Chairman of the Board

What, you mean that you don't have a reality show?

Barely a week goes by here at the Westword office without our receiving a press-release alerting us to so-and-so's hot reality show about life in the crazy world of, say, ride-pimping or labia-piercing.

So we were surprised that we were not informed about Mark Frank Montoya's new reality series, The Block, especially since we wrote a feature story about the Denver-born pro-snowboarder back in the fall of 2005. That article explained how Montoya, a poor Latino kid from the north side, stepped through a life of guns, drugs and gangs to become one of the most recognizable figures in snowboarding.

That history alone gives promise and street-cred to the show The Block, which will premiere on Sunday, January 14, on the Comcast-owned G4 cable network. The setting is South Lake Tahoe at Montoya's The Block hotel, one of a small chain of inns that cater specifically to snowboarders. But Montoya's plan to open another outlet in Keystone has been on indefinite hold after a deal fell through to purchase the 58-room Arapahoe Inn from Chicago businessman Roman Kowalewitz for $4.2 million.

From the looks of a preview on the show's website, The Block will feature the requisite mix of Real World-like drama and Jackass-like foolery via the hotel's young staff of snow bros and hos — and probably some sick snowboarding.

But will Montoya give his beloved hometown its rightful props? Tune in, tune out . . . just don't send us a press release about your labia. —Jared Jacang Maher

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun