Took your advice and picked up Details Magazine on flight in, tempted by their promise to "Finding Sin In Salt Lake City" and proceeded immediately to the No. 1 bar in town, the Dead Goat Saloon ("A Rockin Li'l Roadhouse").
Related: Torch symbolic of more than the Games (Feb. 14)
Utah's arcane liquor laws mean bars are not really bars at all, but actually private clubs. Luckily, in the come-one, come-all spirit of the Olympics, all the best clubs are selling temporary two-week memberships to Olympic visitors for $5 (US). Your $5 also entitles you to bring along five guests, but on the night we joined, everybody wanted their own card, so their membership drive was kicked into high gear.
Apart from the catchy name and the ubiquitous T-shirt boutique, The Dead Goat is like any seedy blues bar you've ever seen, right down to the live music, the greasy fries and a version of chicken wings that puts the emphasis on the chicken, not the wings. Wonderful.
Kelley, our waitress, is sporting a nasty looking mouse under her right eye from a snowboarding accident. Tonight, she is also being shadowed by Lori, a waitress-in-training. Two hours later, with the Goat filling up fast, Lori returns, her hair up, wearing the official T-shirt, promoted to full-time staff on the spot.
The band is solid and that apparently will be a feature of these Olympics. Provided those pesky hockey games don't get in the way, Smashmouth is playing Harry O's in Park City early next week, followed by Sheryl Crow three days later. The Dave Matthews Band is the first of a dozen major acts that will entertain at the nightly medal awards ceremonies. And if we really get ambitious Joan Jett is at the Red Lion Inn next week.
We're not exactly finding a lot of sin here, but whatever Prohibition-style laws they have, they are easily circumvented. Microbreweries abound and all of the clubs scattered around the main press centre are opening their doors to the crush of international visitors.
We are finding that membership does, after all, have its privileges.