The Escobar ice-sculpture bar on the Hyman Avenue pedestrian mall was damaged Sunday for the second year in a row, and the culprit owes about $1,000 to fix it.
Escobar owner Ryan Chadwick wouldn’t reveal the identity of the male individual, but he said the damage occurred after the Denver Broncos divisional playoff game against the San Diego Chargers.
“I think somebody got a little excited after the win,” he said, adding that surveillance cameras were used to identify the man.
Because the man confessed and was willing to make amends, Chadwick said he didn’t press charges. He plans to have the damaged portion of the sculpture replaced before the Winter X Games, which begin on Jan. 23.
“Hopefully we’ll get that done by this weekend,” said Chadwick, who is in New York City and hasn’t seen the damage. “My business partner, Ian, who lives in Aspen, said it was pretty messed up.”
The ice bar is still functional, but a portion of the back bar that carried the Escobar logo, as well as a sponsorship design, was knocked off. Located at the center of the Hyman Avenue mall, the sculpture sits in a space Escobar leases from the city. Chadwick said the bar is not a moneymaker but rather a tool for increasing the nightclub’s presence while also branding Aspen. On any given day, a handful of tourists can be seen taking photographs next to the structure.
“I don’t know what the reasoning was (for the damage). I don’t really care. I just want it taken care of immediately,” he said. “I think last year it was one of the most photographed pieces in town. And for us, it’s big for social media.”
During the 2013 X Games, an individual stood on the icy bar and attempted to push a portion of the sculpture. Chadwick said that while last year’s damage was less severe, no one came forward with a confession.
“It was more of just revelers in town, and ... they were trying to get a picture and accidentally pushed something over, and that was it,” he said. “I don’t think it was anything intentional.”
Chadwick said city officials have been pleased with the ice bar’s presence because it increases the visibility of the Aspen brand. The city’s Downtown Coordinator Dan Nelson, who noticed the damage Wednesday morning, said it’s ridiculous that somebody would tarnish the sculpture, especially given the fact that Chadwick pays for the space.
“People take pictures with it, and I feel like it’s an attraction,” Nelson said. “Ryan puts up the tab for it, and it just adds a little bit of a winter element on the mall for our tourists to see, and they love it.”
In 2013, the ice bar lasted until the middle of March, when it began to melt and had to be removed.