Vail locals and tourists aren’t all that celeb-savvy

Tamara Miller
Shane Macomber/Vail DailySkiing legend Otto Tschudi was one of several celebrities at the American Ski Classic in Vail on Saturday.

EAGLE COUNTY – Only two out of five randomly interviewed people were able to identify astronaut Buzz Aldrin. None of them were able to identify actor Giancarlo Esposito, best known for his role as Detective Paul Gigante on the short-lived television show “Bakersfield P.D.”These two celebrities and a host of others have been participating in this week’s annual American Ski Classic Ford Cup fund-raiser in Vail. But the failure by the average person to recognize the names on the event’s star-studded roster could indicate a waning interest in celebrity. It could also be an indication of the state of the nation’s public schools.John McEnroe was the most recognizable person at the event, with three out of five people correctly identifying the tennis superstar. Gypsum resident Sandra Reyes, on the other hand, was certain McEnroe was a country music singer. “I don’t know who any of these people are,” Reyes said. She suggested organizers try to lure Latina pop star Shakira to next year’s event, or Brad Pitt.

“I’d really like to see him,” she said. Deborah Mills of Denver recognized many of the celebrities and was able to correctly identify each star’s raison d’etre. But she stumbled on skiing great Picabo Street, among others. “The name Tom Wolfe does sound familiar, but I don’t know why,” she said. Dan Steindler of East Vail was the only person to correctly recognize Wolfe, a popular writer. “I was an English major,” he said.

Steindler believed actress Susan Blakely was a swimmer and while he knew Robert Kennedy, Jr. was a member of the famous Kennedy fami-ly, “I don’t know what he is doing these days,” he said. Steindler appeared ashamed at this admission. And he didn’t know who Adam Aron, chief executive of Vail Resorts, was either. “And I work for Vail Resorts,” he said.Even the so-called celebrity-obsessed youth failed the test. Teen-ager Ben Wilford of Vail didn’t recognize one name on the event’s roster.

He suggested that freestyle skateboarder Rodney Mullen would be better celebrity. Only one of the people interviewed correctly identified local celebrity Ryan Sutter, who won the hearts of many when he won the heart and hand of the “Bachelorette” Trista Rehn. Mary Ann Fesler of Dallas opined that Sutter was the biggest celebrity at the event.Staff Writer Tamara Miller can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 607, or, Colorado

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