Community Table

From In-Vogue Artist Yayoi Kusama to T-Lazy-7 Patriarch Rick Deane, Our Fantasy Guest List

Here’s whom we’d invite if we could entertain this season’s most interesting visitors, locals, and newsmakers.

By Cindy Hirschfeld Illustrations by Matty Newton December 20, 2019 Published in the Holiday 2019–2020 issue of Aspen Sojourner

Yayoi Kusama

Aspenites will get a double dose of the storied Japanese artist this winter, with the installation of one of her immersive Infinity Mirror Rooms on the Aspen Art Museum’s rooftop deck, opening December 20, and an exhibit at the Marianne Boesky Gallery, opening February 15. 


Jeff Gorsuch

The veteran retailer (he helped bring high-end European skiwear and classic Alpine clothing to the Rockies), former US Ski Teamer, and steadfast supporter of the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club was inducted into the Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame in October.




Sara Ott

After a tumultuous turnover in the Aspen City Manager’s office last winter, this seasoned administrator stepped into the void, earning enough confidence and trust that, after a five-month national search, she was permanently appointed to the head position in late summer. 


John Sarpa

He says he’s most proud of negotiating a 1980s deal to preserve the Aspen Meadows campus for its nonprofits, but the longtime developer got a new, high-profile feather in his cap when the hip and swanky W Aspen hotel opened at the base of Aspen Mountain this summer.




Hailey Swirbul

A US Ski Team rookie last winter, the up-and-coming Nordic competitor, a 2016 Basalt High grad, jumped from the D team to the B team this year and has a fast future ahead as she sprints into several early-season World Cup races. 



Rick Deane

The patriarch of the family that has run Aspen’s T-Lazy-7 guest ranch for 80 years has helped provide locals with horseback rides, snowmobile trips, chuckwagon dinners, and Western-style shindigs—plus those adorable llamas and goats that greet bikers and cross-country skiers along Maroon Creek Road. 

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