Best Scandal Magnet for the Media - 2004
The Kobe Bryant experience
When Los Angeles Lakers basketball star Kobe Bryant checked into the Lodge & Spa at Cordillera near Edwards last June, he had no idea that his visit would create a cottage industry. A Cordillera employee claimed that Bryant sexually assaulted her during his stay, and the legal maneuvering that followed the filing of charges has attracted so many reporters, photographers and crew members to the area that the temporary media tents erected near the Eagle County courthouse might as well be made permanent. Bryant's visits have become the equivalent of rugby scrums, with members of the press doing their best to confirm every negative stereotype about them -- but they're certainly keeping Eagle restaurateurs and hoteliers happy. Although the alleged crime is bad, it's been very, very good for business.