Another Day, Another Bear Attack; This One In Glitzy Aspen Resort

A bear broke into the swanky St. Regis Aspen Resort on Monday and had a tussle with a hapless security guard. Officials called the encounter an attack, but if it was an NBA game, the security guard would probably be called for flopping.

Jimmy Orr

October 26, 20233 min read

Aspen bear 10 26 23
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

At least with this bear attack, no one got a jaw ripped off like a hunter in Montana last month.

But a bear attack is a bear attack (no matter how minor), and this one happened at the glitzy St. Regis Aspen Resort in Colorado on Monday.

Intruder Alert

Late in the evening, employees thought they spotted a bear inside the kitchen at the hotel.

Instead of calling law enforcement, higher-ups at the posh $1,000-a-night resort (off-season) just told the security guard to take care of it.

A job is a job, so the poor sap went back to investigate, armed with a walkie-talkie. For perspective, wildlife experts usually recommend carrying bear spray or a high-caliber weapon, like a howitzer, when in bear country.

The whole encounter was captured on the resort’s security cam (see video below).

Outta Nowhere

The guard appeared to be cautiously walking past a giant refrigerator when the bruin came out of nowhere to greet him.

In regular speed, it looks like the bear body-slammed the guy as he went airborne for about 10 feet.

But slowing down the video, frame-by-frame, it seems to be incidental contact. If it were an NBA game, the guard would likely get called for flopping.

The bear stood there for a moment, as if taunting the guard, and then turned around and nonchalantly walked out.

'Bearly' Hurt

No one was really that hurt in the disturbance. The guard had a couple scratches, so was taken to a hospital. He was released a couple hours later.

No guests were at the hotel as it is under renovation.

But, because it was technically an “attack,” the bear had to be hunted down and eliminated.


A whole posse of law enforcement, including the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Department, the Aspen Police Department and the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Department, set-up a stakeout across the city before they spotted the bear about 24 hours later.

Authorities said they knew it was the right bear because of a distinctive white patch near the bear’s chest.

Authorities then promptly killed the bear.

They didn't kill any others, although they had plenty of opportunity as they spotted eight other bears walking around the town. But that's normal for the community.

It's bear country. The animals just aren't allowed inside businesses, and unlike many crimes in Colorado, these are actually prosecuted.

“This incident serves as an unfortunate reminder that bears are still active as they prepare for hibernation,” Colorado Parks and Wildlife said in a statement. “While it is common for people to see bears and other wildlife inside Aspen town limits, it is everyone's responsibility to give wildlife space and remember the importance of being ‘bear aware’ at all times."

Authorities said the bear entered the hotel through a side door that was left open.

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Jimmy Orr can be reached at

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Jimmy Orr

Executive Editor

A third-generation Wyomingite, Jimmy Orr is the executive editor and co-founder of Cowboy State Daily.