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Asher on Aspen: Spotted in Aspen

People Watching during Aspen’s Holiday Bustle

Shannon Asher
Asher on Aspen
Actress Kate Hudson, left, chats with Argentine polo player Nacho Figueras from horseback prior to the start of the World Snow Polo Championship final on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, at Rio Grande Park in Aspen. (Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times)
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

There is a saying that I love that serves as one of the world’s great equalizers, “We all put our pants on one leg at a time.” It’s a subtle reminder that, at the end of the day, no matter if you live in a mansion or employee housing, drive a Range Rover or take the RFTA bus, have reserved tickets to Belly Up or general admission, we all have a pair of jeans in our closet, and we all put them on one leg at a time.

Glitz, glamor, and opulence take center stage this time of year in Aspen. The holiday bustle typically brings the most eccentric and affluent characters to town, making it one of the most sought-after times of year to visit. Tourists elicit entertaining and wildly absurd people-watching this time of year. Some are incredibly loud about their presence being known, while others fly under the radar and go relatively unnoticed. Stay with me as I attempt to outline the extravagant social gatherings from the past couple weeks in Aspen.

To kick off the winter season, locals and celebrities gather every year in mid-December for the annual St. Regis World Snow Polo Championship in downtown Aspen. Most people don’t realize that in the U.S., snow polo is held exclusively in Aspen. A-list celebrities like Kate Hudson, Shawn White, Rebel Wilson, and Kyle Richards frequent this event nearly every year. I watched from a distance as Kate, Shawn, and Argentinian polo player Nacho Figueras hopped on some horses for an impromptu photo shoot.



Snowboard icon Shaun White hangs around and chats with people prior to the final of the World Snow Polo Championship on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, at Rio Grande Park in Aspen. (Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times)
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

Upon running into a friend at this star-studded event, I admittedly told her that, in my six years of living in Aspen, this was my first time attending. Unbothered, she casually looked at me and muttered, “There’s not a whole lot to do here except see and be seen.” I smirked and looked over at the intense polo match being played while this conversation was happening. Overheard in the crowd, I discreetly listened in as an enormous fur coat yelled out, “I’m just going to steal a caviar spoon and put it in my Birken.” She laughed out loud at her own absurdity while sipping the Veuve Clicquot a server had just poured for her.

The following weekend, I spontaneously found myself having lunch with a friend at the Aspen Mountain Club located at the top of Aspen Mountain. This experience was another first for me. Without even as much as an introduction, a chiseled, well-dressed man turned to our group and announced that he was buying our lunch. I immediately shut down his overly-gracious gesture, and he quickly explained that it had already been taken care of. The mystery man eventually sat down with us, and I inquired about his name and what he did for work. He gave me a blanket, covert answer about being a developer in Malibu and then quickly changed subjects.




That evening, we received an impromptu invite to see comedian Becky Robinson perform a live stand-up show at the Wheeler Opera House. If you’re not familiar with this LA-based comedian, writer, actor, and voice-over star, you should stop reading this and go check out her Instagram. Her alter egos are considerably funnier than this column will ever be. Showing off her contagious energy, the one-woman show was packed with punchlines, characters, and improv. I could barely catch my breath in between bits, as her hilarious humor had me keeled over nearly the entire show.

Comedienne Becky Robinson.
Courtesy

Now, fueled up with an abundance of serotonin, we took to the Caribou Club to continue our Saturday night shenanigans. Tucked away in an indoor passageway and down a discreet flight of red-carpeted stairs, the Caribou Club is a members-only club that is known for their authentic chalet experience and star-studded crew. By mere coincidence and given the nature of Aspen’s small proximity, we ended up running into Becky and her entourage and hitting it off with them right away. The night ended with all of us on the dance floor drinking martinis and recounting the hilarious comedy show.


Meanwhile, at Kemo Sabe, Jeff Bezos and Katie Couric rubbed shoulders as they perused the famous Western store (known for their in-store experience) that typically has a line out the door this time of year. Venture a few blocks further, and you’ll stumble into the historic bar at Hotel Jerome to drink espresso martinis next to someone who looks vaguely like Kurt Russell and who most likely is Kurt Russell. In the same week, one could wander down to Belly Up and see the Chainsmokers perform live in an intimate 350-person space. In Aspen, you truly never know who you’re going to run into next. Leonardo DiCaprio, is that you?

While it can be entertaining to cross paths with the rich and famous, it’s also important to remember that they are just like everyone else. Upon your next celebrity sighting in Aspen, try to give them some space, and remember that they are ordinary people, too. They all put their pants on one leg at a time, just like the rest of us.

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