Any locale, esp. a smaller city, with few opportunities for career advancement that traps its inhabitants with its laidback lifestyle.
Victoria, BC, Canada
Any enduring situation, esp. professional, marked by some hardship, but for whose lush benefits a person nonetheless finds it difficult to extract oneself.
On December 20, 2006, Kathie Lee Gifford was interviewed on Rachel Ray's new CBS talk show. Miss Gifford referred to her time before quitting the show as a "velvet rut," adding that while money and other benefits were extremely positive, she was no longer enjoying the work.