Strong-arms tugged their way to a six-week winter extension during the inaugural Tug-of-Weather competition outside Steamworks Brewing Co. Tuesday night.
Using traditional tug-of-war rules, summer enthusiasts were pitted against winter fanatics in a unique twist to Groundhog Day, ultimately determining that Durangoans should be in no hurry to stash away their jackets.
Its a win for everybody, said Sven Brunso, captain of the winter team and vice president of sales and marketing for Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort. With six more weeks of winter, even the rafters will be pumped up come summer time, so its a win for the town of Durango and a win for summer.
Brunso said he is looking forward to quality skiing for at least another month.
The winter team, also known as The Ferocious Flakes, was presented with a trophy as a memento of the teams best-two-out-of-three victory.
Barry The Wrangler Rapp, member of the spring and summer team, said he is confident the last six weeks of winter will fly by.
Its getting warmer, and were ready for summer, Rapp said. Its been a tough winter this year, and next year well be more prepared.
To the winter teams relief, the judgment of the renowned groundhog Punxsutawney Phil now appears askew, for he warned that spring would come early after not seeing his shadow Feb. 2.
Several local businesses also were able to participate in separate tug-of-war events earlier in the evening.
After a tough loss to Steamworks, Mike Kuhn, the head delivery guy at Ska Brewing, said he and the rest of the Ska team will begin training for next years competition in a couple of months.
J.D. The Yeti Zent, member of the Steamworks team, said although members of Skas team are friends, it felt amazing to win.
The thrill of victory is what inspires me to keep going and going, and I think that can be said for the rest of the Steamworks team as well, Zent said.
In the spirit of Groundhog Day, the 100-foot rope used at the event, which was built to national tug-of-war standards, hosted a stuffed marmot dangling at its center.
The event was conceived when Richard Ballantine, publisher of The Durango Herald, challenged Bob Kunkel, executive director of the Business Improvement District, to develop a Groundhog Day-type event unique to Durango.
In an attempt to make things more edgy, the event is not on the real Groundhog Day, Feb. 2, because Durango would certainly have six more weeks of winter, said Indiana Reed, BID spokesperson.
This is all Richard Ballantines fault, Reed said. Hes the one who challenged us to come up with this.