10.23.09 College Winter Break 2010

I can see why swat the college tour group hadn’t posted any info for their upcoming college snowboarding trip to Tahoe which is called SWAT-72. The “72” refers to three days of non-stop partying. I checked their Web page recently and see that they have modified the program and thus the program name.  It’s now called, very straightforwardly, College Winter Break 2010. I called their corporate office located in Orange County and spoke with a staff member to get the full scoop. I found out that

1. Lodging is now at the Grand Sierra Resort, an upgrade from their previous lodging at Circus Circus and Sands Regency

2. Package price now includes buffet breakfasts, lunch and buffet dinners which includes crabs legs, previously no meals were included

3. Package now includes riding at Northstar Resort, rather than Squaw Valley, which according to swat is “the second best resort in the U.S. for boarding”

4. As a result the package price has increased from 299. to 399. per person

What has not changed:

1. Remains on the Martin Luther King weekend in January

2. Nightly entertainment still included in all-inclusive price

3. Bus transportation from campus to Reno continues to be optional

I asked the staff member why they made the changes and he said basically that they’ve been doing swat-72 for 12 years or so and thought that is was a time for a change. This year’s entertainment guest will be LMFAO. Now I’m tempted to check it out, although participants will need to be prepared to get no sleep during these trips (I’m sure they’re used to that already) as I found out on my first trip with them, but that is compensated by the fact that you’ll be partying with lots of hot boarder chicks.

On my first night at the hotel on my first swat trip, during the early morning hours, there was a catfight between two drunken girls in the hallway outside our room. The spectacle was no doubt recorded on several cell phones and cameras, and produced such a humongous ruckus that it caused sleeping families to complain to security. Rapper E-40 was the guest one night at some livestock exhibition hall in Reno. I was standing on the main floor when suddenly some drunk chick came up behind me, grabbed me and kicked me in the back several times with her knee for some reason. By the time I turned around she had disappeared into the rowdy crowd.

Believe me, swat trips are adventurous, eventful and memorable.

10.23.swat-winterbreak2010

These type of tour group traveling is ideal for boarders who like to pay one all-inclusive price that includes most everything, who don’t mind riding and hanging out with a bunch of other crazy people, most of whom are strangers that you’ve never met before, who don’t mind getting little if any sleep, and who don’t mind following a rather regimented itinerary.

But for riders who are more the “solo adventurers” (I’ve met many over the years) who prefer to be independent from group itineraries, groups of people and crowded resorts, who like the backcountry, and are serious about their riding, these programs are definitely not recommended.

This may not have been the optimum time for a significant price increase considering the current state of the economy. Families are cutting back costs, and luxury items, recreational expenditures, and things like dining out are usually the first to go. And with many students struggling to pay the sharp increase in college and university fees, I think more people will be prevented from participating.

Here is a slide show of my first snowboarding trip with swat:

10.23.09swat-72-squawvlly

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