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Winter X Games 14: Part Hollywood and part Lollapalooza, with the rowdiness of the last day of ski season
Written By: Curtis Wackerle
Aspen’s reputation as a party town is no joke. There are something like 100 liquor licenses in the former mining camp tucked into a box canyon at the business end of the Roaring Fork Valley.
 
But during the four days of X Games, even seasoned Aspenites are stupefied by the types of shindigs that go down in the town. It’s part Hollywood and part Lollapalooza, with the rowdiness of the last day of the ski season.
 
Thursday, the first official night of Winter X Games 14, did not disappoint. After ten hours at Buttermilk, where the competitions are held, your X Games correspondent needed something special to gather the second wind.
 
That came in the form of an open bar at Galerie DeVore in downtown Aspen, which is hosting the debut showing of Asymbol, an art project which is the brain child of snowboard superstar Travis Rice and artist Mike Parillo.
 
The art takes inspiration from cutting edge ski and snowboard graphics and the show includes breathtaking mountain photography.
 
With tasty new spirit 901 Tequila pouring from the ice luge, and of course tubs full of Pabst on ice, fellow snowboard stars Gretchen Bleiler and Tim Humphreys rubbed elbows with locals and X Games visitors in the chill environment.
 
Drinking PBR and tequila in an art gallery? That’s just how we roll in Aspen.
 
From there, we were psyched to go the Akomplice/Isvera party at Syzygy, which featured a performance by Guru from the rap group Gang Starr. Unfortunately there was a line around the block and by the time we got there, the ticket we held in our hands wasn’t worth the paper it was printed on. Too bad, bet it was a good show.
 
No worries though, next it was off to the Sky Hotel for the annual Freeskier Magazine party. The notorious hotspot, which once made Playboy’s list of America’s sexiest bars, was teeming. With two DJs on two floors and the lobby roaring with funk and pro riders, we swore we had somehow teleported to L.A. Still in Aspen though.
 
The final stop of the evening was the live music venue to end all live music venues Belly Up, where ESPN and Hewlett Packard sponsored an open bar with L.A. rappers Far East Movement. These guys definitely know how to party, with old school beats and Vuarnet shades on at all times. The Asian persuasion group even had break-dancers.
 
So there it is. One night down, three to go, with music on tap including Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Ghostland Observatory, Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Too $hort.
 
It not a sprint, it’s a marathon, right?
 
Check out the slide show below (all photos by Curtis Wackerle):

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