5 Jan 2003 page 1C

Elvis fans hit the slopes

Daniel Smith, center, of San Jose, and his brother, Tom, of London, England, travel to Mt. Rose each year for the annual Elvis birthday celebration. (Scott Sady/RGJ)
Scott Sady/RGJ
Daniel Smith, center, and his brother, Tom, left, both clad in Elvis Presley attire, sing ‘Can't Help Falling in Love’ to skiers Saturday at Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe.  Each year, the brothers travel from their homes in San Jose and London, England, respectively, for the resort's Elvis birthday celebration.
Carla Roccapriore

1/4/2003 07:53 pm

Mike Pierce, marketing diretor at Mt. Rose/Ski Tahoe, greets skiers Saturday on Elvis Ski Day. - Scott Sady/RGJ Scott Sady/Scott Sady
Mike Pierce, marketing diretor at Mt. Rose/Ski Tahoe, greets skiers Saturday on Elvis Ski Day.


Who said blondes have more fun, sideburns are out and only witches wear capes?

Not the “Elvi” who got $10 lift tickets Saturday at Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe.

Staff members from the lodge roof to skiers on the slopes sported jet-black wigs -- among other Elvis Presley regalia -- to celebrate the resort’s eighth annual Elvis Day, held in conjunction with the late king of rock ‘n’ roll’s 68th birthday, which falls on Wednesday.

“The people are smiling when they drive in; they nod their heads and are giggling,” said Thomas Walther, 18, a parking attendant whose wig was in disarray. “It’s cool.”

Bartender David Marks, 29, who also was wearing a Presley wig, agreed.

“Everybody’s really enthralled with it,” Marks said. “The feedback’s been really positive.”

First-time lodge visitor Cristy Ericson, 33, of Milpitas, Calif., said she knew that Presley’s birthday was nearing because it precedes hers by one day, but said the Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe event was unexpected. Even the “real bad wigs” were entertaining, she said.

“My husband said, ‘Let’s go skiing,’ and when we pull up, there are Elvises on the roof and I thought, ‘That’s way too cool,’” Ericson said. “There were two and they were singing and talking and when we walked in, there were two more.”

Truckee resident Heidi Pesterfield, 40, and her friends used eyebrow pencil for sideburns. They also dug out some wigs, goggles, capes and star-shaped glasses.

“Everything we’re wearing, we scrounged out of our closets and from old Halloween costumes,” Pesterfield said.

Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe spokesman Murray Blaney, who also dressed in Presley attire with “The King” on his nameplate, said the event began as a way to create atmosphere, as well as a spoof and tribute to Presley.

“He’s an American icon,” Blaney said. “It doesn’t get much more American than Elvis Presley, that’s for sure.”

Presley was born Jan. 8, 1935, in Tupelo, Miss. He died in Graceland from heart failure Aug. 16, 1977. During his heyday, Presley regularly performed at the Sahara on Lake Tahoe, presently known as the Horizon.

Presley’s birthday was celebrated Saturday because it was the closest weekend to his birth date.

Copyright © 2003 The Reno Gazette-Journal