ASPEN, Colo. (CBS4) – The X Games begin on Thursday in Aspen, but the efforts to prepare for the thousands of people showing up began months ago. This week, CBS4’s Mountain Newsroom went behind the scenes to the command center set up to handle the worst case scenarios.
“We are kind of the doomsday group, we are always working to think about the worst case scenario,” said Gabe Muething, incident commander of public safety at the X Games.
In a conference room across the road from the half-pipe on Thursday morning, there was a buzz as first responders worked on the final details of their safety plan.
“There’s a huge machine behind this event that ensures the public are going to be safe,” Muething said.
Emergency managers spent the entire past year leading up to this weekend planning for the worst, as this small Colorado mountain community hosts the extreme athletes and the fans they bring with them.
“You can’t put a dollar amount on it. We want to make sure everyone Is safe and enjoys it,” Muething said.
And it’s not just local police and fire crews. Statewide agencies are showing up to lend a hand. Federal counterterrorism agents are here too, all working together to keep the X Games running smoothly.
“We kind of like being in the shadows. We like knowing that the safety (measures) we are (rolling out) are somewhat hidden,” Muething said.
Incident commanders told CBS4 their teams will log more than 4,000 working on this single event.
The games run thru Sunday.
Day 1: #XGames Aspen 2020!
✖ @SpecialOlympics Unified Snowboarding & Skiing
✖ Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle Elim.
✖ Men’s Ski Big Air Elim.
✖ Ski Knuckle Huck
✖ Men’s Snowboard SuperPipe
✖ Women’s Snowboard Big Air
?: https://t.co/DPJCiH1gnG pic.twitter.com/jwecpkLa33
— X Games (@XGames) January 23, 2020