When the Mercury ran its Little Dubai story earlier this year, we were talking specifically about a hasty new approach to development that placed size and glitter over long-term planning and the best interests of the city. Portland is UNLIKE Dubai because it doesn't have an indoor mountain covered in fake snow, some pointed out. Well...not so fast. An email from Taylor Murray this morning:

I manage the Cricket Campus Rail Jam Tour, a national ski and snowboard competition that visits major college campuses across the western US. From San Diego to Salt Lake City, the Tour visits 12 universities in eight states between the months of February and May, hauling-in over 25 tons of snow and the area's best up-and-coming skiers and snowboarders to compete for cash and product from our sponsors. A 14-person event crew travels from event to event in huge tour bus, creating buzz in the cities and causing a ruckus in the nightlife scenes. The Tour gives amateur riders an opportunity to showcase their skills on a professional-level setup, and a chance to break into the pro snowboard world.

The finals for the 2009 Tour are taking place on May 30th in Pioneer Courthouse Square. Temperatures may be in the 70's, but over 25 tons of snow will be trucked-in from Mt Hood to turn the square into a huge winter wonderland. Three custom rail features will be mounted onto a 100ft long scaffolding structure to create a professional-level competition setup. 100 of the Tour's top competitors have qualified to compete in the finals and will be attending the final showdown. Olympic athlete and X-games announcer, Todd Richards, will be hosting the event with hilarious commentary. After the winners have been crowned, a huge after party will ensue at a downtown nightclub.

We've put a call in to the mayor's office to ask how shipping 25 tons of snow into the city's living room fits with the mayor's sustainability agenda. No call back just yet. But we'll let you know.