DMR taps new general manager
Durango Mountain Resort has created a new general manager position
and named a former senior executive from Vermont’s Stratton
Mountain to the position. Effective immediately, Bill Rock will
oversee all on-site resort operations at DMR. Rock also will
head up the Sales and Marketing Team and the Village Team, which
includes ticket sales, guest services, retail and rentals, transportation,
security and the Mountain Adventure School.
Rock commented, “I am truly excited about the future
of DMR as we look to create one of the premier resort destinations
in ski country.”
Rock served two years as director of sales & marketing
at Bristol Mountain, N.Y., and five years withA0Intrawest-owned
Stratton Mountain as director of lodging and golf.
Gary Derck, chief executive officer of DMR and Kirkwood, said:
“Bill Rock’s background, enthusiasm and proven leadership
skills will add tremendous value to our team. He was selected
over several qualified candidates, as we had executives from
a variety of hospitality and resort businesses seeking the position.”
In addition to his resort background, Rock had a distinguished
military career as an Army Ranger, leading two platoons in the
82nd Airborne. He also is an avid athlete, finishing two Ironman
distance triathlons as well as numerous marathons.A0
In other news, DMR and the Cascade Village Condominium Association
have reached an agreement under which DMR will operate the lodging
program for Cascade Village. With the move, DMR will add the
100-110 units at Cascade Village to the 175 units it currently
manages at the Purgatory Village Condominium Hotel, East Rim
Condominiums, Best Western Lodge, ElkPoint Townhomes and various
other units throughout the resort area.
The addition of Cascade Village will increase DMR’s lodging
units at or near the resort by 60 percent and will double the
size of groups the resort can accommodate.
“This addition is a great step toward our goal of increasing
lodging options at DMR, making it possible to attract larger
groups, conferences and events,” said Director of Reservations
and Travel Services Mike Elliott.A0
Partnership secures climbing access
Local rock climbers and private landowners in the Animas Valley
have worked with the Bureau of Land Management to gain permanent
access to the East Animas climbing area off County Road 250.
The climbing area, which includes more than 60 routes, is located
on BLM land northeast of Durango and has been a popular draw
for rock climbers since the mid 1970s. But until now, there’s
been no legal access across private land from County Road 250
other than a handshake agreement between landowners and rock
The Durango Climbers Coalition approached the BLM about securing
a legal easement nearly 10 years ago, according to Richard Speegle,
Columbine Recreation Program Leader. The interest prompted the
agency to consider a land acquisition, but until last year,
there wasn’t a willing landowner in the mix.
The current unofficial trail crosses land owned by Anton Richter.
With Richter’s consent, the BLM began an environmental
assessment last year to study governmental acquisition of a
10-foot-wide, 250-foot-long easement across his property to
replace the existing trail. The new trail would be farther away
from his house near an adjacent landowner’s property.
Neighbor Alfred Robbins, who has lived there for 62 years, and
wife, Susie, also agreed to sell an easement along their property
line. The BLM easement also will allow for a new parking area
with space to accommodate eight to 10 cars at the far southern
end of Richter’s property.
The total cost of the project is estimated at $30,000. The
BLM received $14,000 from the Land and Water Conservation Fund
to buy the easements. Grants and donations from partners will
foot the bill for construction of the trail realignment and
new parking area. Local trails advocacy group Trails 2000 will
pitch in $3,000, which includes money from the Jeff Singer Memorial
Fund. Additional funding also will come in the form of a $4,000
grant from the Access Fund, a national advocacy group for climbing
Lightning triggers fires near Pagosa
Beginning Tuesday, firefighters started battling two separate
lightning-triggered fires north of Pagosa Springs. The fires
are known as the Trail Canyon and Trail Canyon No. 2 fires and
are located 16 miles north of Pagosa along the Piedra Road.
The fires were detected Tuesday afternoon during a routine aerial
reconnaissance of the area, and the smaller of the two blazes
was contained Tuesday night. The larger fire was burning at
a size of 50 acres as of Wednesday morning.
Half of the 20-person San Juan Hotshot Crew was dispatched
to the scene and joined by an engine crew from the Pagosa Ranger
District. Two light helicopters, one from the Ute Mountain Tribe
and one from Mesa Verde, have been providing aerial support.
A heavy air tanker from Grand Junction and a Type I helicopter
and lead plane from Denver were expected to arrive Wednesday.A0Two
additional Type I crews also have been ordered.
On Wednesday, crews were working to surround the Trail Canyon
fire with a line. The fire was burning in a mixed-conifer forest.
The containment effort had been hampered by high winds, however,
winds slowed Wednesday to aid firefighter efforts.
River Trails Ranch review delayed
The review of the proposed River Trails Ranch development has
been delayed again, after the Durango Planning Commission put
off making a decision May 28 and cancelled a next-day meeting
because developer John Wessman could not attend.
River Trails Ranch is a plan to build 800 homes in a new urbanism
configuration on 245 acres in the Animas Valley north of Durango.
The new urbanism component would mix residential, commercial
and municipal features in a dense village configuration.
On May 28, the Planning Commission heard extensive comment
on the proposal and consequently had to delay a decision on
recommending approval and annexation of the project to the Durango
City Planner Greg Hoch commented, “There had been hope
that they wouldn’t have to go to two meetings and could
do everything in one and make a decision.”
Developers Wessman and Bob Wolff had asked the commission for
a decision. However, Wessman’s inability to make the meeting
planned for May 29 forced a delay. Consequently, the Planning
Commission will reconsider River Trails Ranch on June 17.
“I think a decision is possible, if not likely at that
time,” Hoch said.
Four more lynx kittens discovered
Four more lynx kittens have been found with their mother by
a Colorado Division of Wildlife tracking crew at a remote, high-elevation
den in the San Juan Mountains, bringing the total number of
lynx kittens to eight this spring.
“We found the lynx Saturday at about 11,000 feet in a
den under a very large downed log that sheltered the kittens
from rain and snow,” said Tanya Shenk, the Division’s
lead lynx researcher. They were only a few days old and appeared
to be in good health when briefly examined by Shenk.
For good measure, Shenk also noted two snowshoe hares –
favorite prey of the lynx – as she and the crew approached
the den. Three lynx pairs have now officially given birth within
the core area northeast of Durango.
Division biologists hope there will be more births in 2003.
This spring, radio signals from collars indicated that nine
pairs of lynx were together during breeding season, offering
hope that more mothers may be about to give birth.
The spring has marked the first documented reproduction since
the agency’s lynx reintroduction began in 1999. At that
time, the first of 96 lynx were released into the San Juan Mountains,
beginning what state wildlife biologists hoped would be a restoration
of a species. Prior to two weeks ago, there was no evidence
of reproduction and consequently, the DOW kicked off a four-year
program this spring to add another 180 lynx.