Crystal Visions

With 2002 safely behind us, many Durangoans may be wondering just what 2003 has in store. So, as a service to our inquiring readers, the Telegraph took an impromptu poll, asking local dignitaries, business honchos, luminaries and pundits to pontificate on what the new year holds. While no one claimed to have a clear view of the crystal ball, we did find no shortage of people willing to put their necks on the line. So, for better or worse, here’s a look at how 2003 may shape up.

Rep. Mark Larson, R-Cortez.: “I’m just so happy to get rid of 2002 and hoping and praying 2003 isn’t more of the same.”

Sen. Jim Isgar, D-Hesperus: “I predict the State Legislature will work together in bipartisanship fashion to work to balance what is probably one of the most difficult state budgets to balance in a long time - and try to come up with some well thought-out solutions to get through this drought.”

Jeff Berman, executive director, Colorado Wild: “Natural gas prices are going to continue to climb – and electric, while we’re at it; more so than people think – natural gas supplies are going to start falling off, and it’s going to start hitting home.”

Kristi Nelson Cohen, V.P. sales and marketing, Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad: “It’s going to require a community-wide effort to encourage our friends and families to patronize our tourist companies and vacation in Colorado – We’ll have a lot of catching up to do but I look forward to a tremendous 2003. We’re very excited.”

Mysto the Magi, mystic and master of illusion: “Things are going to look up – we’re going to get more and more snow and the economy is going to pick up – people are going to discover their true selves and their paths in life – and those looking for love are going to find it.”

Bob Kunkel, senior V.P., Durango Mountain Resort: “The view of the crystal ball has gotten fuzzier – but we would see this to be a very strong recovery year for the ski industry and unless there’s some kind of repeat of last summer, I think this summer will be great. We are planning a major bike event on the scale of the last two years as well as another concert like the Wildflower Festival. The additional events should bring a lot of people back to Durango – people are looking for places to visit just like Durango.”

Jim Pringle, forecaster, National Weather Service: “It’s looking like we’re going to see a moderate El Nino continue until late spring, possibly into the summer months, which typically implies above normal precipitation throughout the Four Corners. After that, we go into a normal precipitation pattern, which means a monsoon pattern similar to last summer, which may not be good news for people living in the Missionary Ridge Fire area.

“As for temperatures through the winter, the Four Corners can expect to have temps slightly above normal; late spring and summer will be near to slightly above; and the fall will be above normal.”

Virginia Castro, Durango mayor pro tem: “I think (2003) is going to be better than 2002 – I am expecting that the main segment of the Animas River Trail will be completed, enabling people to bike to work instead of driving. I would like to see us start to participate in a renewable energy program, which can have a ripple effect by helping the local situation as well as the environment as a whole. Hopefully with the new council, whether the same or new, we will remain focused on making decisions that are the best on the whole, for the planet and all of us.”

Josh Joswick, La Plata County commissioner: One of the biggest issues is going to be a domestic rural water system for the southeastern part of the county. Probably even bigger than that would be whether or not this drought will continue and if we’re going to have another incident like last summer. There’s nothing saying that it wouldn’t happen again, and as soon as we start getting rain, it could also really play hell with the roads. It’ll be amazing to watch what happens – The hospital and Grandview are also going to be big things. It’s going to be a really big year.”

As you can see, predictions varied across the board – from whimsical to solemn, scientific to mystic – there seemed to be one general consensus: There’s no where to go but up.







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