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January 28, 2013
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Sheriff's Office has its hands full Saturday after Aspen X Games

ASPEN - Saturday's attendance at the ESPN Winter X Games at Buttermilk was estimated at 47,000 for the entire day, according to Pitkin County Sheriff's Office patrol director Jesse Steindler.

If confirmed when other X Games-related statistics on attendance and arrests are released Monday, then the Saturday crowd would represent a 2,000-person increase over the number of spectators on Jan. 28, 2012, the Saturday of last year's X Games in Aspen, when 45,000 spectators were counted.

Traditionally, more people attend the X Games on Saturday than on the other three days of the event - Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Total attendance at Buttermilk over the four days of X Games in 2012 was estimated at 108,000, a 5.5 percent decrease compared with 2011's record high of 114,200.

Steindler said that Saturday night was a busy one for the Sheriff's Office. The combination of evening snowfall, large crowds and heavy drinking led to many calls for help from sheriff's deputies, the Colorado State Patrol and the Aspen Police Department, he said.

No one with the Aspen Police Department could be reached for comment Sunday evening.

"The weather kept going back and forth, and the roads around the county were real bad," Steindler said. "There were minor accidents and also a lot of people acting inappropriately due to alcohol consumption."

The Sheriff's Office responded to and worked a two-car accident on Owl Creek Road either Saturday night or early Sunday morning in the Sinclair Divide area, he said. A few people were transported by ambulance to Aspen Valley Hospital for treatment.

State and Snowmass Village police worked a few accidents Saturday night, as well, Steindler said.

He said the Sheriff's Office dealt with a variety of calls, including reports of harassment, gasoline smells, a rockslide on state Highway 133, requests for transportation to a detoxification facility, parking complaints, a suicidal female at the Brush Creek Intercept Lot, a domestic dispute at the intercept lot, road hazards, animal bites and even a teenager who needed medical attention because his foot was caught in a bus door.

"When the Buttermilk venue empties on Saturday night, that's a migration of thousands of bodies in all directions," Steindler said. "People are unfamiliar with the area. Many of them have been drinking. The weather's bad. The intercept lot is a muddy mess. We were so busy."

asalvail@aspentimes.com


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The Aspen Times Updated Jan 28, 2013 07:40AM Published Jan 28, 2013 01:47AM Copyright 2013 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.