Ritz-Carlton pampers its
BEAVER CREEK, Colo. Pampering is
clearly what the Ritz-Carlton hotel chain has in mind with its new
slope-side hotels and time-share projects at Aspen Highlands and
Beaver Creek's Bachelor Gulch.
Walking in ski boots?
Not necessary. Storing your skis for the next day? Done, reports
the Vail Daily in a story about the "Skiing Made
Easy" program available to time-share buyers. Among the perks of
the arrangement is easy access to private jets, for about $100,000.
Such service may be valuable to those who, in the aftermath of
9/11, are leery of commercial air service.
About 55 percent of the timeshare units at Bachelor Gulch have
been purchased, and about 5 percent of the buyers are from other
Apartments empty in Aspen
ASPEN, Colo. They sound like interest
rates from the early 1980s 18.1 percent and 17.1 percent. In fact,
those are the vacancy rates for apartments in Aspen and Eagle
County (Vail) from late summer.
In Steamboat Springs and
Gunnison, the apartment vacancy rates were a more modest 11.3
percent, and in Summit County 7.3 percent and in Durango 5.3
What's going on in the
megaresorts? It looks like a classic example of boom-and-bust, the
sort of thing that various prophets of "new economies" of the West
said would not occur again.
One theory: With the
national recession, the push in high-end and particularly
speculative real estate evaporated. That meant fewer construction
hands renting apartments. Also, with lower interest rates, more
people were buying homes of their own.
In the case of Eagle
County, all of this is happening in a year when a great quantity of
new, lower-end housing is coming on line, most of it a mandate when
the market was still drum-tight.
Curiously, if the
state's numbers are correct, landlords don't drop their prices when
there's a glut, as the textbooks say they do. Rents in Eagle County
and Aspen are higher now than they were when vacancies were 1
Squaw still struggles after 55
SQUAW VALLEY, Calif. Are there pots of
gold at the end of the rainbow of ski area development? No, says
Alex Cushing, who has 55 years experience in testing that
Cushing began building
Squaw Valley from a one-lift ski hill in 1949, and by 1960 the
resort held the Winter Olympics. Today, at age 90, he still lives
within walking distance of Squaw's chief base-area ski lift. He was
recently inducted into the U.S. National Ski Hall of
"I've been doing this
for 55 years, and what you really get out of it is that there's no
reward at the end of the rainbow," Cushing told the Sierra Sun . "It's the day to day; that's what
you get out of it. That indicates that if you're smart, you do
everyday that you really like to do, if you can."
Snowblind Love' art
JACKSON HOLE, Wyo."Snowblind Love" is
the name of an exhibit being featured at the Teton County
"The love for snow in
this town is absolutely unconditional," said curator Jill Anderson.
"Despite the expense, all the ACL injuries, all the risk, the cold
weather, the avalanches, people love their skiing. In that way,
it's so blind, but it's definitely love."
Exhibits tell the story
of skiing from the early ranchers, who made skis of red fir with
elk skin on the bottoms, to the first person to snowboard down the
Moths hit after Rainbow
SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah Two gypsy moths
were discovered near where the Rainbow Family of Living Light met
last summer. The two happenings, state officials told The Park Record , probably were not
"We believe when 10,000 people come in from all across the
United States and gypsy moths turn up after that, there's a cause
and effect," said Larry Lewis, of the Utah Department of
Agriculture and Food.
The moths, which have killed large swaths of forest in the
Northeast, are not indigenous to Utah. When 94 moths were
discovered in Salt Lake several years ago, the state spent $750,000
to eradicate them. If temperatures drop more than 20 below, the
cold could prevent any reproduction.
Telluride cracks down on
TELLUIDE, Colo. Telluride's ski area
is open for the year, but 46 people won't be skiing there this
year. These 46 were all caught skiing in closed areas, and hence
had skiing privileges denied for two years. Among them, reports
The Telluride Watch , were 15 who ducked ropes to ski
a run called Killer Slide unaware that explosives had just been
deposited in the slope in an attempt to force unconsolidated snow
to avalanche. No one was hurt.
WHISTLER, B.C. Whistler has something
of a Damocles sword hanging over its head. For decades the
community has known about an unstable mass of land about the size
of seven football fields and about 100 feet thick that is located
2.5 kilometers above the town on Whistler Mountain.
During the last two
years the rocks and soil have sagged about 7 feet. While dikes
afford the town some protection, concern remains that a torrent
could roar down into day-skier parking lots between Whistler and
Blackcomb mountains. One woman from Washington State was so
concerned that she has pulled her two daughters from the ski-racing
The municipal and
provincial governments, reports Whistler's Pique newsmagazine, are tossing the hot
potato of responsibility for addressing the danger back and
Ketchum reports brisk
KETCHUM, Idaho An informal survey of
businesses by the Idaho Mountain
Express suggests that the business pace in the
Wood River Valley is picking up.
To wit, Sun Valley Lighting is 75 percent ahead of last year.
Hawley Graphics posted receipts for October that were 20 percent
over any month in the past three years. And Jo Murry, a public
relations consultant, reported more work in three weeks of November
than in 11 of the 12 preceding months.
Tourism is also believed to be on the upswing, although the
proof of that is in the January lodgings.
Crested Butte scores broadband
CRESTED BUTTE, Colo.
Add Crested Butte to the list of remote mountain towns where
computers can now gulp down buckets of data from the
Before September, most
residents relied on satellite television packages, T-1 lines, or
wireless connections using antennas and small dishes. Soon,
however, there will be two companies offering broadband. The Crested Butte News reports that the Internet connectivity
could make the community more attractive for business