VP vacations on the West Slope | PostIndependent.com

VP vacations on the West Slope

Vice President Joe Biden walks with Japan's Ambassador to the US Ichiro Fujisaki after signing the book of condolence at the Japanese Embassy in Washington, Tuesday, March 22, 2011. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

GYPSUM, Colorado – Almost 20 percent of all Aspen’s skier days arrive through the Eagle County airport, say industry experts.

And we sent them some more Thursday night.

Vice President Joe Biden landed at the Eagle County airport late Thursday, where a motorcade picked him up and drove him to Snowmass for what is scheduled to be a low-key family vacation.

The military transport plane that brought the motorcade vehicles landed in Eagle earlier this week because the Aspen airport is too small to accommodate it, public safety officials said. It’s also not common practice for a plane like Air Force II to land at night in Aspen, because they’re not supposed to circle that airport at night, officials said.

Biden’s motorcade left the Eagle County airport headed west and picked up Interstate 70 in Gypsum, traveling through Glenwood Canyon and eventually to Snowmass.

“It’s a pretty low-key visit, definitely a vacation,” Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo told the Aspen Times.

His office and the Snowmass Village Police Department will handle Biden’s local security. They’ll also get lots of Secret Service protection, DiSalvo said.

Over the Presidents Day weekend, first lady Michelle Obama, her daughters and some friends visited Vail, also flying in and out of the Eagle County airport.

Biden flew to Eagle County from Florida, where he was the headliner in two fundraising events for Sen. Bill Nelson.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

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