In the midst of a recession, Michelle Obama and her two daughters are spending Presidents Day on the slopes at the star-studded resort of Aspen, a source who is a longtime ski instructor at the mountain confirmed to the Daily Caller.
The Aspen Daily News first reported the vacation.
The source told TheDC that the Obamas are there with their young children and two female friends of the first lady. The group is staying near Buttermilk Mountain, at the “huge private home” of Jim and Paula Crown — the family that owns Aspen Skiing Co. There are a large number of Secret Service agents with them, and the Crowns have reportedly relocated to Little Nell Hotel until things quiet down.
Malia, Michelle and Sasha Obama in Aspen, Colorado for their latest vacation. (AP Photo)
The Crown family is from Chicago, the Obamas’ home town. Paula Crown is a member of President Barack Obama’s President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. Federal Election Commission records show that both of the Crowns are big Democratic donors, with the exception of several isolated donations to Republican candidates such as Sen. Mark Kirk.
The party hired five instructors, according to the source. Vince Lemley and Sheila Broderick are skiing with Mrs. Obama and her two friends, and three other instructors are with the children. All are skiing exclusively at Buttermilk Mountain — one of the mountains in the Aspen Snowmass resort.
All are “polite, charming and appreciative,” according to TheDC’s source.
First lady Michelle Obama hits the slopes. (AP Photo)
At lunchtime, the Obamas and their friends eat a private lunch at the Crown’s house and the instructors go to Bumps Restaurant. All meet up after.
Aspen is a favorite resort of celebrities, and many maintain residences there, including members of the Kennedy family, Goldie Hawn, Kevin Costner, Jimmy Buffett and Jack Nicholson. Oprah Winfrey, Bill Clinton and Calvin Klein are among the big names that frequent the resort.
In 2011, the Wall Street Journal named Aspen the “most expensive town in America.” As the real estate market around the country crashed and burned, Aspen was spared the financial trouble. At the time of publication, WSJ reported that, “The lowest-priced single-family home on the market in Aspen is listed for $559,000. It’s located in a trailer park.”
The median price of homes in the town was $4.6 million — the highest in the country, putting it in front of “the Hamptons, Beverly Hills and Palm Beach.”
The unemployment rate in the U.S. is currently 8.3 percent.
While the trip was still in the planning stage, the identity of the guests was kept completely under wraps, with code names used for everyone, the source said. The Aspen Daily News reported that, “Several people have known about the ‘low-key’ vacation, with the Secret Service in town for the past few days scoping out places for the family to relax and enjoy what the resort has to offer.”