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SWAG me

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Teva Mountain Games means SWAG time.

Just ask Front Rangers T.J. West and Tim Crouthers. The 18-year-old and 20-year-old drove from Denver today to check out opening day of Teva’s Gear Town.

“We came mostly for the free stuff,” Crouthers said, as he collected a towel and body wash from the Zest tent.



I admit it ” my arms are sore. In just over two hours on Friday I collected three bags worth of SWAG from the village of Teva Mountain Games vendors and sponsors in Vail. Who knew you could collect and schlep enough SWAG to tire you out?

At the bright red Tyson Protein Patrol tent, you can take your turn at the beanbag toss. Nail one of the three holes and win a T-shirt that screams “Powered Up” or a small Nylon drawstring backpack, great for the rest of the free stuff you’ll collect further down Meadow Drive. Even if you miss your shot, they’ll pat you on the back and let you try a Tyson chicken sample. Tip: don’t pass up the little red coupon/recipe booklet ” besides recipes for things like apricot-honey chicken poupon, the coupon is good for a free Tyson product, up to $8.99.



Across from the Tyson truck is test-drive central for Volkswagen. Over the course of the weekend, Volkswagen will donate a total of $6,500 toward carbon offsets. It accounts to about a $25 donation per test drive, which off sets the emissions from your car for one year. Yes, I’m aware some consider “off-sets” tantamount to the Catholic Church’s infamous indulgences, but it’s certainly better than nothing. Plus the VW folks give you a Colorado Blue Spruce sapling and a beach towel when you finish your drive (to Ford Park and back), plus a postcard good for a free iPod shuffle ” after you test drive another Volkswagen at a dealership.

When it comes to SWAG, the bar certainly has been raised this year, Teva Mountain Games founder Joel Health said.

“We pressed our sponsors to engage our participants. Hopefully they will be delivering, but get here early because SWAG goes quick,” Health said.



At the Zest tent, if you rode on the surf simulator, you got a free, full-size body wash and a giant Zest beach towel. Bathrobes hanging at the tent are not just “a tease,” as one person referrred to it ” people that run in the Saturday Zest mud run will each get one.

The question of the day might have come when one gentleman was trying to get a body wash and towel without riding the surf board.

“Am I going to get wet?” he asked.

At the Volkswagen table I showed a nice fellow my Volkswagen key chain and was promptly rewarded with a TREK racing team hydration backpack, a keychain, a bag of ‘Gorp’ trail mix and a purple water bottle.

People rocking red TREK cowboy hats, and carrying a myriad of stickers, water bottles, shirts and backpacks milled in front of the V-dub Garage, where after filling out a quick survey you could design a custom silk screened shirt, made right in front of you. In just two hours they’d made 100 T-shirts, one worker said, with plans to make and give away 2,000 in the course of the weekend. On the other side of the garage, you could get your palm read, via computer. Mine revealed: “You have a dirty secret,” and told me I should drive a Touareg 2 or Passat. My Jetta TDI is just fine for now, but maybe there’s a Passat somewhere in my future. If it came to me in the form of SWAG, I’d be all in.

Caramie Schnell can be reached at 748-2984 or cschnell@vaildaily.com.

This writer’s favorite SWAG score of the day was a toss up between the yard-long Colorado Blue Spruce sapling I got after test driving the biodiesal fueled Jetta TDI and the TREK Racing Team hydration backpack I got after showing the peeps my V.W. key.

Here’s other people’s favs:

“You can get a certificate for an iPod shuffle if you do the joyride. Also, the V.W. T-shirts are cool, you could custom screen print one of four designs on there. I did mine around the side, the two fingers are kind of wrapping around the hip of the shirt.”

-Che Wentz, Grand Junction resident

My favorite SWAG was I got to ride with V.W. TREK rider Ross Schnell on Vail Mountain. But I liked the red TREK hat, too. The whole cowboy hat thing, that has to get someone laid.”

-Seth Anderson, Co-founder of Loki Outerwear

“The VolkSWAGon shirts ” the custom screen printing is cool but I have to say the V.W. dog shirt. Every good dog deserves a shirt. Also, the chocolate covered bugs VolkSWAGon is giving out. I tried them last year, but I haven’t dove into them yet this year.”

-Joel Heath, founder of Teva Mountain Games and head of Untraditional Marketing

“I haven’t gotten it yet, but that Zest beach towel. You have to do that wave ride before you can get it. Also, the Carhart’s big Nalgene bottle, people were looking for that.”

-Tricia Swenson, TV8 host

“Those Trek red cowboy hats are a hot ticket for most people, but as far as a personal favorite, I haven’t really gotten anything yet. We just went by the Tyson trailer, though, and ate a bunch of chicken nuggets. Those were good.”

-Ross Schnell, TREK VolkSWAGon mountain bike team athlete


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