DURANGO, CO--(Marketwire - March 2, 2011) - March came in like a lamb in Durango, Colorado, but "Winter" ruled in Durango's answer to Ground Hog Day -- the "Tug of Weather" -- forecasting six more weeks of winter. Durango's inaugural "battle of the seasons" was held Tuesday, Mar. 1, 2011.

Staged in Historic Downtown Durango, on the street in front of Steamworks Brewing Co. (801 E. Second Ave.), the Tug-of-Weather (a traditional tug-of-war) saw 12-person teams (six men, six women) who champion winter sports (skiers, snowboarders, etc.) and those preferring the warm, fair weather for their endeavors (rafters, cyclists, etc.) compete in a best two-out-of-three 100-ft. rope "tug" or "pull." The Stanley Cup-style award created by Steamworks Brewing Co. was presented in the brewpub following the tug.

"It sure felt like spring out here today," said Pam Glasco, community relations coordinator for the Durango Business Improvement District (BID), which has a mission to help sustain Durango's Historic Downtown. "So it was a great day for everyone to come out and have a little fun and celebrate Downtown Durango."

In typical Durango spirit, tug-of-war participants and organizers "dressed" for the occasion -- some celebrating their specific sports or seasons with their attire, others "styling" with half-and-half (i.e. shorts and snow boots, ski jackets and flip-flops).

The winter team was led by Sven Brunso, sales and marketing director for Durango Mountain Resort, who understandably was looking forward to six more weeks of winter and additional snow on the mountain. "In Durango we get some of our best snow in March, so this Tug-of-Weather confirms it, the skiing and snowboarding will be great on the mountain this month," said Brunso.

The spring/summer team was led by Alex Mickel, owner, Mild to Wild Rafting & Jeep Trail Tours, who noted, "While we're ready for spring, I'll concede that it's okay to have some more snow. All that white stuff melts and fills our rivers with some of the best white-water rafting in the country."

Organized by the Durango Business Improvement District, the "Tug-of-Weather" was also sponsored by the City of Durango, Durango Herald, Four Corners Broadcasting and the Durango Area Tourism Office, with support of Steamworks Brewing Co., Durango Mountain Resort, Mild to Wild Rafting & Jeep Trail Tours, Durango Chamber of Commerce.

"The event has generated a lot of attention for Durango," said Bob Kunkel, BID executive director, who conceived the event following a challenge by Durango Herald Publisher Richard Ballantine to create a Ground Hog Day-type activity. "This is a town known for its outdoor sports enthusiasts. They've got more invested in the weather than Punxsutawney Phil."

The Durango Business Improvement District was formed in 1997 with a goal and mission to support businesses within the District by assisting with special event marketing, providing research on topics of concern to the District (facilities, special events, best practices), planning and development of new facilities, and providing capital budget for equipment that enhances business in the District. Funding is generated by a 2 mill levy on property owners within the district, with additional marketing dollars contributed by the City of Durango and Durango Area Tourism Office.