With the economy on its knees, many American families have had to forgo their annual holiday just to make ends meet.
But barely a month after returning from a luxury Christmas break in Hawaii Michelle Obama is on holiday again – this time at the exclusive Colorado ski resort of Aspen.
The First Lady Michelle Obama is spending Presidents’ Day weekend in the upmarket resort with her daughters, Sasha and Malia, and was seen hitting the slopes – albeit apprehensively – on Saturday.
The First Lady and her daughters Sasha and Malia are in Aspen for Presidents’ Day weekend
The Secret Service have been in town for the past few days looking for safe places for the family to relax.
Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo confirmed Mrs Obama arrived Friday afternoon, saying, ‘it’s a privilege to have the first lady here.’ He told the Aspen Daily News he met with Secret Service officers and has placed seven of his deputies at the service of the First Family.
The Obamas are staying at the home of Jim and Paula Crown, owners of the Aspen Skiing Co, the Daily News reported.
Last year the first lady gave a speech at their home, in front of about 150 supporters. Each paid between $1,000 and $10,000 to attend the joint fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee and President Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign.
Snowtime: The Secret Service have been in Aspen for the past few days looking for safe places for Michelle, Malia and Sasha to stay
The holiday is not the first time the first girls have been on skis.
Their first attempt came in Feb 2010 when she took the girls to Liberty Mountain Resort, in Carroll Valley, Pa. just is 60 minutes from the White House.
And last year Mrs Obama took Sasha and Malia to Vail and Beaver Creek last Presidents’ Day just days after the President tried to sell his cost-cutting budget to the American people by asking them to stay at home.
Splashing out: Aspen in Colorado is one of the country’s most elite and expensive resorts
Holiday home: The Obamas are reportedly staying on the estate of Jim and Paula Crown, of Chicago, who own a home on the Tiehack side
‘If you’re a family trying to cut back, you might skip going out to dinner, or you might put off a vacation,’ he said.
Once again while Mr Obama returned to the White House after a fundraising trip to West Coast, the rest of his family headed to Colorado – rather than visiting slopes closer to Washington in Virginia or Pennsylvania.
Their trip came despite previous criticisms over the family’s extravagant vacations, including a trip last summer to Martha’s Vineyeard where the family rented a farm estate for around $50,000 a week.
Holiday heaven: Mrs Obama raised eyebrows when she left earlier than her husband for their annual Christmas holiday in Hawaii incurring extra costs
Mrs Obama also raised eyebrows when for the second year in a row she left earlier than her husband for their annual Christmas holiday in Hawaii, incurring additional expenses of an estimated $100,000. The 17 day holiday is estimated to have cost taxpayers $4milloion.
No public events are scheduled for the first lady’s visit to Aspen.
FIRST LADY OF LUXURY TRAVEL: THE COSTLY TRIPS
SPAIN: AUGUST 2010
Michelle Obama and 40 of her friends paid for personal expenses, such as hotels and meals themselves.
But the U.S. taxpayer would have paid for the 68-strong security detail, personal staff and use of presidential jet Air Force Two.
Payment for the secret service team ran at around $281 each – nearly $98,000 for the duration of the summer break.
Use of Air Force Two comes in at $149,900 for the round trip, not including time on the ground.
Mrs Obama’s personal staff, of which there were an unknown number, should also be taken into account
HAWAII: DECEMBER 2010
According to the Hawaii Reporter the costs were:
$63,000 on an early flight bringing Mrs Obama and the children to Hawaii ahead of the President
$1,000,000 on Mr Obama’s return trip from Washington on Air Force One
$16,000 to rent nearby homes for Secret Service and Navy Seals
$134,000 for 24 White House staff to stay at the Moana Hotel
$251,000 in police overtime
$10,000 for an ambulance to be on hand at all times
SKI TRIP TO VAIL: FEBRUARY 2011
Michelle Obama and her daughters stayed at the Sebastian hotel on Vail Mountain, where rooms cost more than $2,400 for multi-bedroom suites.
The family appear to have flown there on Air Force Two.
They were escorted to the resort by about a dozen vehicles, including 15 state and local law enforcement officers.
MARTHA’S VINEYARD: AUGUST 2011
The Blue Heron Farm estate, where the Obama family stayed, rents for about $50,000 a week.
Michelle, Sasha and Malia Obama flew to the estate just hours before the president to make the most of the holiday – again, incurring extra flight costs.
According to U.S. News and World Report, the Coast Guard was required to keep ships floating near the property. The presidential helicopter and jet remain at the ready and security agents will be on 24-hour duty.
HAWAII: DECEMBER 2011
According to the Hawaii Reporter the costs were:
$63,000 on an early flight bringing Mrs Obama and the children to Hawaii ahead of the President but add security and personnel for a total of about $100,000
$3,271,622 on Mr Obama’s return trip from Washington on Air Force One
$151,200 to rent nearby homes for Secret Service and Navy Seals
$72,216 for 24 White House staff to stay at the Moana Hotel