Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I’m all for supporting local ski resorts. I grew up skiing at Maple Ski Ridge in Schenectady. I ski at West Mountain a lot. I’ve been known to make appearances at Willard, Royal, Hickory, Titus, and Big Tupper. If I’m in the neighborhood, I’ve got the skis in the car, and I’ve got a few hours to kill, I’ll ski just about anywhere.

But I draw the line at taking vacations to “resorts” with 750 vertical feet. I only mention this because one “lucky” woman has won a “ski and snowboarding adventure in New York at Holiday Valley Resort” on Wheel of Fortune. Don’t get me wrong. I like a vacation as much as the next guy, and I’ve skied Holiday Valley before. The town of Ellicottville is pretty cool (get the Pale Ale and the Shephard’s Pie at Ellicottville Brewing Company). But when I think of ski areas that I’d like to visit, Holiday Valley ranks somewhere around 387 (between Mt. Brighton in Michigan and Sundown in Connecticut). Seriously, if you’re going to give away a New York ski vacation, why not let them go to Lake Placid? Or at least the Catskills?

But that’s not the worst part. The total value of the trip (staying at the new slope-side Tamarack Club) is an eye-popping $5,736. Wow. For that price, you could fly to Salt Lake City (which, now that I look at it, is only $300 round trip, Hmmm . . .), then spend 40 days at the slopeside Alta Peruvian with all your meals covered. You could fly to Calgary and get 4 days of cat skiing, lodging and meals at the Island Lake Lodge in British Columbia for $4,000. Hell, you could pay for an apartment in Jackson, WY for an entire season for $5,800. I guess if you’re on the game show, you shouldn’t look the gift horse in the mouth.  And maybe the trip was for 4 people or something.  I still think I’d have to ask Pat Sajak what the hell was going on.

Although, one thing that Holiday Valley does have going for it is the rule that Crock Pots are not only legal, but considered a “family tradition”.  I haven’t partaken in this kind of activity (I’m usually the lazy bastard who brings chips and salsa to a pot luck), but I think I might start. There’s nothing better on a cold winter day than a hot meal cooked over a few hours in a crock pot. I’m sure the organizers of the Crocktoberfest Crock Pot competition would agree. In fact, one of the judges is a skier:
Mr. Rosenberg, who lives in Boulder, Colo., said he's currently waiting on the $1,200 skis he custom-ordered from Folsom to advertise his obsession with pork products. "You can get dancing girls. You can get ones that say 'I am cool,'" Mr. Rosenberg said. "But very soon there will be two pieces of bacon skiing down Vail Mountain."
I guess there are all sorts of ways to spend your money . . .

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