APRIL FOOL’S ‘Realtor Rumpus’ slated for next Saturday

Chelda Oslo

Organizers call it a lighthearted event for local real estate professionals to “have a little fun.” Critics say it’s a disgraceful display of hubris and insensitivity that only underscores the affordable housing problem in the valley.Either way, it appears the Third Annual Vail Valley Realtor Rumpus – known as V2R2 – is going forward as planned next Saturday. The event, which pits local real estate agents against one another in various games and contests, has drawn fire from local community activists who say that, fun aside, it’s insulting to locals who can’t afford to buy a home in the Vail Valley.”They have this one contest where they beat up this piñata that’s supposed to be an Avon local who doesn’t have money for a downpayment,” said Kristin Medved, executive director of the nonprofit organization Housing Hurts. “I mean, what the hell is that?”Another game Medved’s group takes issue with involves house-shaped, rock-like sponges that contain small amounts of water. Realtors are told the water in the sponges represent money “locked-up” in deed-restricted affordable housing units, and that they must attempt to squeeze what they can from them. The realtor who yields the most liquid from his or her rock wins a self-portrait air-brushed onto their SUV.V2R2 organizer Dexter Trumbley, who discounted Medved’s comments as “ramblings from some yurt-living drug-addled hippie chick,” said he was excited about this year’s event because of some new games he’s dreamed up.”I got inspired by some of those reality shows, like ‘Fear Factor’ and ‘The Bachelor,'” Trumbley said.A game new to V2R2 this year is based on a ‘Fear Factor’ episode where contestants have to hang upside down from a helicopter and snatch flags from buoys floating in the water. In the V2R2 version, realtors will dangle from a crane above The Village at Avon and attempt to grab certificates of occupancy for planned housing units in the development.”And the CO’s will be held by these building inspectors who are really Chippendale guys, all dressed in Speedos or something,” Trumbley said. “The cool thing is it’s the real deal: You get that CO, that is your unit to sell!”Another new game, based on “The Bachelor,” features what Trumbley calls “our hottest young realtor, hardly a day over 50″ being wooed by poorly paid local teachers, police officers and journalists. The realtor will have the deed for a hastily slapped together 2-bedroom condo, and the locals will try to convince her why they deserve it through a combination of flattery, foot massages and SUV cleanings.”It’s cool because it’s as humiliating as it is heartwarming,” Trumbley said. “I mean, they’ll be out there licking Judy’s Cayenne clean with their tongues, but they’ve also got a chance to attain the American dream of home ownership. Hold on, I think I’m gonna cry!”Medved said her group – which got in trouble last year for hurling rotting sturgeon and balloons full of Beefaroni and kimchi at the competitors – will steer clear of the event next week, slated to take place at the Eagle-Vail Pavilion.”We’re just asking people to avoid using realtors around here anymore,” she said. “Use the internet or one of those sell-it-yourself services. These people are evil.”Vail, Colorado

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