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LIGHT it up BLUE Rocks Out in Aspen...hard.

Light It Up Blue in Aspen. Hardest rocking party in Aspen.I gave you guys the heads up.  Light It Up Blue, Aspen was the hardest rocking party of the year.  Light it Up Blue (LIUB), Aspen, in it's 5th year benefiting Ascendigo rocked out...hard last night. LIUB is an international event that raises awareness for autism in conjunction with Autism Speaks.  In Aspen, LIUB directly benefits Ascendigo, a program that strives to enhance the health, life abilities personal growth and social engagement of those who suffer from autism.

Click  Ascendigo for more info.

Special thanks to Julie Royer Manning who co-chaired this years LIUB, Aspen with Stephen Olitsky.  Julie and her family deal with autism every single day.  Julie's daughter Olivia is a camper at Ascendigo's Summer Camp in Aspen. Olivia loves Ascendigo and it's program has directly enhanced her life. Through Ascendigo, Olivia comes out of her special world to ride horses, wake board, river raft and more. She has developed meaningful relationships with the staff and other campers.  According to Julie, Olivia's transformation is "simply amazing".  Olivia is one of 500 beneficiaries of Ascendigo's work in the Roaring Fork Valley.


Mingling with the band. #liubaspenThe party was first class all the way.  The presenting sponsor, Sentient Jet  and party planner Aspen Eventworks pulled out all the stops. The Hotel Jerome Ballroom was bedazzled in blue.  Celebrity guests included World Champion ski racer Bode Miller and Dr. Jennifer Berman and Dr. Andrew Ordon from the Emmy winning TV show, The Doctors.  The ladies in the house were resplendant in their finest blue cocktail attire.   The guys....meh.  Just kidding, the men looked good too.

The food. OMG!!   It was a baccanahal.  The seafood tower was again the most popular food station. Enough lobster, shrimp and crab to feed an army of hungry philanthropists.   The silent and live auctions had fantastic items...including a ski day with Bode Miller that fetched $17,000.

After dinner and a short program...the lights went down...and THE MONSTER ALL-STAR BAND took the stage.  Composed of hard-rocking members of Fuel, Puddle of Mudd, The Ted Nugent Band,  Lynyrd Skynyrd and Blind Melon.   Leading the rock n roll charge were Derek St Holmes on vocals and guitar, Peter Keys on the 88's and Travis Warren on vocals.  The Monster All-Star's rendition of Cat Scratch Fever may have actually blown the roof off the Hotel Jerome.  They followed that up with Stranglehold which definately had the whole neighborhood jamming out.   In my opinion, the clear highlight was the final number, With A Little Help From My Friends, which had the entire intimate venue dancing and singing along.  

Everyone loved the ear splitting rock and roll and the all-u-can-eat lobster tower, but no one in the room forgot why we were there.  Light it Up Blue, Aspen, Ascendigo and kids like Olivia need our help.   Thanks to a SRO crowd of generous patrons at LIUB, Aspen...kids and adults with autism in the Roaring Fork Valley are the benficiaries.

It was another great night in Aspen, Colorado.


Bode Miller one of the greatest ski racers of all-time at #LIUBASPENGary DePersia lighting it up Blue in Aspen.Julie Royer Manning, Co-chair of #liubaspen with her PNW crew and her Mom at Light It Up Blue , AspenSallie Bernard and Dr. Jennifer Berman flank (help me out with this guys name) at Light It Up Blue AspenAndy Andersson from Fuel on Lead and Derek St Holmes of the Ted Nugent Band got down in Aspen.It was a jam. Light It Up Blue , Aspen.



Response: Chocolate Thunder in Aspen

Wow...I am on a sugar high unlike any I've been on before.  AspenSpin just completed duties as a "guest judge" at Response Aspen's 20th Annual Chocolate Classic.


Response has been providing non-judgmental support to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault since 1983.   Response is the only non-profit in Pitkin County and Western Eagle County providing services such as a 24 hour help line and crisis intervention and emergency short-term shelter.  

RESPONSE has the mission to SUPPORT, EDUCATE and EMPOWER victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.    For 24 Hour Support call  970-925-SAFE.  Or click their site  www.responsehelps.org   

Now a few observations about The Chocolate Classic...OMG!!!! I am bouncing off the walls.   40 or more restaurants, caterers and bakers from around Aspen and The Roaring Fork Valley brought their best deserts to the Hotel Jerome to be rated and eaten.  As a judge, I was required to try at least 15 offerings.

Good ol' Andy Party OD'd on chocolate.  By the 10th sweet treat I was doing laps around the ballroom trying to walk it off. Once the doors opened to the public...I could not eat another bite.  It was an amazing display of chocolate decadence...a feast of chocolate gratification.  Plus the crowd was a like a stocked pond of valentine-ready Betty's.  I digress.

The First-Prize winner was a 4 layer chocolate torte that I have nicknamed Chocolate Thunder from All Sweet Things a local caterer.  One word: Sick.



Broncos to dominate the Super Bowl.

As a former DETROIT LIONS fan, I was accused of jumping on the DENVER BRONCOS band wagon this morning.  

HELLZ f-ing YEAH, I'm jumping on the band wagon.  I've officially adopted "the Donkeys" as my NFL squad. The transformation occured during the Tebow era.  When you're a Detroiter...you need to grasp at straws when rooting for an NFL team.   For me it's not just any port in the storm.  And its not because I hate Brady and the wiicked smaaaat Paaaats.

I DIG THE BRONCOS and I'm proud to say it. 

I have watched tape on every NFL game since 1937.  So trust me.  

Here's why the DENVER BRONCOS will win Super Bowl L

1)  DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS.   Boom...who said it...I dunno. Lombardi? George Halas?  I dunno? But its very true.

2)  TEAM.  There is no I in Team.   Yada Yada Yada.

3) DESTINY.   Yeah...Peyton is a washed up, feeble, game manager.  But give him this.  His mental game is on point.  He knows what he's doing.   Elway went out on a high note...and I think Peyton can too.

Maybe I'm just going with my heart.  On paper Carolina has a lot going for them.  Cam Newton is a beast. 

Lock it down:   DENVER   24  CAROLINA  17

(Post Game Note:  Final Score  Denver 24 Carolina 10. Von Miller = MVP)



Light It Up Blue 2016: Party of the Year.

Ascendigo is hosting their annual LIGHT IT UP BLUE ASPEN event on February 13 th at The Hotel Jerome.  Light it up Blue is a celebration to raise awareness and support for autism awareness and honors  World Autism Awareness Day.  LIUB is presented in conjunction with Autism Speaks.

Take it from AspenSpin...this event is 2nd to none.  Bode Miller, TV's Dr.Jen...an All Star Rock and Roll Band and the best on-line auction.  DO NOT MISS... LIGHT IT UP IN BLUE, ASPEN

For Tickets and Info Click;  LIUB ASPEN


A.Party officially retires from X Games.

It's official, Andy Party is retiring from X Games.  "It's always good to go out on top, brah" shouted Party, the Editor of AspenSpin.com.  After 13 years (3 as a fan, 10 Winter X Games and 2 Summer X games as credentialed media) the partier is finally stepping down.  It hit me like a lightening bolt during the X Games 2016 press conference, I realized that "I couldn't go anymore,  the desire was not there".  

X GAMES 2016 (The Sick Pix)  Click 4 Pix

Chloe Kim, Golden Girl of snowboard pipe.Winter X games celebrated their 20th year in 2016. A milestone, no doubt. A-Spin has watched the evolution of X Games and extreme sports from the press box...and it's been a wild ride. We witnessed the metamorphosis of X Games from a programming after-thought, that included shovel racing... into a humongous entertainment property owned by Disney and operated by ESPN.  The progression, the amplitude, the money booters, the commercialization and finally the festivalization has made X Games a gigantic business.  I cannot even estimate the cost involved with presenting the greatest show on snow.     Each year Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen is transformed into a giant city devoted to X Games.  The competition courses have grown to a size beyond my imagination.  The tent city that's erected at the site is amazing.  The Athlete's Lounge, the VIP tent, the 5 story VIP viewing tower, the music venue and even X Games medical has become super-sized.

Mark McMorris teamed up with Intel to drill deep into the data.The athletes are getting younger and the handlers and hangers on are getting older.  The X Games field has gotten more and more international over the years. Competitors come from all over the world. The fans mostly come from Boulder and Fort Collins.  There are distinct sub-sets.   You have the freestyle skiers (pipe, slope-style and big air) the freestyle boarders (pipe,slope and big air) as well as the X racers skier X and snowboard X participants.  The adaptive athletes have grown in number and stature.   And of course the sled-heads (snowmobilers).  The guys who love to go braaaap, braaaap, braaaap.

The past two years X Games added on site festival-like concerts with big name talent.  The lineup in 2016 included Deadmau5, Nas and Twenty One Pilots.  Heard of 'em?   The crowds were massive.  Also on the program...e-gaming.  An entire tent was constructed to house the Halo World Championships which became part of the broadcast schedule.  It was clear as a media member that special emphasis was put on the music and the video gaming. I knew my X Games days were over when I declined to attend any of the music shows or even peak inside the gaming venue.

I had a great run covering X Games over the years.   Sick parties, awesome swag, teen-aged athletes agreeing to interviews,  hot young chicks wanting exposure on A-Spin, agents looking for coverage and an unlimited supply of energy drinks I could handle.  In the last few years the sponsored events included weed safe houses a.k.a The Tree House with open bars, catered meals and more free sh*t than you can imagine.  It's been fun.   My booty said yes, but my mind and my body said no.

Style of Miles. Danny Davis my Michigan bredran.There were plenty of highlights at X Games 2016.  This year a 13 year old from Estonia, Kelly Sildaru, won ladies ski slope-style to become the youngest Gold Medal winner in X Games history.  Chloe Kim a very mature and savvy 15 year old took Gold in snowboard super pipe...her second consecutive win, making her the only athlete under 16 to win 2 golds.  Gus Kenworthy a grizzly veteran at 24 won two Silvers in Ski Super Pipe and Ski Slopestyle.  Kenworthy "came out" in a cover story in ESPN The Magazine in October.  He has received tremendous support for his decision to go public with his sexuality. His boyfriend was even highlighted during the TV coverage...a first for a major sporting event. Gus almost snagged the Gold in pipe...only to be bested by Kevin rolland who put down an extremely clutch pipe run as the final competitor.  Skiing Super Pipe used to be considered a marquee event at X Games.   In 2016 pipe was relegated to Thurday night and only shown live via streaming on ESPN 3...or "The Ocho" as it's known inside the tent.   Jossi Wells, an X Games competitor for 10 years finally snagged his first Gold in Skiing Slopestyle.  Wells who began his X Games career at 15 is now one of the older competitors.  With his full beard and his beautiful wife...he is one of the oldest competitor.   Tucker Hibbert once again dominated the SnoCross snowmobile event winning his 9th Gold.  Lindsey Jacobellis won her 10th Gold in Snowboard X.  Mark McMorris topped a stacked field in snowboard slopestyle and nabbed a Silver in Big Air.

I did attend a few parties and events...which are always great.  But time has finally caught up to me and I just couldn't go anymore.   I went to bed early.  I rested up for the 3 feet of snow that dropped on the final 2 days of competition and partying.  I slept through the last two days of X Games and there was no FOMO. I was rewarded with two of the best POW days in a long time.  It's good to go out on top.

I want to thank Danny Chi and his team at ESPN and X Games for always treating me with class and respect.  I had some fun times and excellent experiences covering X Games.  I got a few scoops and met lots world class athletes.  I snapped some sick pix and scored some grade AAA swag.  it's been a fantastic ride with plenty of amplitude.  But now, it's time to take a seat and let the others blog about X Games.

Thanks for a great run. 

X GAMES 2016 (The Sick Pix). Click 4 Pix

The BIG 3 of Snowboarding.The Norwegian girls sneaking in a selfie.Boarding 4 Breast Cancer selected the 20 greatest Snowboarding pix of all time. They displayed them at the X Games Aspen Kickoff Bash benefitting the V Foundation for Cancer Research and Boarding for Breast Cancer Jossi got a Gold. After 10 years at X Kiwi skier Jossi Wells nabbed Gold. Snowboard boss Sage Kotsenburg looks on with their ladies.Mr. and Mrs Mike Schultz. Mike scored the first God of 2016 in Adaptive Snow cross.Mary's Medicinals out of Boulder participated in the Swag-fest at The Tree House.MudFlap with the hottest snowboarders in the world. " I love my life".


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