|On the ball: Four-year-old
Marco Good expends
some excess energy during tennis practice on Tuesday./
Photo by Todd Newcomer.
DMR streamlines its workforce
Durango Mountain Resort announced this week that it would be
restructuring substantially to prepare for its forthcoming expansion
and to take advantage of its partnership with Kirkwood Mountain
Resort in Lake Tahoe, Calif. Much of the restructuring amounts
to downsizing, including the elimination of roughly 12 full-time
positions in various departments and the promotion of eight
DMR managers to handle expanded responsibilities.
Additionally, four senior managers will assume responsibilities
at both resorts. DMR says it has restructured its employee classifications
and benefits in an effort to conform to industry standards and
respond to the dramatic increases in premiums seen throughout
the resort industry. Several positions that were year-round
also have become seasonal positions.
“We are trying to streamline the company to make it run
more efficiently, and we will be saving some money on payroll,”
said DMR spokesman Matt Skinner
DMR and Kirkwood CEO Gary Derck added: “It makes sense
to combine some operations with our sister resort, to take advantage
of having such a partnership. And with construction set to begin
this summer under the new master plan here in Durango, we are
repositioning our staff to best manage this exciting new growth.”
As DMR prepares to begin construction, the resort has promoted/hired
several senior managers to oversee the centralization of certain
critical resort and real estate business functions with Kirkwood.
These new positions are part of the parent company of both resorts,
David Likins, the CFO of Kirkwood, will now become CFO of DMR
as well. Mark Seiter, the senior vice president of finance at
DMR, will now oversee the accounting, business team and financial
reporting functions at both resorts. Cathy Swarts, controller
at DMR, will become controller for both resorts. Mark West,
former head of resort marketing and sales for the Maverick Co.,
has been hired as vice president of real estate marketing for
both resorts. DMR also said it is in final negotiations with
a top resort industry manager to assume the general manager/chief
operating officer position, which was recently vacated by Bob
As for the exciting new growth, DMR has plans to add 1,649
units and 410,000 square feet of commercial space in the form
of six villages near the ski resort over the next 20 years.
Construction on the early phases of the ambitious expansion
is set to begin this summer.
Police officer shot near Cortez
A Colorado State Patrol officer was shot multiple times after
a traffic stop south of Cortez last Thursday. Chris Cutrone,
a 29-year-old canine officer, remains in serious condition at
St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction. The man believed
to be responsible, 26-year-old Brent Derrick, apparently shot
himself after being pursued on foot and is also reported to
be in serious condition.
Preliminary investigation shows that Cutrone stopped a 1996
Buick LeSabre with Texas plates for a routine traffic violation.
The incident occurred at approximately 2:20 p.m. May 8 on U.S.
Highway 666 outside the Ute Mountain Casino. Almost immediately
after Cutrone approached the vehicle, the driver produced a
handgun and fired multiple rounds at the officer. It appears
that the most serious wound was suffered when a round entered
his upper chest just above the bulletproof vest he was wearing.A0Cutrone
apparently then stumbled away from the vehicle and found his
way to the front entrance of the nearby casino where emergency
personnel responded. He was eventually stabilized and transported
via helicopter to St Mary’s, where on Tuesday he was listed
as being in serious condition.
The suspect apparently fled from the scene in the vehicle toward
Ute Mountain Tribal Land.A0He then apparently drove the stolen
vehicle into a nearby reservoir and fled the area on foot.A0Police
initiated a search and found the subject nearby. A foot pursuit
ensued prior to the suspect sustaining a single self-inflicted
gunshot wound to his body. Derrick was eventually also taken
to St. Mary’s Hospital and has since been relocated to
Denver Health Medical Center. His medical condition was last
reported as serious.
Derrick’s vehicle was reported stolen out of Amarillo,
Texas, in late April after he apparently pushed its elderly
female owner to the ground. Derrick had a criminal history that
included aggravated robbery and assault on a police officer
and was wanted on multiple felony warrants.
An assistance fund has been established for the Cutrone family
– Chris and his wife, Cathy, and their two young sons,
ages 1BD and 2BD, at the First National Bank in Cortez.A0Call
565-3781 for more information.
Coalition opposes Farmington drilling
A diverse group has gotten together to oppose the Bureau of
Land Management’s long-range management plan that calls
for 12,500 new gas wells in the vicinity of Farmington. The
San Juan Citizens’ Alliance, the Oil and Gas Accountability
Project and DinE9 Care have joined forces with area ranchers
Don and Jane Schreiber and TreciaFaye Blancett to change the
The group charges that the proposed plan fails to provide a
balanced approach to managing public lands and fails to protect
the public from degradation to air quality. On May 5, the group
filed a protest asking the BLM to issue a Notice of Significant
Change and set a 30-day comment period as first steps to addressing
the plan’s deficiencies.
“The plan puts the priority on extracting the gas resources
at the expense of other uses such as ranching, recreation and
protecting our cultural heritage here in the San Juan Basin,”
said Jane Schreiber.
The protest has gone to National BLM Director Kathleen Clark
in Washington, D.C. Clark now has 90 days to decide to either
deny the protest or grant a Notice of Significant Change.
Crain’s resignation goes official
In the midst of the biggest development boom in La Plata County
history, the county’s director of planning services left
his post in February. This week, Joe Crain’s resignation
became official, and the county has agreed to pay him $51,564
– the equivalent of nine months’ salary.
Comments on Crain’s departure are still being kept to
a minimum, and there is still no word on whether he resigned
or was terminated. A La Plata County release stated only, “La
Plata County and Mr. Crain have resolved on mutually agreeable
terms all matters pertaining to Mr. Crain’s employment
with La Plata County and his departure there from.”
On Wednesday, Nancy Lauro was officially appointed to fill
Crain’s shoes permanently. She has been employed by La
Plata County since 1995 as planning services manager and acted
as interim planning director since March 1 of this year.
County Manager Michael Scannell commented: “Ms. Lauro
has nearly 20 years’ experience in planning and is well
versed in the myriad of complex land-use issues facing the county
at this time. Her technical skills, hands-on experience and
understanding of local issues make her well qualified to assume
the position of Planning Director of La Plata County.”