On the heels of a whirlwind FIS World Cup Finals weekend, I wouldn’t have even noticed the Trump Kids' Spring Break 2017 was happening in our fair town. But when a Vanity Fair link claiming that the vacation is “turning Aspen into a nightmare” arrived via text from a worried friend in Los Angeles, I immediately wondered what debacle I might have missed on a night I opted to stay in. As I read the article, I also immediately wondered if I was in the same Aspen as the anonymous "New York moms" quoted throughout. Since the Trumps' arrival on Saturday, I've had no problem parking, dining out, or skiing. And, as noteworthy as the First Family members may be, Aspen gets its fair share of high-profile visitors year-round (the Obamas and Bidens included). Vanity Fair's coverage of all-things Trump is almost always on-point, but this one comes in curiously off base. Here, I'm setting the record straight on the "alternative facts" reported out of a Condé Nast cubicle in New York City:
Alternative Fact #1: “They’re everywhere. There are so many of them,” one New York mom who is vacationing in Aspen told me. “Everyone is complaining. Everyone is annoyed.”
As annoyed as we locals were to hear the news of an impending Trump spring break, the entire town was wrapped up in the World Cup Finals, celebrating ski racers from around the globe (thousands of foreigners welcomed with open arms, I might add) through Sunday. Since then, it's been business as usual, with the standard spring break spike in visitors Aspen sees every year.
Alternative Fact #2: “Because the Trump group is so big, and security is so tight, it’s harder to score tables at the few local restaurants at which New Yorkers normally dine.”
Let me guess the restaurants this "New York mom" is referring to: Matsuhisa? Campo De Fiori? Element 47? These hot spots are hard to get a reservation at no matter what time of year, and with more than 80 dining options in downtown Aspen alone, there are far more than a "few" for New Yorkers to invade.
Alternative Fact #3: “Another New York mom who took her kids to Aspen for the week said that with so many agents about, it is hard to get around the mountain.”
The Trumps are skiing primarily at Buttermilk while in town, which boasts 470 acres of skiable terrain. Locally, it's known as the "beginner's mountain" and, even with Trump spawn strewn about its 44 trails with the Secret Service in tow, the ski area is literally impossible to be "hard to get around." And, for the record, Aspen Snowmass offers four different mountains within minutes of each other.
Alternative Fact #4: "Traffic, too, they said, is a nightmare. About 40 or so locals threw together a last-minute protest on Main Street—for 'All That Is Right and Good'—when they heard about the First Family’s visit."
Assistant chief of police Bill Linn told Vanity Fair "that there were no reports filed about traffic related to a dignitary visit, but that traffic has been challenging." Do these "New York moms" ever leave the downtown core to even experience our longtime traffic problem for themselves? If and when they do, they're likely being driven in a hotel SUV shuttle to ski at Snowmass or catch a flight at Atlantic Aviation (the private airport, natch). For the rest of us, we're all well aware that traffic starts around 4 p.m. daily, when the majority of locals head to their humble homes downvalley. And that "last-minute protest," organized by two local advocacy groups (one of which shared this perfect letter to the Trumps in the Aspen Times today), had absolutely zero impact on traffic patterns, other than passersby honking in support.