28 years of Gay Ski Week | AspenTimes.com

28 years of Gay Ski Week

May Selby
Patrick Meehan and Armando Orozco-Vilchez of the Hamptons.

Celebrating its 28th year as the first official event of its kind, Aspen Gay Ski Week has earned a reputation for its wide range of exclusive and explosive entertainment. Drawing visitors from around the world, the late January celebration features imported world-renowned disc jockeys, an indoor pool party, an Aspen Mountain costume contest, après-ski events and dance parties galore. Other events of note include shopping and socializing during “boutique night” at participating stores in downtown Aspen, a Gay and Lesbian film festival, and comedy acts in the evening.Organized by the Aspen Gay & Lesbian Community Fund, the weeklong event is produced by Bryan Gonzales, executive director of the nonprofit. The Aspen Gay & Lesbian Community Fund is dedicated to serving the diverse needs and interests of the gay community through local programs, large-scale fundraising events and social activism.

For some, Gay Ski Week is an annual event not to be missed. Brendan Dwyer of Australia is a visitor every year. Though he enjoyed the dance party staged at the former site of the Chart House, he lamented the loss of one legendary nightspot. “Bring back the Tippler,” he said.For Justin Morgan of Denver, this year marked his first trip to Gay Ski Week, but it won’t be his last to Aspen. “I’ll be back – I’d like to visit this summer.”Perhaps he’ll attend the upcoming Summerfest Campout – dates to be announced soon.

Quite a few visitors come to town just for the snow. Brett Hill and Gean Leyba of Georgia skied the entire time they were in Aspen. “Every other year we do a ski trip,” Gean said. “It’s great here – we just love all of the powder and how we have so many choices with all of the ski areas.”Ron Sanford of Nashville, Tenn., however, claimed “We don’t come to ski, we come for the shopping and the partying – and to be around all of the other gay guys.”For more information on Gay Ski Week events, visit http://www.gayskiweek.com.