A brush with celebrity, Aspen-style
As is tradition, I was taking a few gondola laps with the mayor for a year-end interview last week.
He had told me during our chat at the Sundeck that one of the most surprising things about being the mayor of Aspen was the “celebrity” of it. I, of course, reminded him that he is just Steve Skadron from Minnesota, a fact he acknowledged and chuckled at.
We took a fast cruiser down Spar Gulch and met up at the top of the Little Nell run. We both looked, horrified, at the number of people on the slopes and their general inability to ski Aspen Mountain.
“I just want to get off this mountain,” he said.
“Me too,” I responded.
At the bottom, we clicked out of our skis, stepped off the snow and he asked, “Do you see anyone?”
“You mean celebrities?” I replied.
Yeah, no, I don’t and I don’t care.
Then a second later, Paris Hilton comes strutting her stuff past the Ajax Tavern. She made a slight left turn into the patio area and her backpack with the word “ICON” embroidered on it brushed against the mayor, almost knocking his poles out of his hand.
“By the way, that’s what celebrity looks like and you just had your brush with it,” I said with a laugh.
We said our goodbyes, happy New Year’s and all that jazz. I went home to prepare for my own celebrity lifestyle weekend that lay ahead.
When I was invited to a box seat at the Avalanche-Blackhawks game at Pepsi Center and a seat on a private jet to get there, I jumped at the chance.
But it wasn’t just because I was getting the celebrity treatment. If there is any reason to get out of town and the crowds — and away from that celebrity scene — I am there.
I wouldn’t have cared if I had to drive in a snowstorm and sit in a regular seat at the hockey game.
But luckily, I didn’t have to.
Now that I’m back in A-town, I will ski some freshies to ring in the new year and take stock in the fact that I know some real celebrities — the people who make this town tick, strengthen the community and dish out generosity.
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Pitkin County administrators are proposing a more than $142 million budget for 2020, which is about $6 million less than this year because of fewer construction projects and capital improvements.