Retailers confident in box
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. - As the
economy has drooped and new big-box retailers have come on line
this year 80 miles south in Avon and Silverthorne, there has been a
pronounced concern in Steamboat Springs about leakage of retail
But retailers contacted
by The Steamboat Pilot
(June 8) seem to think the
concern may be overstated. For example, Steve Kennedy, who runs a
high-quality kitchen equipment store, says they're prospering
precisely because they sell wares different from those of the
big-box retailers, Furthermore, he says he can compete with Bed
Bath and Beyond and similar stores in price.
A shoe retailer similarly says it can compete - but not at the
low end. They are aware of the need for shoes in the $30 to $65
price range, but they go for a higher end, and then must turn over
their inventory rapidly in their small store.
A Consumer Preference Survey shows that 55 percent of Steamboat
money spent on housewares is spent locally, while 32 percent of
money on women's clothing is spent locally, and 40 percent for cars
Rainbows select Summit
SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah - The Rainbow
Family of Living Light intends to gather this summer in Summit
County, and Sheriff Dave Edmunds warns of problems ahead, citing
gas theft, shoplifting and sexual assault among the problems at
past gatherings. The group meets at various spots across the West
each summer to promote peace, care of the earth and alternative
A local resident, Ginger
Tolman, questioned whether the sheriff had facts to justify his
alarm, while a member of the Rainbow Family told The Park Record (June 11) that problems are few and
generally caused by younger, hangers-on from troubled
County gets behind gold
SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. - Until World War
II, Summit County's meal ticket was almost exclusively gold mining.
Clearly, much gold remains. Could modern mining methods, in which
cyanide is used to separate gold from vast quantities of soil, be
used there? Possibly, agrees Gary Lindstrom, Summit County
commissioner. But he emphatically refused to support new statewide
land-use regulations that would ban cyanide use at gold mines in
Colorado, or at least raise the burden of proof on the mining
industry, reported the Summit Daily
"It is now, never has been, and never will be an issue here," he
bluntly told Clear Water Action representatives. Despite several
widely known cases of considerable pollution caused by cyanide
leaching in Colorado and elsewhere, Lindstrom said he's comfortable
with existing environmental laws. "I have a very high comfort level
with environmental laws and mining practices," he said. Apparently,
so do Summit County's other two commissioners.
Colorado going smoke
CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. - Smoke-free bars
and restaurants are proliferating in Colorado. In Crested Butte, 26
bars and restaurants were smoke-free as of June 1. The co-owner of
one bar that has gone smoke-free told the Crested Butte News (June 11) that he hoped the smoke-free
policy would bring back drinking nonsmokers. Even some smokers
welcome the change.
Meanwhile, in Telluride, the New Sheridan Bar is now smoke free.
And in Eagle, a 20-lane bowling alley scheduled to open next winter
will be free of fumes, except in the patio area. This is the first
bowling alley in the Eagle Valley since the early 1980s.
Woman stymies Aspen
ASPEN, Colo. - The Aspen-Pitkin County
Housing Authority is seeking to force a woman to sell her
deed-restricted affordable housing condo because she does not spend
sufficient time there. But first, they have to find her.
The Aspen Times (June 19) explains that owners of
publicly subsidized housing must live in their units at least nine
months each year and work in Pitkin County at least 1,500 hours per
year. Two years ago, the woman took a job with a federal agency
based in Maryland but did not sell the condo. Instead, authorities
said she rented it out. The housing authority has started legal
action, but the process server hasn't found her at the condo and
has been unable to contact her through her employer.
Woman to run Everest
JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. - A 49-year-old
personal trainer has been notified that she will be permitted to
compete in a marathon that begins near the base of Mount Everest.
It's the highest elevation marathon on the planet.
"It was something I had
in mind for the past 10 years," Jo Gathercole told the Jackson Hole News & Guide (June 11). "When I was there two
years ago, I decided I wanted to do it before I turned
The 26.2-mile race starts at 17,000 feet and finishes in the
village of Namche Bazaare at 11,300 feet. In training for that
race, Gathercole intends to compete this summer in two Colorado
races, at Leadville and Pikes Peak, followed by a race at Logan,
Affordable homes popular
EAGLE VALLEY, Colo. - Affordable
housing is being erected rapidly this year in the Eagle Valley, an
area that includes Vail. Between 800 and 1,000 "affordable" homes
may be built during the next several years.
The units are being
snapped up rapidly. At the 282-unit Miller Ranch, in Edwards,
there's still a waiting list of buyers. Nearby at Avon, the 244
apartments in the Buffalo Ridge complex seem to get rented as
rapidly as they are offered.
Still, reports the
Vail Daily (May 30), Eagle County has only a 2
percent vacancy rate, compared with 6.9 percent in Pitkin County
(Aspen) and a statewide average of 11.6 percent. A vacancy rate of
5 percent is considered normal. It also has among the
highest-priced rentals, with the average cost of $982 for a
two-bedroom, one-bath apartment, second in Colorado only to Pitkin
In this supply-demand dance, more than 7,000 households still
can't afford housing at free-market prices, according to a study
released in March. As they have been since 1996, county officials
are still considering inclusionary zoning and employee linkages,
two ways of requiring developers to build affordable housing.
Finances force doctors out
TAOS, N.M. - Taos is wondering exactly
what it will take to retain full-time obstetric and inpatient
pediatric services. Two obstetricians recently announced they were
leaving the Northern New Mexico Womens' Health and Birth Center
after six years, primarily because of money.
"The pressures of
inadequate reimbursement, increased insurance costs and decreased
charitable giving became overwhelming for our nonprofit women's
health center," said Rudy Fedrizzi. The Taos News (June 12) notes that many of the same
issues are present across the country as small-town hospital and
delivery departments are being closed down.
Fraser shuts down gas
FRASER, Colo. - Fraser town trustees
unanimously voted to deny a permit to Safeway, which wanted to
build a gas station at its store, which is adjacent to the Fraser
River. The Winter Park
Manifest (June 11) says trustees cited such
factors as inadequate storage for contaminated snow; extreme cold
temperatures that would affect underground tanks; and the station's
proximity to community water wells.
Particularly at issue was the storm center, which locals found
wanting. In response, Safeway officials said such storm centers are
used at 28 stations in cold climates in Canada, and the technology
is tried and proven. That evidence, however, didn't turn the
Company buys resort
ASPEN, Colo. - A Denver-based
broadcasting company is buying nine radio stations in the resort
areas of Colorado in a deal reported to be worth nearly $16
million. Among the investors is Colorado's best-known billionaire,
Included are three in
Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley, two in the Yampa River Valley
near Steamboat Springs, two in Vail and the Eagle Valley, and one
in Summit County.
- compiled by Allen Best