Spring Jam kept town jamming

Steve Benson
Tony Saca, presidential candidate of the National Republican Alliance, ARENA, gives a thumb-up as he proclaimed victory in Sunday's presidential election over a former Communist Party guerrilla leader Schafik Handal, though no official returns had been announced, in San Salvador, El Salvador, March 21, 2004. (AP Photo/Luis Romero)

By most accounts, this year’s Spring Jam broke the mold.

“This one was the best,” Channel 16’s Brendan Harty said Sunday. “There was a much-needed sense of vitality and youthfulness.”

Jeff Hanle, director of communications for the Aspen Skiing Co., said holding the event in March, rather than at the end of the ski season like in years past, proved beneficial.

“We moved it to a time of year when more people were here, and it gave the event more life,” Hanle said. “We’re pretty darn happy with the way things went.”

The event kicked off Thursday night with the Nepsa (Aspen backwards) awards and closed

Sunday with the Dash for Cash and a jibbing exhibition at Snowmass.

In between, Aspen and Snowmass held a variety of events including a plethora of big air and jibbing competitions, parties and music.

“We’re learning as we go, adjusting the events and switching them up,” Hanle said. “We’re mixing in more music, art and new-school culture.”

Saturday night, hip-hop band The Wylde Bunch performed on an outdoor stage in downtown Aspen, replete with go-go and break dancers.

“There was a big crowd. It was very successful,” Hanle added.

“I liked the break dancing, it was a pretty neat display of gymnastics,” said Lisa Wagner, of Aspen. “But it was a little too loud, you couldn’t hear the difference [in the music].

“It was pretty cool, but nothing compared to The Offspring concert.”

Hanle said the event fueled an already good season in Aspen/Snowmass.

“We’re still tracking well above last year,” he said. “We’re going to continue doing events that will start bringing people back – hopefully they’ll plan their vacations around it.”

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