County signs off on liquor permit for ‘semi-secret’ X Game parties

by Chad Abraham, Aspen Daily News Staff Writer

For those who are sick of being on the outside looking in at major X Games parties, two Aspen natives say they have you covered with a “Super Dope Semi-Secret Dance Party That You Can Probably Get Into.”

That mouthful is what Joey Stokes and Reuben Sadowsky are calling Friday night’s fete at the Aspen Airport Business Center. Saturday’s soiree? The “Extra Dope Not-So Secret Dance Party That You Most Likely Can Get Into.”

On Wednesday, the duo garnered a county liquor permit for the parties, which will be hosted at the Aspen Brewing Co. brewery. They contend the events will be more inclusive than typical X Games shindigs. They also plan to provide transportation into town for imbibers.

County commissioners questioned the last-minute aspect of the request, parking logistics and the scant number of toilets, but they approved the special-use permit by a 4-0 vote.

The idea behind the festivities is to get intoxicated drivers off the roads — there will be two, 16-person buses to shuttle people back and forth between downtown Aspen and the ABC — and to provide people a better opportunity to get into parties, officials were told.

Sadowsky and Stokes were representing a Front Range nonprofit organization called Bus to Show. A previous nonprofit that the duo had hoped to enlist was found to be out of compliance with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, said Jeanette Jones, clerk to the county board.


 Chad Abraham/Aspen Daily News
Joey Stokes, left, and Reuben Sadowsky pose with their wooden katana swords outside the Pitkin County commissioner meeting on Wednesday. The two, who obtained a liquor permit for parties this weekend at the Aspen Business Center, said the swords were to get them fired up before the hearing.

Bus to Show signed on just recently, leading to the request two days before the first party is scheduled.

During past X Games weekends, parties hosted by the likes of energy drink companies Red Bull and Monster have been exclusive affairs that shut out regular folk, Sadowsky said.

Tickets to the parties, which will feature visual and performance artists, musicians and a magician, are $25 for Friday and $20 for Saturday.

“We very much want to provide an event space for people over 21,” Sadowsky said. “We’d like to show the local community what [the performers] can do.”

The parties could draw a maximum, under county and fire district codes, of 300 people each night, Stokes said. The events are planned from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.

But both events, even though they have been mostly marketed to locals and friends, are still nearly sold out, they said after the hearing.

There will be no parking at the site, as four security guards have been hired to prevent that and attendees have been told to take the bus. Announcements will be made in the wee hours so partiers don’t miss the “vomit comets,” aka the last public buses of the night.

Commissioner Rachel Richards said the bathroom amenities, one inside the premises and two Port-a-Potties outside, were insufficient.

“You’re going to have 300 people drinking beer,” she said. “I’m not sure that’s going to be adequate. ... If you have a clog, you guys are toast.”

chad@aspendailynews.com