APRIL FOOL’S Smurfs furious over Vail conference center

Basil Fawlty

VAIL – The Smurfs, that lovable cartoon commune of happy-go-lucky, mostly male blue midgets, are seething mad at the town of Vail, says a spokesman for the group that still hasn’t solved its dispute with hilltop misanthrope Gargamel. The rancor is obvious in an $18 million lawsuit the Smurfs, doing business as Smurfs, LLC, filed Thursday against the resort town for breach of contract. The Smurfs claim the town acted fraudulently when it changed the design of its long-planned Lionshead conference center, says Legally Smurf, who is representing the group in the suit. The group had been the first to book a conference at the yet-to-be-built facilty and Legally Smurf says the group was lured by the original design for the center’s roof, which looked almost “exactly like” the mushroom-topped houses the Smurfs live in. Smurfs, LLC has already spent “millions” on arrangements for the bi-annual Global Smurf Summit, planned for Christmas, 2006, he said in an annoyingly high-pitched, lilting voice. “You think it’s easy to find 300 extra-small pairs of skis and 300 teeny-weeny snowboards?” Legally Smurf said. “These are speciality items you have to reserve and can’t get refunds on. We’ve made commitments.”But Misty Foie-Gras, director of press releases for the Vail Valley Nervous Businessperson and Gapers Bureau, said the Smurfs are “simply overreacting.” “Yes, we’ve changed directions with the facility, but aren’t these little jerks really too small to see the roof, anyway?” she said. “And perhaps they’re not the quality of conventioneers we’re looking for. This isn’t Vegas or Dubuque. This isn’t some freakshow.” M. Limestone Quartz, a Bedrock-based attorney, said a group of local residents – which include the interests of the Flintstone, Rubble and Slate families – are considering a class action suit against Vail. The group has sent a downpayment to Vail to the hold the 2007 Royal Order of Water Buffalo jamboree at the convention center. “I don’t have all the details yet, but I can tell you my clients, Messrs. Flinstone and Rubble in particular, were deeply disappointed to see the town had done away with the giant upside down ice-cream cone and gone with a more geometric look,” Quartz said. “If we’d wanted all sharp angles and depressing tan bricks, we’d have though about the computer lab at some West Coast community college,” he added. But in a bit of good news for the embattled center, the Jetson family late Thursday booked the center for its Inter-Galactic Gala and Outer-Spacey Spree in May, 2008. “The place could be a space station,” said Elroy Jetson, a representative of the family. “Or at least what people thought a space station might look like in 1962.”Vail, Colorado

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