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Just like Miami in August? Contest offers free trip to Buffalo in winter

You can win an all-expenses-paid trip to Buffalo worth thousands of dollars that covers two nights at a luxury hotel, meals at high-end restaurants, spending money, ride-hailing services and booze, among numerous freebies.

There's just one catch: You have to do it during the winter.

Oxford Pennant on Monday unveiled a contest meant to give someone from anywhere in the country – including here in Western New York – the chance to see Buffalo in a new light. Even if that light shines on an arctic snowscape.

"It's like winning a trip to Miami in August," Dave Horesh, who owns the company with Brett Mikoll, said dryly.

Oxford Pennant makes wool and felt pennants, banners and flags for wholesale customers and for people who stop by the company's Main Street storefront, which opened in September.

Horesh said the company's largely millennial workforce wears "our city on our sleeve," and they wanted to show someone from out of town why they love this city so much.

During this discussion, a colleague chimed in with the caveat that the contest winner should have to experience this region's coldest season.

"We thought people should see it in the season it's most famous for," Horesh said.

The contest winners receive round-trip airfare from anywhere in the United States; two nights at Hotel Henry; $500 credit for Oxford Pennant products; hundreds of dollars in gift certificates to restaurants including Ristorante Lombardo, Marble + Rye and Ted's Hot Dogs; $100 Lyft credit; $50 toward "legal plants" from Daddy's Plants; two passes to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery; and  more.

When they arrive at their hotel, their room will be stocked with gifts including pizza and wings from Picasso's Pizza and champagne from City Wine Merchant.

"We reached out to our favorite local businesses," Horesh said. "And usually people would answer the phone, they would laugh and then they'd say I'm in."

Horesh said he plans to pick up with winners from the airport, drive them to their hotel and offer to spend as much or as little time with them as they wish during their visit.

"I wouldn't want to go to another city and be obligated to spend 72 hours with a guy like me," Horesh quipped.

The contest has an estimated value of $3,180 and is open through the morning of Feb. 1, when the winner will be selected. The winner must visit on a weekend between Feb. 8 and March 10. A local winner who doesn't need the airfare would receive vouchers for future air travel instead. For details visit

Horesh said he expects some skepticism about the contest. Commenters on the store's Instagram account are already weighing in.

Horesh said he would be thrilled if the winners hail from a warm-weather location, and he wouldn't mind if a true Buffalo blizzard greets them.

"I think it would be a really neat experience for somebody from San Diego to come to Buffalo and to put up with all of it and, at the end of it say, 'That was cool. I'm glad I went,' " he said.

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