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Who had better celebs over the holidays: Aspen or Vail?

Taylor Swift in Vail Valley may have topped Dakota Johnson in Aspen

January 12, 2016, 9:48 am

Taylor Swift, Calvin Harris and snowman they made in Vail Valley recently (Instagram photo).

So who was a better get over the holidays in terms of ski-town celebrities: Taylor Swift or Dakota Johnson?

Is that really even a contest? Pop music’s top draw or the 50 Shades of Grey star?

Swift, her family and her Scottish deejay boyfriend, Calvin Harris, stayed a place up in the Strawberry Park neighborhood of Beaver Creek over the holidays, while the national media largely just reported she was in Vail. Locals know there’s a difference between the Beav’ and Vail.

Swift and Harris made snowmen, posting photos on Instagram, and they all reportedly dined at on-mountain Zach’s Cabin. Other reports had them hitting the Wolcott Yacht Club a couple of times.

jessica springsteen little nell

Jessica Springsteen, a champion show jumping rider (also known as the Boss’ daughter), with polo players Brandon Phillips, Nic Roldan and Marc Ganzi in Aspen at the Rec Room’s opening party (photo courtesy of May Selby, Little Nell).

Johnson, the daughter of actors Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, was seen in Aspen, hanging out with her mom and another famous mom-daughter acting combo, Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson.

Not sure if Johnson and Griffith were staying at the house she owns with actor Antonio Banderas on the backside of Aspen Mountain, which is currently on the market after their divorce was finalized last summer.

Meanwhile, back at the Beav’, the family of arguably the greatest living American actor, Robert De Niro (judge him on Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, not recent comedic work) reportedly stayed at the Park Hyatt. De Niro himself supposedly was not here for the holidays.

Some other lesser musical stars were (although back in the day Cat Scratch Fever may have been as big as We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together). That’s right, Ted and Shemane Nugent were here in Vail and apparently come every Christmas.

Ted’s son Rocco also tagged along and reportedly shot a music video while here. Nugent, the 70s hard-rocking guitar hero, is now perhaps better known for his conservative politics and outspoken advocacy for gun rights.

Aspen gets its share of music celebs, and these past holidays were no different. Diva Mariah Carey and her Australian billionaire media mogul boyfriend James Packer made sure they were spotted all about town.

Just before the holidays, a group of polo players was in Aspen for the World Snow Polo Championships Dec. 17-19, and Jessica Springsteen, Bruce’s daughter, was seen partying and dancing with them at the Little Nell’s après ski bar, Chair 9.

And actor, writer and director Ryan Phillippe, former hubby of actress Reese Witherspoon, was seen dining at Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro in Aspen Highlands.

Telluride, of course, gets more than its share of big names. This past holiday season actress Jennifer Aniston and her new hubby Justin Theroux were in town before reportedly jetting off to Mexico for some more fun in the sun.

Locally, lots of sports celebs quietly spin through town, usually to visit Vail’s famed Steadman-Philippon Clinic for some quick orthopedic work, but one of the valley’s biggest names, ski racing Olympic gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin, was unfortunately here for the holidays rehabbing her injured knee instead of racing in Europe.

While hard a work getting her knee back in shape for racing, Shiffrin, 20, said she’s not currently dating “anyone scandalous” and is “single and ready to mingle.”

There you have it: A by-no-means comprehensive look at some of the celebs in Colorado ski country for the holidays. Who was the big winner: Aspen or Vail? You be the judge.

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David O. Williams

Managing Editor at RealVail
David O. Williams is the editor and co-founder of RealVail.com and has had his awarding-winning work (see About Us) published in more than 75 newspapers and magazines around the world, including 5280 Magazine, American Way Magazine (American Airlines), the Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), the Anchorage Daily Press (Alaska), Aspen Daily News, Aspen Journalism, the Aspen Times, Beaver Creek Magazine, the Boulder Daily Camera, the Casper Star Tribune (Wyoming), the Chicago Tribune, Colorado Central Magazine, the Colorado Independent (formerly Colorado Confidential), Colorado Newsline, 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 Cortez Journal, the Craig Daily Press, the Curry Coastal Pilot (Oregon), the Daily Trail (Vail), the Del Norte Triplicate (California), the Denver Daily News, the Denver Gazette, the Denver Post, the Durango Herald, the Eagle Valley Enterprise, the Eastside Journal (Bellevue, Washington), ESPN.com, Explore Big Sky (Mont.), the Fort Morgan Times (Colorado), the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, the Greeley Tribune, the Huffington Post, the King County Journal (Seattle, Washington), the Kingman Daily Miner (Arizona), KUNC.org (northern Colorado), LA Weekly, the Las Vegas Sun, the Leadville Herald-Democrat, the London Daily Mirror, the Moab Times Independent (Utah), the Montgomery Journal (Maryland), the Montrose Daily Press, The New York Times, the Parent’s Handbook, Peaks Magazine (now Epic Life), People Magazine, Powder Magazine, the Pueblo Chieftain, PT Magazine, the Rio Blanco Herald Times (Colorado), Rocky Mountain Golf Magazine, the Rocky Mountain News, RouteFifty.com (formerly Government Executive State and Local), the Salt Lake Tribune, SKI Magazine, Ski Area Management, SKIING Magazine, the Sky-Hi News, the Steamboat Pilot & Today, the Sterling Journal Advocate (Colorado), the Summit Daily News, United Hemispheres (United Airlines), Vail/Beaver Creek Magazine, Vail en Español, Vail Health Magazine, Vail Valley Magazine, the Vail Daily, the Vail Trail, Westword (Denver), Writers on the Range and the Wyoming Tribune Eagle. Williams is also the founder, publisher and editor of RealVail.com and RockyMountainPost.com.

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