Manhattan advertises in Aspen

ASPEN, Colo. So, you've got a 3,000-square-foot condo on Manhattan's Upper East Side that you'd like to unload for $6.1 million. Where would you advertise it?

Aspen at Christmas is a good bet. That was the conclusion of Pace Advertising in Manhattan, which paid The Aspen Times to insert a glossy, fold-out brochure into the newspaper for a condominium called One Beacon Court.

"Really, the marketing plan is to reach out to these customers where they work and play," explained Gregg Praetorius, the firm's senior vice president. "Obviously, the demographics of Aspen at this time of the year fit the profile of a buyer at One Beacon Court."

Although most of the brochures were discarded in newspaper racks or even littered along the sidewalks, Praetorius said just one sale makes the gallons of gloss worthwhile. "If somebody's buying a $6 to $10 million apartment here in New York, one buyer makes it an unqualified success."

Breckenridge touts highest lake

BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. Carl Drews thinks he has found a superlative among mountain lakes in the United States. Nowhere can he find evidence of a lake at a higher elevation than one at 13,420 feet near Breckenridge that he proposes to call Pacific Tarn.

In Washington State he did find Lake Muriel, the unofficial name of a subterranean pool of water within the summit crater of Mt. Rainier. But it is too small and too temporary to deserve being called a lake, he says. Besides, the U.S. Board of Geographic Names doesn't recognize it as a lake.

Too, while it's reasonable to assume that if global warming continues, a higher lake may someday exist in Alaska, probably on Mount Wrangell, any moisture at such an elevation now would certainly be frozen year round.

Drews is a pathfinder in an obscure niche. While all the summits have been ascended, their trails well documented, apparently no one has set out to document high mountain lakes. Also, he is intrigued by what stories the lakes tell.

"After climbing 49 fourteeners in Colorado, I've found that the tall summits offer a great view, but are pretty much places of just rock and snow," he says. "The lakes have water, and life, way up in the mountains! There are little microbes and other bugs as large as insects in the water, and usually some interesting plants nearby. The life-supporting properties of high lakes are a new realization for me after many years of hiking."

Vail CEO parks in handicapped spot

VAIL, Colo. Adam Aron, the CEO of Vail Resorts, was already losing badly in informal local popularity polls when he paid a visit to the local airport. It was crowded, and so the hurried Aron parked his car in a space reserved for the handicapped. The news spread rapidly after a tow truck was called to remove the offending vehicle.

Aron had already miffed many people when he received an $8 million bonus last fall. The bonus came about the same time that Vail Resorts reported losing money and health-care benefits for employees were pared. Some have spoken out to defend Aron's job performance, although even they concede he blundered badly in this matter.

Mythic wilderness' moves north

THE WEST Where is the West of wilderness? Richard Rodriguez, an author and essayist, says it has moved northward.

In an interview in Divide magazine, Rodriguez says that as places such as Colorado get more heavily developed, the "mythology of the wilderness is moving northward and has more to do with cold and ice and with Alaska than it has to do with the Pacific Coast. That is, the ultimate location of the West has moved northward."

The "loner and the isolated psyche" go to Wyoming and Idaho and Alaska to "select the secret space. It's also where you have yuppies and skinheads living side by side," he adds.

Rodriguez also notes that Asians now account for a little more than 10 percent of California's population, and they are seen as the "new Calvinists who work and work and work, and who do not participate in the culture of the laid-back Westerners the whole culture of leisure and the outdoors."

"In some sense, I think the Asian challenges California, and much of the West, with the idea of the Western idea. The Western idea is much closer to the Mexican sense of release and luxuriance. Or maybe even to the older Indian notions of taking from nature as you need it."

Rancher nailed for knifes at airport

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. The nation's tightened airport security at Christmas nailed a man who attempted to carry concealed knives on a flight from the Steamboat Springs area. It wasn't however, what it at first seemed.

Authorities who arrested the man said he was simply trying to conceal the three knives to prevent them from being stolen while he traveled. He had disassembled a DVD/VCR player, and taped inside a pocketknife and two knives used for gutting animals, along with several pieces of jewelry and trinkets that he intended as gifts for his family, explained The Steamboat Pilot .

"He seemed like a really nice guy," said Jody Lenahan, a local police chief, of the man, a Peruvian who had worked as a ranch hand in the area for 13 years. "He only speaks Spanish, but he knows how to say I'm sorry.'"

Ski resorts concerned about January

THE WEST Ski town newspapers reported a generally robust Christmas this year, at least compared with Christmases past. But in many towns a tenseness about January is evident.

"We are very, very nervous about January," said Sandy Black, representing several retail and service outlets in Whistler. The strengthening Canadian dollar is part of Whistler's problem. That strengthening dollar gives Whistler less competitive advantage in appealing to the static number of destination skiers.

In Colorado, the response to this problem of the last several years has been to cultivate the regional market, i.e. Front Range skiers, while continuing to preen for the destination skiers. That seems to be the same strategy at Whistler, where Black told Pique newsmagazine that she advocates more attention to those from Vancouver.

New Revelstoke ski area proposed

REVELSTOKE, B.C. A report has been issued on what an engineer once predicted would be "one of the last great ski hills in the world to be developed." City officials in Revelstoke predict that the ski hill, Mt. Mackenzie, will be approved as early as June.

"If this thing goes ahead and I'm very confident that it will there will be some big changes," Revelstoke Mayor Mark McKee told the Revelstoke Times Review . He described a friendly small town with a lifestyle envied by many.

"We've always had a real friendly, small-town environment, and we hope we can maintain that as a community we instill a certain set of values in the people who visit us."

This isn't the first push for development of the ski hill into a major national and international destination resort, but none before have gone so far, says the Times Review . British Columbia Land and Water is charged with handling the lease, but the city government must approve the plans. The newspaper did not identify the proponent.

Located along the TransCanada Highway, just west of the Continental Divide and about 280 kilometers (175 miles) east of Banff, Revelstoke is an old logging and railroad town known for its several helicopter skiing operations in the Selkirk & Monashee Ranges.

Vail grapples with water pollution

VAIL, Colo. The trickiness of having a city near the headwaters of a mountain creek is illustrated at Vail, where the sanitation district has been fined $80,000 for polluting Gore Creek beyond acceptable levels for copper, silver and mercury over a 10-year period.

Who was to blame? In the case of silver, a major source was the X-ray equipment at the local hospital, reports the Vail Daily . A result of the state's pushing the locals was that the locals pushed the hospital into installing a more comprehensive silver-recovery system.

Mercury violations were caused by rinse water from dentists who install silver-mercury fillings, a practice that has largely ended. However, the mercury standards are tight enough that a homeowner breaking a mercury thermometer into the water could cause the town's standards to be violated.

compiled by Allen Best





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