‘Come on down!’ | AspenTimes.com

‘Come on down!’

Charles Agar

Paul Conrad/The Aspen Times

When Jody Harrison heard the announcer sing out “Come on down!” last year on “The Price is Right,” she had no idea her trip down the aisle would end with a luxury stay at The Little Nell in Aspen.Harrison has been teaching physical education and giving driving lessons in the St. Louis area for 31 years. She went to California last fall for an education conference and her friend, Lisa Brusack, wanted to fulfill a lifelong dream: to be on the popular game show. So the two headed to CBS Studios in Burbank.But getting on the show wasn’t easy, Harrison said. She sent away for tickets, then the two had to pass through an interview process – the producers of the show look for contestants who can really talk with Bob Barker. Barker is in his 35th and final year as the show’s host.

Harrison and Brusack passed the test, and during the afternoon taping, the announcer called Harrison’s name. She soon found herself standing in front of Barker at the bidding panel, where contestants guess the price of an item to move on to the next level.The first item up for bid was a NordicTrack, which was lucky for Harrison, who knows gym equipment prices from her job. She was sure the other contestants had overbid, so she guessed $1 – and won.Next she was up on stage with Barker, who handed her another cakewalk: Her test was to guess which was the most expensive vacation: a trip to Atlanta, Anchorage or Aspen.”It’s so noisy, you can’t hear anything on stage,” she said.

But Harrison had been to all three destinations, so she knew right away. “I didn’t hesitate,” she said. She picked Aspen and won not just a trip to Aspen, but to all three destinations. Later, she lost on the big wheel and didn’t have a chance at the Showcase Showdown at the end of the show.Her winnings took her to Anchorage and Atlanta this summer, and Harrison raved about her recent trip to Aspen.”It has been awesome, outstanding, incredible,” she said of last week’s visit.

Harrison and Brusack went to the Pine Creek Cookhouse twice and ate at Mezzaluna, the Wienerstube and Dish, and took in a performance of “Always … Patsy Cline” at the Wheeler Opera House. Harrison enjoyed the luxurious Little Nell and even had a chance to get out and ski, despite her bad knee.”It’s been a wonderful experience. People have just been super,” she said. “It’s going to be hard to go back home.”Charles Agar’s e-mail address is cagar@aspentimes.com.The Aspen Times, Aspen, Colo.