County agrees to Lifestylez event at base of Buttermilk | AspenTimes.com

County agrees to Lifestylez event at base of Buttermilk

Allyn Harvey
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Time to move over, Janus Jazz Aspen ? here comes Lifestylez.

The promotion and event planning company is bringing in more than 1,500 college students from around the country to party in Aspen in early January.

Sharing the top of the bill with this area’s fantastic skiing and snowboarding is rap artist Coolio.

The Pitkin County commissioners tentatively agreed yesterday to allow, as described by the Lifestylez Web site, “a gathering of youth, music, culture and physical stimulation” into the wee hours of the morning in a large tent next to Bumps Restaurant at Buttermilk.

Lifestylez Productions is not associated with Lifestyle Condoms, according to Eric Fullerton, the Aspen Skiing Co. marketing representative who booked the group.

The Lifestylez group will be in town from Jan. 6-11. They will be staying at hotels and condominiums throughout the Aspen-Snowmass area. Their package includes a four-day, four-mountain lift ticket, free entrance to all events, exclusive entertainment, including the Coolio show, a party kit and “spa gatherings.”

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Fullerton and Skico colleague Phillip Ring asked for permission to erect a 60-foot by 90-foot tent ? 5,400 square feet in all ? at the bottom of Buttermilk during the public comment period of yesterday’s county commissioner meeting.

The tent became necessary after the Snowmass Conference Center, where Coolio played last year, was booked for a meeting of 2,000 lawyers, Ring said.

So far two of the three neighbors of Buttermilk Ski Area, the Maroon Creek Club and the Inn at Aspen, have signed off on the plan. But the Skico has yet to secure an OK from the West Buttermilk Homeowners Association, which bothered the commissioners.

Ring and Fullerton said three messages left over the past two weeks on the answering machine of John Kane, the homeowner association president, have gone unanswered.

But they admitted, under questioning from Commissioner Mick Ireland, that they had yet to write or fax the association president or anyone else in the neighborhood.

A resident of West Buttermilk contacted by The Aspen Times said she believes Kane is out of the country. She has not heard anything about the proposed show, however, and hopes the neighborhood continues to support live events at Buttermilk.

Over the years, the West Buttermilk homeowners have been tolerant of loud events at the base of the mountain. Most recently they got behind the relocation of Janus Jazz Aspen’s Labor Day festival, which featured some of rock ?n? roll’s oldest and most established musicians, including Bob Dylan and a member of the Grateful Dead, both of whom started their careers in the mid-1960s.

The residents of West Buttermilk were less excited with the Aspen Festival for Harmony, which drew between 7,500 and 10,000 fans for a Widespread Panic concert in the summer of 2000.

How they will react to a rap artist playing until 12:30 a.m. for the 1,500 or so Lifestylez partiers is impossible to gauge, however.

The county commissioners said they had concerns with the precedent set by a last-minute approval. But in the end they supported the proposal for economic reasons, and, as Coolio puts it in one of his songs:

“One-two-three-four get your booty on the floor,

Gotta, gotta get up to get down,

Gotta, gotta get up to get down …”

[Allyn Harvey’s e-mail address is aharvey@aspentimes.com]