Beaver Creek tackles bad
BEAVER CREEK, Colo. The story of
Dennis Kozlowski and Tyco best illustrates what went wrong with
American corporations during the frenzied 1990s. As CEO of the
company, Kozlowski gained extravagant compensation and, when that
wasn't enough, began hiding the illegal reimbursements that
financed his ridiculously luxurious lifestyle. He was eventually
accused of pilfering $600 million from the company.
Among his many
properties were three at Beaver Creek, valued at $14 million, among
them a large log-and-stone mansion in Bachelor Gulch, the most
exclusive and newest of Beaver Creek's neighborhoods. It was, as
real estate promotions advertised, the place where only the few
Recently, a conference
was convened at the base of that exclusive neighborhood, largely a
creation of Wall Street wealth, to talk about the excesses of Wall
Street. The conference title: "Changing the Game: Reforming
Panelists, reports the
Vail Daily , seemed to agree that it wasn't a
matter of just a few bad apples, but rather the very structure of
the apple barrel. Corporate executives expected to be rewarded, not
just for success, but at all times. Boards of directors, in an
unhealthy web of influence, went along with it. The result was a
widening gap between compensation paid CEOs and wages of company
workers 50 to 1 as the decade began, 500 to 1 when the decade
Telluride fest nixes
TELLURIDE, Colo. The Telluride
Bluegrass Festival was held for the 30th time this year, and as has
become usual, it was a sell-out, with tickets capped by community
agreement at 10,000.
This year there was a
new effort to promote recycling and composting, reports The Telluride Watch (June 20). But one of the lessons that
organizer Craig Ferguson learned was that it makes no sense to haul
materials long distances. The lesson seems to be compost at home.
As for recycling plastic, he decided it's better to bury it in the
nearest landfill than to haul it 100 miles to a recycling
Steamboat bans downhill
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. High-speed
downhill mountain biking has been banned at the Steamboat Ski Area
effective July 1.
There seems to be two
fundamental reasons for the decision. First, the high-speed bicycle
riders are posing a threat to other bicycle riders. Second, they
are creating many renegade, or illegal, trails that are causing
Many downhill bikers
would like to see the resort build other trails for them to use,
says John Kohnke, the mountain bike director at Steamboat, but they
don't seem to understand how much work is involved in creating a
legitimate downhill trail.
"It does require thought
and money and time," agreed Janet Faller, a ranger for the U.S.
Forest Service, on whose land the ski area is located.
Couple follows caribou to
ARCTIC NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE,
Alaska Whatever adventure you had during mud season, you can bet
that a husband-wife team of wildlife biologists from the
Banff-Canmore area can one-up you.
The couple traveled to
the Yukon River, where a herd of 123,000 caribou winter. From
there, the caribou spent six weeks traveling 350 miles to their
summer range in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which
also is the site of oil reserves that geologists estimate would
power the United States for six months. The couple wanted to see
what was at stake from the perspective of the caribou.
"We've forded rivers
with floating ice, kicked steps down avalanche slopes, braved
ground blizzards, traveled with and were stalked by one of the many
grizzly bears shadowing the herd," Leanne Allison told the Rocky Mountain Outlook (June 19). For their troubles, Allison
and her mate, Karsten Heuer, each lost 10 pounds and are nursing
feet swollen from frostbite and hands covered with
And does the couple think the oil supply should be tapped? No
surprise there. "Given what we've seen so far, it just doesn't
measure up," Heuer said.
Vail looks to boost local
VAIL, Colo. Vail, as a business
proposition, is hardly broken. After all, $1 billion in
reinvestment proposals for the town's two primary economic drivers,
Vail Village and Lionshead, are currently on the table.
Still, there is a great
deal of talk about the town's flagging economy. Part of it's the
national economy, of course, but Vail also feels competitive heat
from its down-valley suburbs, as well as from other resorts. Not
least, many businesses think that landowners have jacked up lease
rates too high, causing too many empty storefronts.
Dick Cleveland, a town
councilman, is taking a lead in a community discussion. He told the
Vail Daily (June 24) that he believes the town
has a responsibility to tinker. An unfettered free market in big
cities results in slums and in ski towns, empty storefronts, he
Man loses leg after
KINGS BEACH, Nev. Returning home alone
from a barbecue at Incline Village, Leathan Renfrow, 20, fell off a
walkway in a complex of largely vacant rental condominiums,
dropping 10 feet. The impact fractured his tibia and fibula,
crushed his kneecap and severed one of the offshoots of the femoral
artery in his left leg.
He then spent most of
the next 10 or 11 hours calling for help until finally he crawled
to a condo and broke in. From there, he was able to telephone for
help. Doctors were later forced to amputate his leg. Law
authorities had considered filing charges for breaking into the
condo, but decided against it, reports the Tahoe World (June 19).
The man, who had been a snowboard rider as well as basketball
player and BMX rider, is said to be really depressed. The family
was hoping to find others who had lost limbs who would be willing
to talk with him about their coping mechanisms.
Aspen scores third Winter
ASPEN, Colo. The ESPN Winter X Games
will return to Aspen and Buttermilk for the third straight year. To
get this unprecedented trey, the Aspen Skiing Co. had to sweeten
the deal with lodging, transportation and marketing incentives. The
company declined to identify the value of the package, but did
acknowledge spending about $1 million in the past, reports the
Aspen Times (June 18).
ESPN also has invested more in programming, including more
prime-time slots and a greater presence on "Sports Center." Last
year's games drew 48,000 spectators to Aspen. Nearly 20 hours of
programming were broadcast on three television stations.
Climber lands on hot
JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. Amid the movie
stars, a charming prince and so forth in People magazine's "25 hottest bachelors" this
year is Jimmy Chin, a rock climber and photographer. Are climbers
At 29, Chin has had many
photos published in National
establishing an impressive resume of original climbing routes in
the world's great ranges. The muscles he has developed in those
climbs are displayed in a photo in People in which he is shirtless and barefoot.
He was, Chin told the Jackson Hole
News & Guide (June 25), somewhat deceived,
as the photographer had told him she wanted the topless photos just
Chin later this summer will attempt the Hornbein Couloir on
Mount Everest. His climbing partner, Stephen Koch, also has been
getting publicity, showing up on "Late Night with Conan
Telluride Film Fest
strapped for cash
TELLURIDE, Colo. Everywhere, the
economic downturn has cut into donations for nonprofit
organizations. In the case of the Telluride Film Festival, which
draws scads of Hollywood types every Labor Day, the deficit is
running $60,000 to $80,000 against the total budget of $2.6
million. The Town Council was asked to chip in, but council members
indicated they're strapped for cash themselves, reports the Telluride Watch (June 6). Regardless of the crisis,
the show will go on.
-compiled by Allen Best