On February 18, 2012, First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughters arrived in Aspen, Colorado for a 'private family' ski trip to celebrate Presidents' Day Weekend. Now, records obtained by Judicial Watch, a public interest group that investigates and fights corruption, shows the trip cost taxpayers at least $83,000.
The highlight of the records are the following:
- The total cost for the Aspen ski vacation was at least $83,182.99.
- The bill for the U.S. Secret Service, including accommodations at the Fasching Haus deluxe condominium and the Inn at Aspen, was $48,950.38.
- The cost for the flight, per official DOD published hourly rates, was $22,583.70. Food and miscellaneous on-flight items cost $235.44. The cost for rental cars totaled $6,442.23.
According to the original investigation:
Key details, including flight records for the Secret Service detail and the names of individuals who accompanied Mrs. Obama on the vacation, were redacted from the documents with the exception of two staffers. One was Meredith Koop, her personal assistant and style advisor, the other was her scheduler Kristen Jarvis.
As reported by the Aspen Daily News on February 18, 2012:
First Lady Michelle Obama arrived in Aspen on Friday afternoon and is here with her daughters for a ski vacation.
Few details about her trip were available. Sources said she is staying at the home of Jim and Paula Crown, owners of the Aspen Skiing Co. She is reportedly skiing at Buttermilk today, where the Crowns, of Chicago, own a home on the Tiehack side.
Several people have known about the “low-key” vacation, with the Secret Service in town for the past few days scoping out places for the family to relax and enjoy what the resort has to offer.
FoxNews.com noted that the trip was the 16th vacation in three years taken by the Obama family. Judicial Watch first asked for the travel documents on February 21, 2012.
“No wonder we had to file a lawsuit in federal court and wait six months to get basic information on Michelle Obama’s luxury Aspen vacation,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The costs of the Obama family ski weekend are staggering. These high-priced luxury vacations, and the lack of transparency about them, are beginning to seem like an abuse of office.”