Gay Ski Week | AspenTimes.com

Gay Ski Week

May Eynon

The Aspen Gay and Lesbian Community (AGLC) was established more than a decade ago as a means of organizing educational forums and hosting social events for the gay community in the Roaring Fork Valley. Gay Ski Week (GSW), which began in 1977, carried on as the organizations most popular event.As interest surrounding AGLC grew over the years, the organization evolved into a full-fledged nonprofit, changing its name to the Aspen Gay & Lesbian Community Fund (AGLCF). In 1996, it developed a staff and board of directors to manage the charity organization and focus on maintaining GSW as an annual event.I find the fact that this is the 27th year of this organization clearly makes it a part of Aspens history, said Mayor Helen Klanderud, recognizing GSW as a significant addition to the communitys special events calendar.In March 2003, Paul Rossi signed on as the executive director of the AGLCF, restructuring the organization and doubling sponsorships. From Jan. 24 through Feb. 1, roughly 3,000 people attended the 2004 GSW. Event sponsors included Bud Light, VOX vodka, FIJI water, Aspen Ski Tours, Sky Hotel, Aspen Club and Spa, Blue Door Productions, the Ritz-Carlton Club, The Gill Foundation, and The Aspen Times.GSW events included aprs-ski parties, signature nighttime activities with world-renowned DJs, the longtime favorite Downhill Costume Competition, Comedy Night, and a Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.On Friday, Jan. 30, the Snowball was held at the St. Regis with New York disc jockey Manny Lehman at the helm. Halycon Productions of Basalt created a powerful club presence with 30,000 watts of sound, 350 amps of power and SGM giotto lights, said production manager Heath Manning. The effect was a colorful disco with approximately 600 guests wafting on and off the dance floor.I had no idea how much fun this would be. Its amazing, said James Getzlaff as he gazed around the ballroom at the St. Regis. As the leading man on Bravos reality show Boy Meets Boy, Getzlaff was a celebrity at GSW.On Saturday, Jan. 31, atop Aspen Mountain, AGLCF staged its second annual Vision Dinner at the Aspen Mountain Club, hosting a VIP reception beforehand. The Vision Dinner was established last year to recognize individuals in Colorado who selflessly donate their time and efforts to further goals of diversity and understanding.A Youth of Vision scholarship was also created to recognize a Colorado high school youth for developing programs in the states educational curriculum that promote acceptance and understanding. Ryan Frazer, the 2004 scholarship recipient, accepted his award at the Aspen Mountain Club, noting he will attend CU this fall and pursue a major in biology.I believe that the scholarship program really adds credibility for the organization, stated Mayor Klanderud. The gay community has experienced a lot of discrimination, and its important to recognize people who have taken major risks to be open about who they are.The Vision Dinner also is a vehicle for awareness and philanthropy, assisting in the primary funding of additional educational programs promoted by the AGLCF.Speaking engagements by Brig. Gen. Keith H. Kerr and software entrepreneur Tim Gill were among the highlights of the evening. Kerr discussed his role in the military as a gay man and the implications of the Dont Ask, Dont Tell policy. Gill shared his perspectives on philanthropy and offered a glimpse into his success as the founder of Quark and charitable contributions made through the Gill Foundation.Following the Vision Dinner was the VOX Vodka Incendium Closing Party hosted at the Sundeck with disc jockey Ra of Miami. No way this is not the Sundeck, marveled one guest who was awed by the transformation. Low-lying fog covered the floor, and the DJ was encased in a stage modeled after a giant iceberg. Cellophane-wrapped columns dispersed around the room contained costumed male and female dancers who added to the mystique. Flashing lights fired across the dance floor, changing from steely blue to a bonfire of red and orange. You dont get this kind of scene in Wyoming, said one young man from Casper who drove to Aspen for the second consecutive year.After downloading on the gondola, revelers made their way to the late-night party at the GSW Lounge and Bar beneath the Cooper Avenue mall. Todd Heimel of Aspens J.H. Todd Interiors designed the room as the late-night headquarters for the week.For first-time guest Brunson Green of Los Angeles, GSW was an impressive series of events. Not only is it well organized, but its an amazing group of people from all over the country. Ill definitely be back next year.For more information on AGLCF, log onto http://www.gayskiweek.com.To contact May to send info, insight or invites, e-mail: allthewaymaymay@hotmail.com

Go back to article