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Living the Dream in Aspen: Skiing, Lifestyle, Parties, Events, Travel, Gossip, Society, Entertainment, Restaurants and Bars, Nightlife, Photographs.

The POW, the PIX, the PEOPLE.

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Friday
Feb052016

Light It Up Blue 2016: Party of the Year.

Ascendigo is hosting their annual LIGHT IT UP BLUE ASPEN event on February 13 th at The Hotel Jerome.  Light it up Blue is a celebration to raise awareness and support for autism awareness and honors  World Autism Awareness Day.  LIUB is presented in conjunction with Autism Speaks.

Take it from AspenSpin...this event is 2nd to none.  Bode Miller, TV's Dr.Jen...an All Star Rock and Roll Band and the best on-line auction.  DO NOT MISS... LIGHT IT UP IN BLUE, ASPEN

For Tickets and Info Click;  LIUB ASPEN



Tuesday
Feb022016

A.Party officially retires from X Games.

It's official, Andy Party is retiring from X Games.  "It's always good to go out on top, brah" shouted Party, the Editor of AspenSpin.com.  After 13 years (3 as a fan, 10 Winter X Games and 2 Summer X games as credentialed media) the partier is finally stepping down.  It hit me like a lightening bolt during the X Games 2016 press conference, I realized that "I couldn't go anymore,  the desire was not there".  

X GAMES 2016 (The Sick Pix)  Click 4 Pix

Chloe Kim, Golden Girl of snowboard pipe.Winter X games celebrated their 20th year in 2016. A milestone, no doubt. A-Spin has watched the evolution of X Games and extreme sports from the press box...and it's been a wild ride. We witnessed the metamorphosis of X Games from a programming after-thought, that included shovel racing... into a humongous entertainment property owned by Disney and operated by ESPN.  The progression, the amplitude, the money booters, the commercialization and finally the festivalization has made X Games a gigantic business.  I cannot even estimate the cost involved with presenting the greatest show on snow.     Each year Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen is transformed into a giant city devoted to X Games.  The competition courses have grown to a size beyond my imagination.  The tent city that's erected at the site is amazing.  The Athlete's Lounge, the VIP tent, the 5 story VIP viewing tower, the music venue and even X Games medical has become super-sized.

Mark McMorris teamed up with Intel to drill deep into the data.The athletes are getting younger and the handlers and hangers on are getting older.  The X Games field has gotten more and more international over the years. Competitors come from all over the world. The fans mostly come from Boulder and Fort Collins.  There are distinct sub-sets.   You have the freestyle skiers (pipe, slope-style and big air) the freestyle boarders (pipe,slope and big air) as well as the X racers skier X and snowboard X participants.  The adaptive athletes have grown in number and stature.   And of course the sled-heads (snowmobilers).  The guys who love to go braaaap, braaaap, braaaap.

The past two years X Games added on site festival-like concerts with big name talent.  The lineup in 2016 included Deadmau5, Nas and Twenty One Pilots.  Heard of 'em?   The crowds were massive.  Also on the program...e-gaming.  An entire tent was constructed to house the Halo World Championships which became part of the broadcast schedule.  It was clear as a media member that special emphasis was put on the music and the video gaming. I knew my X Games days were over when I declined to attend any of the music shows or even peak inside the gaming venue.

I had a great run covering X Games over the years.   Sick parties, awesome swag, teen-aged athletes agreeing to interviews,  hot young chicks wanting exposure on A-Spin, agents looking for coverage and an unlimited supply of energy drinks I could handle.  In the last few years the sponsored events included weed safe houses a.k.a The Tree House with open bars, catered meals and more free sh*t than you can imagine.  It's been fun.   My booty said yes, but my mind and my body said no.

Style of Miles. Danny Davis my Michigan bredran.There were plenty of highlights at X Games 2016.  This year a 13 year old from Estonia, Kelly Sildaru, won ladies ski slope-style to become the youngest Gold Medal winner in X Games history.  Chloe Kim a very mature and savvy 15 year old took Gold in snowboard super pipe...her second consecutive win, making her the only athlete under 16 to win 2 golds.  Gus Kenworthy a grizzly veteran at 24 won two Silvers in Ski Super Pipe and Ski Slopestyle.  Kenworthy "came out" in a cover story in ESPN The Magazine in October.  He has received tremendous support for his decision to go public with his sexuality. His boyfriend was even highlighted during the TV coverage...a first for a major sporting event. Gus almost snagged the Gold in pipe...only to be bested by Kevin rolland who put down an extremely clutch pipe run as the final competitor.  Skiing Super Pipe used to be considered a marquee event at X Games.   In 2016 pipe was relegated to Thurday night and only shown live via streaming on ESPN 3...or "The Ocho" as it's known inside the tent.   Jossi Wells, an X Games competitor for 10 years finally snagged his first Gold in Skiing Slopestyle.  Wells who began his X Games career at 15 is now one of the older competitors.  With his full beard and his beautiful wife...he is one of the oldest competitor.   Tucker Hibbert once again dominated the SnoCross snowmobile event winning his 9th Gold.  Lindsey Jacobellis won her 10th Gold in Snowboard X.  Mark McMorris topped a stacked field in snowboard slopestyle and nabbed a Silver in Big Air.

I did attend a few parties and events...which are always great.  But time has finally caught up to me and I just couldn't go anymore.   I went to bed early.  I rested up for the 3 feet of snow that dropped on the final 2 days of competition and partying.  I slept through the last two days of X Games and there was no FOMO. I was rewarded with tow of the best POW days in a long time.  It's good to go out on top.

I want to thank Danny Chi and his team at ESPN and X Games for always treating me with class and respect.  I had some fun times and excellent experiences covering X Games.  I got a few scoops and met lots world class athletes.  I snapped some sick pix and scored some grade AAA swag.  it's been a fantastic ride with plenty of amplitude.  But now, it's time to take a seat and let the others blog about X Games.

Thanks for a great run. 

X GAMES 2016 (The Sick Pix). Click 4 Pix

The BIG 3 of Snowboarding.The Norwegian girls sneaking in a selfie.Boarding 4 Breast Cancer selected the 20 greatest Snowboarding pix of all timeJossi got a Gold. After 10 years at X Kiwi skier Jossi Wells nabbed Gold. Snowboard boss Sage Kotsenburg looks on with their ladies.Mr. and Mrs Mike Schultz. Mike scored the first God of 2016 in Adaptive Snow cross.Mary's Medicinals out of Boulder participated in the Swag-fest at The Tree House.MudFlap with the hottest snowboarders in the world. " I love my life".

 

Tuesday
Jan262016

Aspen Times by A. Party

I have not been blogging much lately.  People don't want to read anymore...they want vid.  I don't do vid. After 10 years of documenting the over-the-top lifestyle in Aspen, Colorado...I'm a wee bit tired.  Yes, I greatly miss my best friend Carmelo and yes, I'm thinking about getting a new dog.   I did take some time off to visit Belize...which was sick.  I got into the ocean and into the jungle. It was a nice change of pace. Do you wanna see those pix?

I left town for 10 days and all hell broke loose in Aspen.  ACRA spent more money than you can imagine for Winterskol.  Substance abuse in Aspen is still trending higher. The New York Times analysed "Ski Town Rents" which are ridiculous.  Aspen was not mentioned in the article because our rents are off-the-charts.   I missed my first powder day in 13 years.  A snowboarder got thrown off the chair-lift by a skier.  (Yes sir, officer...I was in Belize, sir...it wasn't me).  That story made headlines all over the ski world.  

The snow keeps falling here in Aspen. I am still skiing every day and partying every night...and taking pix.  

Here's a few of the sick pix.

Tuesday
Dec222015

I am Carmelo, Carmelo is me.

Mountain Dog. Carmelo, first in line at the gondy.She was 7 weeks when I picked her out at a dog adoption event in April of 2003. Carmelo was 7 lbs of pure energy. "How big do you think she'll be" I asked the agent.  She replied..."oh about 40 lbs". I knew Carmelo would be bigger. She's 1/2 Golden Retriever and 1/2 German Shepard...a perfect mix if you ask me.  Her coloring was that of a Shepard but her ears and her fur were soft and fluffy like a Golden. She personified the best characteristics of both breeds.   She grew up to be about 85 pounds.

I was going to name her LeBron...but I opted for Carmelo. The day I brought her home Carmelo Anthony was on the cover of Sports Illustrated (for winning the NCAA title as a freshman at Syracuse). Plus her coloring was  like a caramel. It just made sense. Every one, including me thought my hometown team the Detroit Pistons would draft Carmelo at #2...but no, they took a guy named Darko.  But the dog's name stuck and it suited her.  She had a guys name and she was a bit of a tomboy...but she was my lady from Day 1.Our first day together. She loved belly rubs.

Carmelo basically trained herself.  She taught herself to sit on our very first day together.  I bought the book, "puppies for dummies"...but Carmelo didn't need me to teach her anything.   She figured it out herself. She taught me.  When I first got her in the Spring of 03 we were living on Pine Lake. I decided, any dog of mine was going to be a swimmer.  So at about 12 weeks I took her down to the waters edge.  She was very timid at first. She tentatively dipped her paws in the water.  She seemed afraid.  So I picked her up and placed her deeper in the water, about chest deep.  She screeched and flipped out and gave me a look that said "wtf, dude".  But she was never afraid of the water after that.  Within minutes she was swimming way off shore...in water over her head... chasing her beloved tennis ball.  Pine Lake, Upper Long Lake, Lake Michigan, Lake Superior...she loved 'em all.  She also swam a bunch in the rivers in Colorado and the Ocean in California too.

Ball...you better believe we played ball.  Every day, twice a day for almost 13 years.  When she was younger...Carmelo never ran out of gas.  Hour after hour of chuck-it play just to tire her out.  Of course Wagner Park and Rio Grande Park in Aspen were her favorites.   We also used to sneak into the finely manicured baseball diamond at Orchard Lake St. Mary's in Michigan.  A great field...totally fenced in.  We never got caught..and we never left anything behind...the 100% pick-up rule was in effect at all times. Carmelo and I found fields and playgrounds and open spaces everywhere we went.  She loved to be off-leash and I loved to watch her run free.

Ocean dog. 4 Summers at Windansea in La Jolla.Road trippin'.  Oh yeah.  Carmelo and I spent over 600 nights in hotels and motels together during her life.  We spent an entire Summer in the Limelight in Aspen...the old Limelight.   By the time we checked out in September...Carmelo was loved by everyone and she definitely had the run of the house.   One time we were checking into the Hotel Nikko...a pretty fancy hotel in SF.  The Japanese lady behind the desk was giving us the stink eye.  I asked "is there a problem?".  The clerk politely replied "the Hotel Nikko has a 40 lb weight limit for dogs". Then she asked "how much does your dog weigh?". Without skipping a beat I said... "40" and off we went to our posh room.  Or the time we spent a long weekend in downtown L.A. at the venerable old L.A. Athletic Club established in 1880. By this point we had snagged a very official looking service dog vest off the internet.  The LAAC had a strict "no pets" policy.  I talked them into accepting us.  By the end of our stay...the entire hotel staff was on a first-name basis with Carmie.  They even went out and scored a bag of treats for her so every time we went in or out of the LAAC...it was a treatski for Carmelo.  Or the time we went camping in the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho.  We found a sweet little make shift campsite in the wilderness not far off the road.  It was awesome until a large heard of mule deer started to charge us.  Carmelo got real mean real fast and saved the day.  I think she probably still has tree sap stuck in her fur from that trip.  All those hotel nights and never one issue, complaint or problem She never even barked, not once. 

Hiking...she loved it.  The Ute Trail, Smuggler, Cathedral Lake we did 'em all.  It never mattered where we were headed...Carmelo was always raring to go. Her tail always wagging and  that pink tongue sticking out rakishly.

BFF's in da UP, Eh? Last SummerPOWDER HOUND?  No question.  Carmie loved the fresh snow even more than me. She would leap and bound into the freshies...chasing her ball into the drifts.  I could tell how much snow had fallen up top...based on how high the snow measured up on her frame.  I called it the Carmelo-meter...and it was actually pretty accurate. She loved Aspen and got an energy surge whenever we returned. In fact she seemed to be doing quite well lately. She had been in very high spirits until a few days ago.  But heart-breakingly time caught up to her. Carmelo's liver began to fail.  A few steroid shots and some pills gave me some hope.  Maybe she could recover and continue a high quality of life.  But then she began to reject food.  She even turned down cheese-burgers.  This from a dog who never saw a treat she didn't want to devour.  I had to do the right thing for her.  I had to let her go. 

Carmelo brought out the best in me.  I loved her unconditionally and she loved me right back. We were a team. She was my constant companion. We had a deep, deep bond that will never be broken.  She was an athlete, a friend and a cuddle buddy...and she never once talked back.  She was always super-excited to see me when I came home.  In fact home became...anywhere that Carmelo was.  Whether it was a sh*tty roadside Best Western in Iowa or a ocean front surf shack rental in La Jolla or an old Victorian in Pacific Heights.  We always managed to find shelter together.  Wherever Carmie was... it felt like home and thats where I wanted to be...Its where I needed to be.

Lake Dog. Carmelo loved to swim.As she got older Carmelo had a few ailments.  Hip displacia eventually slowed her down.  And she had a giant tumor on her back.  We got the thing removed once and she sported a scar the length  my forearm on her back for the past 2 years.  The lump eventually grew back and probably contributed to her ultimate demise. Carmelo was a strong , athletic, very, very smart, hugely loyal, active partner.   She was extremely sweet and always happy, which made her an excellent companion. She was my lady and my best friend. She never, ever gave me any trouble until the day she died.  She gave me everything she had until she couldn't give anymore.

I will always love her and she'll always be a part of me...the good part.  I can only pray that her gentle sweet soul will rest comfortably. Our time together was awesome and I am greatful for such a phenomenal dog.  She was my best friend.

Now part of me is gone forever.  

Rest in Peace Carmelo

I am Carmelo and Carmelo is me.

Sunday
Dec202015

Jeremy Abbott and the Stars on Aspen Ice.

Stars on Aspen Ice. Gracie Gold, Ashley Clark, Anthony Boucher and Jeremy Abbott.Jeremy Abbott grew up and began skating in Aspen.  He is now a world-class figure skater and a U.S. Olympian.  For the 3rd year in a row, Abbott, who began skating at the Aspen Ice Garden at age 4, brought a few of his world-class  skating friends to Aspen to perform on the ice.  Stars on Aspen Stars Ice is a major league figure skating production created by Abbott, his friends and family and the local skating club, Revolutions.

 

 

Click 4 Pix:  

STARS on ASPEN ICE

Abbott along with Gracie Gold, a U.S. Olympian and Japan's Yuka Sato who was a World Championship led the parade of Stars on Aspen Ice.  Skating champions and international performers like Ashley Clark, pairs team Melanie Lambert & Fred Palascak and junior champion Anthony Boucher brought their talent o Aspen for two SRO shows.   Aspen's own skating sensation Sari Behr led a cast of Revolutions Skating Club performers that numbered almost 40.  The young ladies from Revolutions were poised for greatness and seemed super-excited to share the ice with some of the best skaters in the world.

The ARC was buzzing with excitement and The Stars on Aspen Ice did not disappoint.   The show was fast paced, well programmed and fun for everyone.  Abbott skated a flawless program and received a huge ovation from the hometown crowd.

It was a night of family fun for all ages.  See the Stars on Aspen Ice facebook page for more info.

Click 4 Pix:  STARS on ASPEN ICE


Memebers of Revolutions Skating Club in Aspen, Colorado take center ice.World Champion Japanese figure skater Yuka Soto made some new friends in AspenOlympian Gracie Gold and her co-stars from Revolutions.Jeremy Abbott with his sister Gwen and his Mom, Allison.