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Vice President Pence in Vail for Memorial Day weekend, sources confirm

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May 25, 2018, 4:18 pm

Vice President Mike Pence arrived in Vail on the Friday afternoon kicking off Memorial Day weekend, according to several sources who requested anonymity.

Vice President Mike Pence

Vice President Mike Pence

A motorcade with a police escort got off Interstate 70 at about 3:30 p.m., according to several witnesses. The main Vail roundabout was closed to traffic for a brief period.

The motorcade was accompanied by helicopter air support, witnesses said.

A large Secret Service presence was later seen at the Lodge at Vail.

No official word yet on the purpose of the visit, although Pence in the past has vacationed in Colorado, including a trip to Aspen over the Christmas holiday last year.

A message left on a White House press line was not returned Friday evening.

Sources say Pence will be in the Vail Valley for the entire three-day Memorial Day weekend and that he will be traveling to Camp Hale for a wedding ceremony.

Camp Hale south of Minturn and on the way to Leadville is an area where the famed 10th Mountain Division ski troopers, many of whom went on to found Colorado’s ski industry, trained for mountain combat during World War II. It is currently proposed for a new type of wilderness designation.

The Vail Valley for many years was home to the late President Gerald Ford, who built one of the first houses in Beaver Creek.

Besides Ford, past presidential visits included one from former President Bill Clinton in the 1990s.

More recently, former President Jimmy Carter has held events in Vail, including the unveiling of a play about Camp David in 2015. Carter’s Vice President, Walter Mondale, once lit Vail’s traditional Christmas Tree to kick off the holiday season in the early 1980s.

Other vice presidents who visited Vail include Dick Cheney, Al Gore and Dan Quayle, who learned to snowboard at Vail.

During the Obama administration, former first lady Michelle Obama visited Vail with her daughters, Sasha and Malia. President Barack Obama did not come along on that trip.

Pence made numerous trips to Colorado during the 2016 presidential campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected in a surprise win over former first lady Hillary Clinton.

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David O. Williams

Managing Editor at RealVail
David O. Williams is an award-winning freelance reporter based in the Vail Valley of Colorado, writing on health care, immigration, politics, the environment, energy, public lands, outdoor recreation and sports. His work has appeared in 5280 Magazine, American Way Magazine (American Airlines), the Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), Aspen Daily News, the Aspen Times, Beaver Creek Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, the Colorado Independent, Colorado Politics (formerly the Colorado Statesman), Colorado Public News, the Colorado Springs Gazette, the Colorado Independent (formerly Colorado Confidential), the Colorado Springs Independent, the Colorado Statesman (now Colorado Politics), the Daily Trail (Vail), the Denver Daily News, the Denver Post, the Durango Herald, the Eagle Valley Enterprise, the Eastside Journal (Bellevue, Washington), ESPN.com, the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent, the Greeley Tribune, the Huffington Post, the King County Journal (Seattle, Washington), KUNC.org (northern Colorado), LA Weekly, the London Daily Mirror, the Montgomery Journal (Maryland), The New York Times, the Parent’s Handbook, Peaks Magazine (now Epic Life), People Magazine, Powder Magazine, the Pueblo Chieftain, PT Magazine, Rocky Mountain Golf Magazine, the Rocky Mountain News, Atlantic Media's RouteFifty.com (formerly Government Executive State and Local), SKI Magazine, Ski Area Management, SKIING Magazine, the Summit Daily News, United Hemispheres (United Airlines), Vail/Beaver Creek Magazine, Vail en Español, Vail Valley Magazine, the Vail Daily, the Vail Trail and Westword (Denver). Williams is also the founder, publisher and editor of RealVail.com and RockyMountainPost.com.

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