Blood Barter

Blood Barter

Saddle up to the gurney, boys, it's opening day! when Sugarloaf/USA announced in January 2000 that they would exchange lift tickets for human blood, 40 eager donors turned out to have their veins drained. That number doubled in 2001, and last year over 100 volunteers turned out.

With news of organs for sale in South America, you can't help but wonder what dubious motivation lurks behind the blood-letting at this rural Maine ski area. A lucrative blood trade to the Third World, perhaps? Sorry. Nothing so sinister. This was simply Sugarloaf's way of attracting more donors to the annual American Red Cross Blood Drive, which is run by the ski patrol. And it was a community effort, with local restaurants kicking in free eats and drinks for donors. If you're willing to trade your platelets for a ticket to ride, bare your forearms at Sugarloaf/USA during the first week of January.