Aspen Gay Ski Week (AGSW) returned for its 47th year from January 14-21, 2024, offering an unforgettable experience for the LGBTQ+ community and allies. With an anticipated attendance of 3,000, this iconic event not only celebrated diversity but also served as a vital fundraiser for Aspen OUT.
Founded in 1977, AGSW grew into the nation's largest and oldest gay ski event. Beyond the festivities, it played a crucial role in supporting LGBTQ+ causes. The funds raised during the week contributed to grants for local, regional, and national organizations supporting the LGBTQ+ community. Moreover, AGSW proceeds to underwrite over 400 hours of therapy for Roaring Fork Valley youth and supported various educational initiatives.
Kevin McManamon, Executive Director of AspenOUT, highlighted the unique aspect of AGSW, stating, "It's much more than a party; it's a fundraiser that has made a significant impact on LGBTQ+ organizations. We expanded our reach with a leadership program benefiting area youth."
In fall 2023, AspenOUT introduced a new leadership and scholarship program for juniors and seniors in five area high schools actively involved in their school's GSA or Diversity Equity Club. Each selected recipient received a $5,000 scholarship upon successful program completion.
The 2024 edition of AGSW aimed to enrich the experience with not only nightly events but also educational programming. Attendees could look forward to a film screening and a panel discussion addressing the future of the LGBTQ+ community.
Highlights of Aspen Gay Ski Week 2024:
Après-Ski Parties at Limelight Hotel:
Daily events from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm, featuring DJ entertainment, free gifts, a hospitality suite, a heated pool, and two hot tubs. The Pure for Men team proudly showcased, demonstrated, and delved into their top-selling products. Adding an extra layer of excitement, a lively interactive Prize Wheel was incorporated with enticing rewards such as free Bidets and discounts up to $20 OFF any item from their website. Attendees were also treated to exclusive branded beanies and themed dress-up items, all inspired by the vibrant PitStop theme. The event proved to be a delightful blend of product exploration and enjoyable surprises, creating memorable moments for all who attended.
Downhill Costume Competition:
On Friday afternoon, participants skied down Aspen Mountain in vibrant costumes, judged by the renowned drag queen Mariam T. Pure for Men Ambassadors stole the spotlight as they donned Pit Stop theme jumpsuits paired with oversized flamboyant checkered finish capes, zooming down the hill to the energetic beats of Rihanna's "Shut Up and Drive." The crowd erupted in cheers, creating a lively atmosphere. The Pure for Men’s team not only showcased their style but also earned numerous 10-point scorecards and garnered an enthusiastic response from the audience. The event featured exciting prizes and cash rewards for those who showcased their best performances on the center stage, captivating the entire town with their talent and flair!
Hosted by Aspen Recreation Center on Friday, featuring DJs, dancing, hot tubs, water slides, and open bars for 1,000 guests. The perfect finale to a week of AGSW festivities, the Saturday Night pool party unfolded in a spacious indoor aquatic center boasting a water slide, lazy river, hot tub, sauna, and steam room. Attendees were treated to complimentary drinks and delectable food, enhancing the overall enjoyment of the event.
Adding to the excitement, Pure for Men injected a dose of fun with Pool Beach Balls and pool ring floats, transforming the open pool and lazy river into playful havens. For those looking to stay refreshed, high-quality reusable branded stainless steel tumblers were provided, encouraging attendees to reduce their carbon footprint while sipping on their favorite beverages at the bar.
Amidst the lively atmosphere, the Pure for Men Team made a splash, sporting branded white speedos and exemplifying how to stay ready for a good time. Their presence added an extra layer of vibrancy to the event, ensuring that the Saturday Night pool party was a memorable conclusion to a week filled with celebration and excitement.
AGSW producer Kimberly Kuliga emphasized the inclusivity of the event, stating, "There was something for everyone, even if you didn't ski or snowboard. Aspen offered a wealth of outdoor adventure and indoor indulgences, from snowshoeing amidst aspen groves to some of the best dining in the West."
For more details on Aspen Gay Ski Week, including lodging and discounted lift tickets, visit www.gayskiweek.com.