Spotlight COlorado  

Have You Met?

“Hey, wanna come back to my place and see a tooth from the world’s biggest shark?’’ Aaron LaPedis is one of the few guys who can use that as pick-up line. But as a collector of the odd and unusual, Aaron always has lots of interesting things to talk about.

For ten years, Aaron has owned the Fascination St. Gallery in North Cherry Creek, a colorful gallery filled with animation art, sports memorabilia and fine art. One of Aaron’s goals, when he opened the gallery, was to be different. He wanted people to come in, see the art and smile. It’s easy to do just that with paintings of the Disney and Warner Brother characters displayed in beautiful frames.

When he opened his store at age 25, Aaron was well aware that over half of small businesses fail; he knew the odds were against him – especially since he had no experience and not a lot of support. But today, Fascination St. Gallery is among the top five animation galleries in the country.

About four months ago, KBDI Channel 12 launched “The Collectable Show hosted by Aaron LaPedis.” On the show, which airs at 10:30 p.m. Saturdays, he talks about how to find, care for and sell collectables. At his web site,, collectors can email Aaron with questions, comments and ideas.

Philanthropic interests: Cindy has volunteered for four years with The Adoption Exchange

Saturdays are likely to find him in:  Working at the gallery. Sunday is my day of play. I either take my boat out on Carter Lake or play with my dogs.

Favorite clothing stores:  Ralph Lauren Polo Store and the Ralph Lauren Polo Department at Foley’s.

Interests:  I’m interested in charity work. I am involved in The Max Fund which a “no kill” animal shelter. I’m a big animal lover. I’m also the former chairman of the board for the Denver International Film F

Favorite Denver restaurants:  Little Ollie’s and Tazu

Favorite book:  I don’t always have the time for reading books, but I enjoy reading financial magazines and the Sunday paper.

Favorite quote:  “I’d rather be lucky than good.”

Pets:  I have two chows. Attila, named after Attila the Hun, and Teddy, the cute, loveable male.

What three things do you always have in your refrigerator?
Protein drinks, Beer and Tattingers Champagne.

What's your favorite comfort food? Junk food?
Sour Patch Kids candy is my favorite junk food and oatmeal would be a favorite comfort food.

What was your most memorable meal?
Eating oysters in Seattle with my girlfriend.

What food can't you live without?
Prime rib from The Chop House or Ruth's Chris Steak House.

Where do you go in your home to feel completely relaxed and just think?
The theatre room to watch a Clint Eastwood or James Bond movie. "Live and Let Die" with James Bond is my favorite Bond flick.

If money and time were no object, what dream project would you do (to your home).
I would build a home on a private lake with a hot tub, theater room and a big bar with an on-call bartender.

What was the most unusual thing you've ever decorated your home with?
I have been collecting old, prehistoric fossils. Some are on the floor because they are so heavy and some I've hung on the wall. I have a tooth from the largest shark ever alive. It's called a Megalagadon tooth.

What tool have you purchased that you've never used?
I bought a $500 carpet steam cleaner and have never used it.

What have you lost in your home that you never found - and would love back?
Four years ago, I bought a very beautiful, metal, hand-made clock at The Cherry Creek Arts Festival and I can't find it anywhere.

When you move, what will your home tell its next owner, about you?
My house would say, "I didn't see him that much, but when I did, he was pretty crazy."

What one word describes you best?

What word would you like others to use to describe you?

Who is your hero? Why?
My father. He has the ability to handle all situations with class and grace that I can only aspire to.

What is your pet peeve?
When people say they're going to do something and they don't. Also, when people drive slowly in the fast lane. I drive a British Racing Green Lotus Esprit and when I'm in the fast lane, I want to go fast.

Where can you be found at midnight?
I'll be downtown at one of my favorite bars like Sambuca, Sacre Bleu or The Chop House. In the summer, I might be out on my boat.

What was your first job?
I was a bus boy at a Mexican restaurant.

What would you do if you were king of the world?  I would like to help the good people and punish the bad people. I would also like to give everyone the chance to live out his or her dreams.

If there were one thing you would change about yourself, what would it be?
I wish I could go out more often and be more easy going.

What is your greatest indulgence?
Sushi and Saki

Best gift you ever gave?
I gave my Mother a wooden elephant from Jamaica. She was so touched she cried for half the day. I had to carry it back through Customs and the thing weighed 55 pounds!

If you could have a no-holds barred shopping spree, where would you go?
The Ralph Lauren Polo store and Bed, Bath and Beyond.

What is one thing nobody knows about you?
I have a dangerous and risky side. I've bungie jumped by my ankles in New Zealand, swam with the sharks and water-skied by moonlight, which is highly illegal. I went helicopter skiing in the Canadian Mountains, which almost killed me. I like to hike into old mine shafts.

Which social event is your favorite?
The Denver National Film Festival. I am the past chairperson for the festival and it is an amazing event where regular people can meet movie stars and see movies they normally wouldn't get to see. It is a feat of sight and sound unparalleled in Denver.

If you could be something other than what you are, what would you be?
A movie star or comedian like Jerry Seinfeld.

What is a favorite childhood memory?
When I was 21 years old, my father and I took a trip to Mexico. We went deep-sea fishing and rented three-wheelers. It was great to get to know him as an adult.

Who is the most interesting celebrity you ever met?
Joe Barbera from Hannah-Barbera. I was eating dinner at Carmine's on Penn with Joe and most of the guys from the Avalanche Hockey team came in to the restaurant. It was a few nights after they won The Stanley Cup Championship for the first time. They all wanted to meet Joe Barbera and we took pictures, signed autographs and had a great time visiting.

What is your favorite item of clothing in your closet?
A leather jacket I bought in Italy.

What do you consider your proudest achievement?
The new television show on Channel 12. I overcame a lot to do the show and did not think I was good enough to do it.

What is your greatest regret?
I regret not spending more time with my Grandmother, who has passed away.

What is your personal motto?
Be careful who you step on while on your way up the ladder because you'll see them on the way down.

What might your epitaph read?
He liked to help people and animals. He was a good son and he loved a good vodka Martini.

What is the best advice your Mom/Dad ever gave you?
My Dad always said, "Honesty is the best policy."


Favorite Clothing Stores? Ralph Lauren Polo Store and the Ralph Lauren Polo Department at Foley’s.

Favorite Restaurant? Little Ollie’s and Tazu

Saturday night at midnight is most likely to find you? Working at the gallery. Sunday is my day of play. I either take my boat out on Carter Lake or play with my dogs.

Do you have any Pets? I have two chows. Attila, named after Attila the Hun, and Teddy, the cute, loveable male.

Favorite books / Writers? I don’t always have the time for reading books, but I enjoy reading financial magazines and the Sunday paper.

What is your motto? “I’d rather be lucky than good.”