Pence Ski Vacation Cost Taxpayers Dearly

Last December, when Americans were dying from COVID-19 at the rate of two per minute, then Vice President Mike Pence defied the recommendations of the coronavirus task force he headed and jetted off for a ski vacation in Vail, Colo. That mind-numbingly dumb move not only put his Secret Service detail at risk for contracting the virus, it came with a huge price tag for U.S. taxpayers.

(Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images)

The non-partisan government watchdog organization Citizens for Ethics (CREW) reports that the bill for Secret Service protection for Pence and his family during that nine-day trip was a whopping $757,528. Pence’s trip extended from Dec. 23 to New Years Day and reportedly included a Secret Service entourage of at least 48 agents, contributing to both the high cost and the risk of infection. The agents stayed at several different hotels in the Vail area and rented 77 cars for the trip. The charges included more than $270,000 at the Marriott Vail Mountain and more than $80,000 at the Ritz Carlton.

In advance of his arrival for that jaunt, Democratic Colorado state Sen. Kerry Donovan trolled Pence hard on Twitter as soon a military plane carrying vehicles for his motorcade landed at the area’s regional airport. Donovan tweeted at Pence, “Heard you’re visiting my hometown for the holiday. Stay tuned for a story a day of the things that would be different if you had chosen to lead and address … instead of ignore and minimize the COVID-19 pandemic.”

And sure enough that’s exactly what she did, beseeching Pence on Christmas Day to “tip extra big” to support the ski area’s economically devastated service industry workers. Donovan announced in February she will run for Congress next year in an attempt to unseat Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert.

This also is not the first time Mike Pence stuck taxpayers with huge bills for his travel. Back in 2019, he traveled to Ireland for government business in Dublin, but stayed overnight at Donald Trump’s resort on the other side of the country in Doonbeg. Travel costs for that were more than half a million dollars, and also resulted in the Secret Service spending more than $15,000 at Trump’s resort.

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