Five Reasons Houston Is Better Than Vail

Vail is, we're told, a jewel of Colorado and a mecca for skiers.

As it turns out, we recently spent a few days there. Fear not, Houstonians: You'd much rather be living here.

Think not? Here's five reasons why:

5. Discretion Vail, this exalted ski home of the rich and famous, sits right on the interstate. Literally. Its main street between enclaves is the I-70 service road as far as we could tell, although we weren't exactly invited to the best parties or anything.

In Houston, we know how to keep our classy places, like Treasures and The Men's Club, in more discreet, exclusive locations away from the hoi polloi.

4. Safer roads That I-70, by the way, is absolutely filled with dangerous driver-distracting gorgeous scenery for miles upon miles.

Here in Houston and environs, we know what interstates should be, straighter than a ruler and surrounded by nothing more eye-catching than the same series of strip malls and fast-food outlets, repeated ad nauseam.

3. Healthier living Vail is more than 8,000 feet above sea level, which means you are subject to altitude sickness. Just by sitting around and breathing, you can get headaches and shortness of breath. There's nothing like that here in Houston, as long as the wind isn't coming in from the refineries.

2. Beer prices The price of a single 12-ounce can of beer in a Vail hotel lobby store: six bucks. Price of two tall-boys at any gas station in Houston: two bucks and some change. Just who is the civilized town here?

1. Jock avoidance Let's just say if you don't want to be surrounded by ridiculously healthy outdoorsy types who can't stop talking about their latest athletic endeavor, you'll be far better off at a Houston icehouse.

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