On the Road with Warren Miller


When you’re traveling with Warren Miller Entertainment, you’re constantly in the action. Fourteen-hour workdays and all-night carousing aside, touring is incredible. Whether it’s the fully-loaded Pathfinder that we tool around in when the day is done or the legions of fans who we meet at every stop, there’s never a dull moment. We see the best of each city and get paid to do it.

I have heard critics launch into diatribes, typically fueled by booze, about the merits of early Greg Stump films and the progressive new breed of ski movies from MSP Matchstick Productions and TGR Teton Gravity Research. But, without taking away anything from those talented filmmakers, no other crew covers the globe like Warren Miller. If you want to see the world’s best skiers tearing it up from Russia to Greenland, this year’s “Ride” has no peer. In fact, over 14,000 people came to see “Ride” in Portland last week, the first stop on the tour.

I knew a few things about the Rose City before our arrival: It’s the biggest city in Oregon, home of the Trailblazers, and Mt. Hood is just around the corner. But what they don’t tell you in the brochures, is that Portland is also home to more strip clubs per capita than any other city in America. So with a week full of shows at the Arlene Schnitzer Theater as well as a hotel room in the heart of downtown, I set out to experience everything Portland had to offer.

So, yeah, my fellow crew members and I found our way into some of the aforementioned adult entertainment clubs more than a few times, but what we found was completely unexpected. In two of the clubs we went to — Mary’s and Sassy — we were surprised to find as many women in attendance as men. I don’t mean women who were there to check out the dancers, but women just out at a bar having something to drink. What this means, I’m not sure. What’s clear, though, is that things in Portland are a little different.

Aside from the entertainment at Mary’s and Sassy, lunch at El Grillo on Broadway and pints at Kell’s after every show were staples for the crew. Those treats alone make Portland hard to leave — not to mention Todai, an all-you-can-eat sushi spot downtown that’s heaven for folks on a budget.

All in all, Portland was pretty cool. My rating would probably have gone to excellent if Mt. Hood were covered in snow, but being that it was still early in the season, I shouldn’t complain. After all, I’m on the road with Warren Miller.