Vice President Joe Biden creates ‘low-key’ buzz in Beaver Creek

Lauren Glendenning
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Daily

BEAVER CREEK, Colorado – Gabrie Higbie has been skiing at Beaver Creek for years, but Saturday’s run-in with Vice President Joe Biden was one of her most exciting days on the mountain.

Higbie, who works for the KZYR, The Zephyr radio station, arrived at Beaver Creek early Saturday morning to drop off her 4-year-old son, Sam, at ski school. When her car was searched by the Secret Service and bomb-sniffing dogs, she said to her son, “Gosh, you would think the president is in town.”

She found out later that it was the vice president causing all the commotion.

She was in Spruce Saddle on Beaver Creek Mountain when a friend told her that Biden was upstairs. She grabbed her friend Beth McKenzie to see if they could get a closer look.

“We were kind of scoping out the scene,” Higbie said. “I pretended I was looking for someone because the Secret Service was everywhere.”

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She wasn’t sure how close they could get, but they were determined to get their picture taken with Biden.

They made their move when some other skiers were already taking pictures with him. Higbie said they welcomed him to Colorado and asked if he was having a good time.

“It was exciting – it’s the vice president,” she said.

Secret Service and security have been swarming through Beaver Creek Village this weekend, said Coyote Cafe manager Gary “Buzz” Busby.

Busby has been around for 10 years and remembers times when other high-profile types, such as Vice President Dick Cheney, have been in town, but this had a different feel to it, he said.

“It’s a real low-key buzz in the village,” Busby said. “The locals know he’s here, and the tourists are pretty much oblivious. (The Secret Service) have a different presence than in the past; it’s a little more casual.”

Busby said about 30 Secret Service members had breakfast at the Coyote Cafe on Saturday morning, which made for an exciting work day. They were all getting a kick out of the kayak in the bar with a mannequin inside dressed like President Barack Obama, Busby said.

Other than about “60 guys walking around with little wires sticking out of their ears,” Busby said Beaver Creek Village was pretty much business as usual.

“You wouldn’t know that anything was going on up here,” Busby said. “But this is very exciting.”

Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or lglendenning@

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