Aspen beats Vail in Travelocity contest |

Aspen beats Vail in Travelocity contest

Scott Condon
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
Bob Ward/The Aspen TimesAspen's efforts to win Travelocity's Aspen vs. Vail contest paid off Wednesday, when the company announced that Aspen beat its rival ski resort with 56 percent of 568,987 votes cast. The "victory" means that the Roaming Gnome will visit Aspen this weekend and give the town an online publicity bump. The Gnome has visited Banff, Alberta, and Utah already this winter.

ASPEN – Aspen really is better than Vail – just ask the Roaming Gnome.

Aspen beat Vail in a battle of the popular resorts on the Facebook page of booking Web site Travelocity. In a week-long, online competition that ended Wednesday morning, Aspen received 318,747 votes to 250,240 for Vail, a margin of 56 to 44 percent.

Besides bragging rights, Aspen receives a visit from the Roaming Gnome, Travelocity’s signature representative that gained fame through the company’s televisions ads. The Gnome and his entourage of three or four people will arrive in Aspen tonight, according to Lindsay Stout, a spokeswoman for Travelocity.

The red-capped gnome will hike Highland Bowl and swirl in the superpipe at Buttermilk. “There’s even talk about doing the bar hop in downtown Aspen,” Stout said.

Photos of the gnome’s exploits will be posted on Twitter and Travelocity’s Facebook page, generating publicity for Aspen.

The online popularity contest was open to anyone with a Facebook page or anyone willing to create one. Participants could vote as often as they wanted, leading one Vail promoter to cry foul over the results. Voters could also post comments on Facebook.

“Looks like the Aspen marketing team really had their automators running last night,” said a disgruntled Vail fan. “Cooking the numbers is lame.”

But there were hundreds of comments supporting Aspen as a better town and resort, including this gem: “If New Jersey had a ski area, it would be Vail. ‘Nough said.”

Then there were a few voters who panned both resorts.

“Aspen and Vail both suck. I ski Loveland,” the spoilsport said.

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