Beer garden on tap for this year’s Winter X-Games in Aspen | AspenTimes.com

Beer garden on tap for this year’s Winter X-Games in Aspen

This year's Winter X Games may feature a beer garden on the slope behind the Inn at Aspen for attendees who need alcoholic refreshment during the competition, officials said Tuesday.

Pitkin County commissioners will decide in the coming weeks whether to issue a liquor license to Home Team BBQ to operate the beer garden.

Vanessa Anthes of ESPN told commissioners Tuesday the beer garden will be fenced off, require identification to enter and will close 30 minutes before the end of each day's final competition. She also said Home Team bartenders will ask patrons for ID when they order beer or wine in order to thwart potential underage drinkers.

In addition to the proposed beer garden, beer and wine will be served at the post-event concerts, in the VIP area and in private viewing suites, said Mike Kraemer, Pitkin County planner.

Commissioner Rachel Richards said she was concerned about the expanding alcohol service at X Games and the message it sends.

"Are we starting to change the tenor of the event too much?" Richards asked.

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Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo said deputies will again concentrate on curbing alcohol consumption at the Intercept Lot at Brush Creek Road and Highway 82, where many X Games spectators park. DiSalvo said he wasn't satisfied with his department's efforts last year and he plans a different strategy this year, though he didn't want to talk about it publicly Tuesday.

Otherwise, DiSalvo said he wasn't worried about alcohol consumption at the X Games because it's well-monitored by private security and hasn't been a problem in recent years.

"Maybe a cold beer on a cold January night" isn't that tempting, he said.

Concerts this year will end at 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, as they did last year, Kraemer said. The Sunday concert will run from 4:30 to 6 p.m., he said.

This year's concert lineup at the Buttermilk venue will feature Dutch producer Martin Garrix on Friday from 9:30 to 11 p.m. Rappers Method Man and Redman will play Saturday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., while LCD Soundsystem will play Saturday from 9:30 to 11 p.m.

Producer and DJ Marshmello will close the X Games — which runs Jan. 25 to 28 — on Sunday.

ESPN is expecting 7,500 people per night for the concerts, Kraemer said.

Commissioner Patti Clapper asked about ESPN's contingency plans in the event of a lack of snow. Anthes said all events will be held in areas covered by Aspen Skiing Co.'s snowmaking infrastructure, and that course adjustments can be made if necessary.

jauslander@aspentimes.com

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