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Vice President Pence reportedly returning to Vail for holidays

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December 22, 2020, 11:11 am
Police near Checkpoint Charlie in Vail Village on Saturday.

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,

Vice President Mike Pence
Mike Pence

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.

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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, Aspen Journalism, the Aspen Times, Beaver Creek Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, the Colorado Independent (formerly Colorado Confidential), Colorado Politics (formerly the Colorado Statesman), Colorado Public News, the Colorado Springs Gazette, the Colorado Springs Independent, the Colorado Statesman (now Colorado Politics), the Colorado Times Recorder, the Daily Trail (Vail), the Denver Daily News, the Denver Gazette, 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.

16 Responses to Vice President Pence reportedly returning to Vail for holidays

  1. Jack Reply

    December 23, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    Why doesn’t he come after Jan 20 and pay for it himself? He will probably be less busy!

  2. Carol pizer Reply

    December 23, 2020 at 1:43 pm

    Better wear a mask! He was fortunate to have received first vaccine before many of us!

  3. Rita Gibbons Reply

    December 23, 2020 at 4:44 pm

    During height of pandemic, Pence disregards CDC’s guidelines yet again, putting his entourage and everyone with whom he comes in contact at risk of infection. The hypocrisy and elitism is truly stunning.

    • Tom Danitschek Reply

      January 4, 2021 at 10:48 am

      What is truly stunning is all the Democrats, who have violated what they demand of the little people under their jurisdiction. Pence violated nothing he recommends to others. As one of the little people – a wage worker in Vail and Beaver Creek- I’m thankful for all the people, Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Americans and international guests who traveled safely to our valley over their holidays. I serve them all without prejudice or judgment. Their kindness, presence and generosity keep us maintaining a viable living in these difficult days.

  4. Mitchell Whyte Reply

    December 23, 2020 at 6:10 pm

    40 more tourists. Drop in the bucket. Big money spent. Will follow local Covid restrictions almost guaranteed. The only downfall I see is that the secret service passes will not let some ski and ride when they take to the slopes. But Im assuming all passes are restricted this particular week anyways. Eh, let them have a vacation. That’s the nature of where we live. I wish them a good time. Enjoy the rockies high country and come back soon.

    • pamela marie Reply

      December 28, 2020 at 1:53 am

      what are you talking about?
      we have been asked not to travel. stay home. keep safe. and this is ok?
      no, it’s not okay, and as another commenter said, wait until
      january 21.. pay fir it yourself

  5. betty henderson Reply

    December 27, 2020 at 2:12 pm

    while small children go hungry, he goers to vale to ski. what a shame.

  6. Bijah Catlow Reply

    December 27, 2020 at 2:31 pm

    While people are out of work and no money!!! Wondering where their next meal is coming from and facing evict, this clown is living the high life!!! Hope he hits a tree!!!

  7. William Leiren Reply

    December 27, 2020 at 3:32 pm

    I’m so happy the VP gets a week a relax in luxury. He’s so deserving! I’ll be working my minimum wage gig job in Denver, meanwhile, exposing myself to COVID in a desperate attempt to rustle up rent. But good for you! Bilk where you can, right? You make me so proud to pay taxes.

  8. Susana Salgado Reply

    December 27, 2020 at 4:21 pm

    Trump leaving on vacation and not signing the relief bill is not a surprise. He is a cruel , heartless SOB. However, Pence ‘s decision to go on vacation on taxpayers’ dime while millions of Americans are dead and dying, starving, hospitals filled and the Virus unchecked just shows that Pence is a hypocrite. In a way he is worse than trump. At least trump doesn’t hide that he is a cruel, heartless and soulless SOB and only cares about himself.

  9. Sam Templeton Reply

    December 27, 2020 at 5:25 pm

    He picked the right place Vail is doing everything possible to cram in as many people as possible. They only care about money.

  10. MSR Reply

    December 27, 2020 at 6:17 pm

    He can stay there. We don’t need the likes of him “Back home in Indiana”.

  11. Donna McKune Reply

    December 28, 2020 at 8:51 am

    48 secret service agents? The budget of a small country for a year!
    And then off to the middle east and europe AFTER Jan 6 when last count of EC votes is done in congress. WTF? Thieves, all of them. Complete disregard of hard-working, non-working Americans. What a bunch of thieving BUMS. So glad when they are gone.

  12. Buck Reply

    December 28, 2020 at 2:57 pm

    I don’t believe we’ll ever know the cost of those 48 secret service agents sent to Vail for this. Nor will we learn the cost of all the meals and hotels provided to Pence, the agents, and everyone involved. Nor will we learn the costs of flying in the vehicles and using them during the vacation. The Secret Service’s budget is unpublished as is the CIA’s. Then, there’s the even higher costs of maintaining Trump at Mar-A-Lago. We’re getting scre*ed.

  13. Victoria LYNNE Heim Reply

    December 30, 2020 at 9:59 am

    I LEARNED TO SKI IN VAIL,CO.
    MET PRESIDENT AND MRS. FORD THERE.
    VAIL INSPIRED MY POEM,THE MOUNTAIN.
    BE WELL AND BE SAFE…
    A BLESSED NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE…

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