Sunday, November 04, 2007

Are You Sure You Want to Win This Trip?

So I was browsing the coupon insert in this morning's paper (yes, the Bogester sometimes clips coupons, so sue me!) when I ran across a page featuring Wick Fowler's Famous brand of chili products. And there was a sweepstakes notice that caught my eye.

The folks at Wick Fowler's are giving away a trip for four to the 2008 Terlingua International Championship Chili Cookoff. Hey, I love chili and I love West Texas. Where do I register?

I can register, it turns out, right here. If I win, me and my three traveling companions will stay at the Lajitas Resort.

And that's what caught my eye. I wonder if the Wick Fowler's people know just how much trouble the Lajitas Resort - with its lush green Randy Russell-Roy Bechtol designed golf course - is in. The sweepstakes winner and his guests might be only the people staying at the resort during their visit. If the resort is even open at that time.

Just a couple days ago, the San Antonio Express-News had an article about the bankrupt resort going up for auction as a means of paying off creditors.

The top auction bid was $13.5 million, short of the hoped-for $20 million and just barely enough to pay off the resort's single largest creditor. The resort is now appraised at $16 million by Brewster County, according to the newspaper, even though soon-to-be-ex-owner Stephen Smith of Austin has sunk more than $100 million into it.

The resort, by all accounts, is a great place. It's just that nobody goes there. Too far out in the middle of nowhere.

For now the resort remains open, and presumably any new owner wouldn't be buying it just to close it down. They would (again, presumably) keep it open and try to figure out how to make a profit.

I hope so. Because Wick Fowler owes me some chili and a free trip.

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