and co-director of the Aspen City of Wellbeing (ACW)—a community nonprofit aimed at enhancing local lifestyles and inspired by health-expert friends including Deepak Chopra—Murdock fulfills her mission from an iconic, late-1800s Victorian guesthouse in the city’s historic West End, within walking distance to downtown. Located at the foot of Aspen Mountain (elevation: 11,211 feet) and steeped in ski-town charm, Aspen draws a cosmopolitan crowd to bask in its natural beauty, world-renowned art and music, and vibrant social scene. Still, the millionaire-magnet city is often misunderstood.
Murdock, a valley resident since 2004, tells Elliman Magazine: “As a self-proclaimed, self-righteous environmentalist, I didn’t think I would like Aspen—too pretentious.” She was thrilled to be proved wrong. “The town may have a ‘shiny’ exterior that looks like Disneyland, but inside it is still a lot of grit, culture, and people who care deeply for the place. It has a very worldly energy for a tiny mountain town.”
MOMENTS OF REFLECTION
“I thrive on moving meditation, so my ultimate oasis is the tranquil, beautiful Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES), at nearby Hallam Lake. Whether strolling the 25-acre wildlife preserve or leading yoga classes on marsh platforms, I emerge refreshed.”
STRIKE A POSE
“Since yoga is at the top of my list in Aspen or anywhere, I also frequent more conventional studios: O2 Yoga Studio & Spa for therapy-based classes with Evan Soroka and Iyengar Yoga with Trishka Lemos, and the newly relocated Aspen Shakti during monthly full-moon yoga rituals. Jayne Gottlieb has exuberant energy.”
FOOD & VALUES
“To refuel, I order dirty, sticky chai tea at Aussie hangout Victoria + Co. Espresso + Wine Bar. I’m also a fan of the super-food salads and smoothies at the organic Spring Café. I trust the integrity of the food; it resonates with my values. Before hosting a dinner party, I stock up at the independently owned Butcher’s Block deli.
“I feel blessed to share the West End with the Aspen Meadows Resort, home to the Aspen Institute (AI) and the Aspen Music Festival and School. My husband, Jerry, is an AI trustee, and I host ACW’s annual Lead with Love Experience there in October.
“Aspen is still a place for rugged individuals, and finding your own path is the only way to fit in. You have to come, sniff it out, and see for yourself.”