The Julian Hotel has no radios, no telephones, no televisions. Consequently, it plans to have no Super Bowl.
Super Bowl Sunday to the Julian Hotel--and specifically to owner Steve Ballinger, who sets the tone like a 1920s D.J.--is just Sunday. If asked, Ballinger will say, "John Elway? Sorry, he's not registered here."
If he was, he could really get away from Super Bowl XXII, scheduled Sunday in San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium. Some far-removed hideaways around the county are offering escapes from The Game--a kind of sanctuary from the storm.
If denial is your thing, read on. If you want to peak at the game but avoid the crunch and hype, do the same.
First, the total abstainers.
"We're an historic, Victorian hotel," Ballinger said. "We deliberately don't have these modern communication devices because of the atmosphere we cherish. The Super Bowl means nothing to us.
"A lot of people come here purposefully not to be interrupted--to get away from the humdrum of daily life. The Super Bowl is part of that humdrum, particularly if you don't like football."
The Julian Hotel, on the main street of Julian, about a 90-minute drive northeast of San Diego, offers 18 rooms ranging in price from $72 to $135 a night. The price includes "a big breakfast," Ballinger said, "not some petite little breakfast like the kind you get at most bed-and-breakfast places."
He says he expects to have space available for Sunday.
The Pine Hills Lodge is tucked away in a pine forest, halfway between Julian and Santa Ysabel. David L. Goodman, owner of the quaint little place, said the Pine Hills has "nothing special" planned for Super Bowl Sunday.
That hardly means he'll close.
"Oh, we'll have the TV on in the bar," he said. "We'll have light snacks available. And that weekend, we'll have our usual barbecue buffet dinner in the dinner theater, where the play is Jack Sharkey's 'Honestly, Now!' "
Goodman said reservations are "filling up fast" for both the lodge and dinner theater. If "Honestly, Now!" is more your cup of indulgence than "Hail to the Redskins!" this is the place for you.
Not all faraway corners are choosing to ignore the big game. Some are trying to keep pace with the bigger hotels in San Diego. Lawrence Welk Village in Escondido is booked solid, and not just for Sunday. It's been more crowded than a champagne bubble bath all week long.
The Village features 125 rooms at a luxury hotel, which each year attracts thousands of "snowbirds from Back East," in the words of snowbird keeper and hotel manager Bonnie Bartlett.
"Right now I'd say 40% of our guests are here for the Super Bowl," Bartlett said. "A lot of people booked these rooms, and when they did, they didn't even know the teams involved. We're gonna have a show for 'em!
"We'll have 'Can-Can' as our musical in one of the dinner theaters, and 'Plaza Suite' in the other. We have two golf courses, a three-par and an executive course. We have a village with specialty shops, a restaurant, a deli and a market. We have a year-round shop called Christmas that sells, what else, Christmas stuff. You can stock up early for '88. Mr. Welk is now 84 years old, but he occasionally wanders in for two or three days. And that's always a big treat."
In the Desert
A big treat is what they're hoping to throw at La Casa del Zorro, a resort in the faraway desert community of Borrego Springs, about two hours east of San Diego.
Ferrell Manning, the front desk manager, said La Casa del Zorro is offering a special package to anyone interested in escaping the crunch of Super Bowl partygoers but still committed to watching the game some place other than the refuge of their living room.
"If you stay the first two days, Friday and Saturday, you get the third night (Sunday) free. We'll have free beer during the game and hot dogs for a dollar. We'll have the game on a large, 45-inch screen . . . .
"We're just hoping for people who would like to see the game but get away from the crunch. We want people to combine relaxation with seeing the game. Here, they won't have to put up with hustle and bustle--we are a remote area. We have 76 rooms, with one restaurant.
"We don't care who wins, we just want to have a good time and relax."