I’ll never forget the first time I came to Aspen; it was to work an event for the X Games in 2008. Upon arrival, I no longer had a place to stay and when I pulled into town, I honestly wasn’t even sure if I was in the right place. Was it really this small? I parked my car outside of the Regal, quickly found myself a couch to crash on for the week from Regal bartenders, and made a new friend named Mermaid. This was the year that it snowed and snowed and snowed some more. My memories of X Games are of sliding down the hill with hundreds of fans, snowmobiles and athletes flying through the air in a seemingly impossible manner, and Mermaid getting kicked out for “over-zealous cowbell ringing.” Safe to say, X Games and cowbells will always have a special place in my heart.
And here we are again. After weeks of preparation, hours of hard work, and what looks like no less than a small army of set up workers, it’s almost here! Tomorrow marks the start of the 16th Annual Winter X Games. Town is buzzing with athletes, fans, special events, and don’t forget, the always fabulous X Games parties!
For locals, the big question around town is, will ESPN keep the Winter X Games in Aspen? Aspen has been home to this colossal event for the past ten years (this being year eleven) and there’s no question that it is a generous revenue maker for the town. Between the 6,000 plus rooms provided from local lodges, a 98% occupancy rate, and increased revenue at restaurants and retailers, this event is highly sought after by all ski communities. Bids have been submitted and the jury is still out….fingers crossed that X Games keeps Aspen as its home because X Games, we love you!
So in 18 hours, 7 minutes, and some odd seconds, I’ll see you at Buttermilk! (I’ll be the one over-zealously ringing a cowbell; this one’s for you, Mermaid!)
For a complete list of events, activities, athlete bios, who’s who, and schedules, visit: http://espn.go.com/action/xgames/winter/2012/.
*Thank you Frank Nolen for the set up pics and all of your hard work; as always, you guys did a great job!