Vice President Mike Pence is headed back to the Vail Valley – this time for the Christmas holiday – various sources have reported to RealVail.com.
Pence, according to a town official who requested anonymity, is staying at the Lodge at Vail, where he stayed last time he was in town during the Memorial Day weekend in 2018. There was a heavy police and Secret Service presence at Checkpoint Charlie near the Lodge on Saturday,
Eighteen Secret Service agents reportedly have booked rooms at the Grand Hyatt Vail, with 30 more agents staying in other locations around the valley.
Ski instructors have reportedly been booked for the Pence party at nearby Beaver Creek Resort, and one source confirmed one of the vice president’s brothers has been spotted in town.
A military jet loaded with vehicles reportedly landed at the Eagle County Regional Airport on Tuesday. Pence is expected to come in on Air Force 2 on Wednesday.
County and local law enforcement officials referred inquiries to the office of the vice president. However, a recording on the line stated it was not a working number. A spokeswoman on another number provided for press contacts did not respond to an inquiry from RealVail.com.
Pence’s visit comes at a critical time for the nation as he prepares to chair a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6 to count the electoral college votes in the Nov. 3 presidential election that have been certified and sent in by the states. A rogue Republican effort — against the wishes of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — has put a spotlight on Pence’s Senate role.
Vice President Pence visited Vail and stayed at the Lodge at Vail over the Memorial Day weekend in 2018.
Pence received an injection of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in a televised event on Friday. The White House has been hard-hit by the virus, including infections among Secret Service and other security personnel. Pence has never reportedly been infected by the coronavirus.
Pence is reportedly planning to head to the Middle East and Europe after his Jan. 6 vote in Congress that will certify the Nov. 3 U.S. election results in which President Donald Trump and Pence were voted out of office by approximately 7 million votes nationwide.
On Jan. 20 they will be replaced in the White House by former Vice President and President-elect Joe Biden and VP-elect Kamala Harris. Biden-Harris won 306 electoral college votes to 232 for Trump-Pence — the same margin Trump called a “landslide” when he defeated Hillary Clinton in 2016.
The Vail Valley for many years was home to the late President Gerald Ford, who built one of the first houses in Beaver Creek. Ford famously pardoned President Richard Nixon after he resigned from office to avoid impeachment. Trump was impeached by the House in 2019 but not convicted by the Senate.
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.
Editor’s note: This post has been updated to include details on Pence’s location and additional attempts to obtain official confirmation.