First Sniagrab camper gives up, leaves, is replaced by empty tents
Yesterday afternoon, across the street from the Westword offices, the first Sniagrab tent popped up on the sidewalk outside Sports Authority in anticipation of huge discounts on sporting gear. With a new law banning urban camping on the books, Sports Authority acquired a permit from the city to allow prospective buyers to camp on the city streets. The first in line -- and the first to leave the line -- was 22-year-old Derek Rivoli, a soft-spoken snowboarding enthusiast and aspiring nature guide.
Camper No. 1.
Being the first of anything is a lonely endeavor, and camping for a sale is no exception. Last night, Derek's lone tent stuck out like a sore thumb on the sunny Broadway sidewalk. "I'm just hanging out and meeting new people at the same time," Rivoli said, though he admitted that the only new person he had met was a guy who randomly walked by to laugh at him. "I was backpack guiding all summer, so I figured camping out for five days wouldn't be that big of a deal for me." He was reading King Solomon's Ring by Konrad Lorenz, which he called "pretty funny," while waiting for his girlfriend and buddies to join him for a few nights of lighthearted urban fun. Rivoli didn't appeared too concerned about the week, but what happened next was so alarming that it shook our reporter to his very core -- or at least surprised him.
The first to arrive for the sale... or so it seemed.
When we went back to check up on Rivoli a while later, his tent was gone -- vanished, seemingly into thin air. Even more mysterious: By the next morning, four more tents had taken his place, and all of them were empty, leaving even more unanswered questions than the night before.
Derek Rivoli as he was last seen.
Continue reading to learn more about the mystery of the empty Sniagrab tents.