Aspen asks, ‘How much X is too much?’
ASPEN – In the wake of X Games weekend attendance breaking 75,000, both Aspen’s mayor and police chief have asked: Is there a size we can’t handle? According to a city news release on Thursday, Aspen police responded to at least 521 calls for service, making 35 arrests over the four days of the X Games.
Though the press release said the weekend went over “without major incident,” there were arrests for assault on a police officer, numerous other assaults and a gun fired in the vicinity of police making a traffic stop. “What is the capacity for the X Games?” asked Police Chief Loren Ryerson. “It’s certainly not just a police issue.” Mayor Helen Klanderud said a policy session will review how the event could be better next year and that she wasn’t ready to comment on whether Aspen had reached capacity. Officially, capacity on the special event permit for X Games is 12,000 spectators per day, going up to 15,000 including staff, athletes, support, VIPs and others. No matter how you slice it, that’s a far cry from Saturday’s crowd total of 31,200, according to numbers from ESPN. County Planner Mike Kraemer said the high numbers did not violate the permit. “If Saturday was as much as you’re saying, then we need to take a look at that,” Kraemer said. “It’s a real strain on county and city services.” Most of the 35 people the Aspen Police Department arrested were young. Twelve were age 18-20, and six were juveniles. Fifteen of those arrested live in the Roaring Fork Valley. Charges included underage drinking, minor in possession, DUI, disorderly conduct, urinating in public, criminal mischief, theft, domestic violence, drug and drug paraphernalia possession, weapons offense and outstanding warrants.
Arrest numbers remained basically the same from last year’s X Games, which resulted in 36 arrests. X Games shatters bus rider records
Bus ridership during the X Games shattered last year’s record, even though the event was a day shorter in 2007, a Roaring Fork Transportation Authority official said Thursday. RFTA hauled 134,715 passengers on its buses between Thursday and Sunday, Jan. 25-28, according to John Hocker, co-director of operations. That was an increase of 4 percent over the 129,470 passengers last year, when the event was five days.RFTA’s service department cleaned and fueled vehicles 650 times in four days. Buses guzzled 22,000 gallons of fuel during the event. Keeping the fleet shipshape was a nasty job, according to Kenny Osier, RFTA’s director of maintenance.
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