After eleven years of mustachioed skiers, snowboarders in leather pants, and enough energy drink to fill a shark tank, Aspen, Colorado, has not had enough of the X-Games. In fact, they just signed up for two more years of Winter X mayhem.
The Games have become a staple in Aspen. They bring world-class athletes, big-name corporate sponsors, and a slew of fans, which showcases Aspen’s youthful side.
According to some locals, youth doesn’t normally come to mind when people think of Aspen.
“A lot of people see Aspen as a chalet mountain town for folks with private jets and Land Rovers,” said Andy Pappani, manager at Aspen’s Escobar nightclub. “But the X-Games show that there’s a young crowd here, and they know how to have a good time.”
After several interviews, it was impossible to find a negative remark about the X-Games returning to Aspen. Business owners like Belly Up’s George Michael Goldberg find the X crowd refreshing. “The town was in need of a youth movement and the Games brought it.”
The influx of young people shifts the town’s focus from Grey Goose martinis and fur coats to Jager Bombs and rail jams. Corporate sponsors like Oakley and Red Bull rent out bars for after-parties that energize Aspen’s already flourishing nightlife.
“Celebrities sometimes show up at these parties. It’s great because people get to interact with them in a more intimate setting than they would in a big city club,” Pappani says.
So pack your bags and head to Aspen next January. The beer flows like wine, and the locals are happy to pour it.