Michelle Obama’s Family Ski Trip to Aspen, Colorado Cost Taxpayers at Least $83 Thousand Say Records Obtained by Judicial Watch
JULY 18, 2012
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and fights government corruption, announced today that it has obtained records from the United States Air Force and the United States Secret Service detailing Michelle Obama’s February 2012 President’s Day weekend ski vacation to Aspen, Colorado, with her two daughters.
Judicial Watch obtained the records pursuant to a May 31, 2012, lawsuit against both government agencies. Among the highlights from the records are:
- 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.
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.”
Judicial Watch previously obtained documents from the United States Air Force and the United States Secret Service detailing costs associated with Michelle Obama’s controversial August 2010 vacation to Spain. According to a Judicial Watch analysis, the records indicate a total combined cost of at least $467,585.
Judicial Watch also obtained documents detailing costs a June 21-27, 2011, trip taken by Michelle Obama, her family and her staff to South Africa and Botswana. Judicial Watch received mission expense records and passenger manifests for the Africa trip that described costs of $424,142 for the flight and crew alone. Other expenses, such as off-flight food, transportation, security, etc. were not included.