Telluride plays to the
TELLURIDE, Colo. The "We're Not
Another Congested I-70 Resort" theme that has been noted in Crested
Butte, Steamboat and Aspen has now spread to Telluride and Mountain
There, the new executive
director of the convention and visitors' bureau, Leary O'Gorman, is
aiming to close the gaps on the shoulder seasons. One of the
initiatives aims at the Front Range: trying to entice visitors for
long weekends. "People are taking shorter vacations, and four-day
excursions are close enough to use the car," he told The Telluride Watch . Telluride is about seven hours from
In its advertisements in newspapers and on buses in Denver,
Telluride is iterating the "Colorado as it used to be theme."
"Telluride is what Colorado was 50 years ago," he says.
"Remember the first time you drove over Loveland Pass and saw
Summit County? Now you drive through the tunnel and see the strip
malls of Summit County."
Avalanche offers evidence
LEADVILLE, Colo. For the unbelievers,
a tragic case from one of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks offers yet
more evidence on behalf of extra-sensory perception.
Three climbers had
summited La Plata Peak, Colorado's fourth highest mountain, and
were on their way down when caught by an avalanche. One man was
buried under what searchers later found was 7 feet of snow. The
other two men survived and made their way back to the
The Leadville Chronicle reports that a woman, who was
apparently the girlfriend of the 22-year-old fatality, called the
emergency dispatch in that area after the avalanche but before
authorities knew about it. She said she had a premonition that
something was not right.
Sheriff Dick Dove' passes
ASPEN, Colo. Hunter S. Thompson, the
famous gonzo writer, ran for sheriff of Pitkin County in 1968,
attempting to overthrow what The Aspen
says was a "traditional small-town, red-necked law enforcement
Thompson lost the race. However, one of his chief collaborators,
Dick Keinast, who was to have been undersheriff to Thompson, did
get elected in 1976. Once in office, Keinast's "humanistic"
approach caused the crew-cut men in uniforms to be steadily
replaced by longer-haired people wearing jeans who attended
feel-good symposiums put on by John Denver. Rather than career
law-enforcement officers, Keinast wanted people from all walks of
life as deputies.
Kienast, who recently died of complications from heart bypass
surgery, stayed in office until 1986, when he was replaced by one
of his longer-haired recruits, Bob Braudis. As sheriff, Keinast was
known as "Dick Dove and the Deputies of Love." He appeared on the
national television program "60 Minutes" to explain why he would
not cooperate with federal drug agents. National attention was also
focused on Keinast when, soon into his first term, the serial
killer Ted Bundy escaped from a second-story window in the
courthouse in Aspen. Bundy was caught eight days later.
Whistler tries to quit
WHISTLER, B.C. Top municipal officials
in Whistler are trying to devise a strategy that will wean the
city's transportation fleet from diesel.
Diesel is seen as a
problem for several reasons. First, emissions pose health risks.
Second, diesel engines create more noise pollution. And third,
because diesel burns so poorly, it gunks up engines, requiring more
maintenance. But, on the other hand, it's a known
Led by Mayor Hugh
O'Reilly, the Whistler entourage went to California's Palm Desert
and Los Angeles to observe what is being done there. What they saw
had O'Reilly talking with even more fervor he seems to have been
studying energy issues for the last three years about creating an
alternative in the Sea to Sky Corridor that connects Vancouver with
In particular, reports
Pique newsmagazine, Whistler is following
the trends in natural gas. While the first generation of buses
powered by natural gas engines had problems, the newer fleet of
engines are just as reliable as diesel engines. They cost more but
are easier to maintain and operate, according to Brian Barnet,
general manager of engineering and public works for
Ski tour operators report
MOUNTAIN VILLAGE, Colo. The Ski Tour
Operators Association met slopeside at Telluride in late March, and
the polling of members suggests nearly all the larger destination
ski resorts in the West gained this winter.
Aspen was among the
largest gainers. Also gaining were Vail, Telluride, Steamboat and
Winter Park. So did Jackson Hole, Sun Valley, Big Sky, Park City
and Whistler or at least that's what the ski tour companies were
telling The Aspen Times
But unlike the gains of 25 to 30 percent at Aspen and elsewhere,
Colorado's Summit County seemed to decline. The speculation
reported by The Aspen Times was that consumers didn't want to
go to Summit County resorts because of the crowds from the Front
Range. Ironically, the crowds from the Front Range were
significantly down this year because the snow wasn't very
As for why Aspen did so well? The
Aspen Times reports
that hoteliers seem to have adjusted their rates downward. The same
thing happened in Breckenridge and in Vail in the wake of 9/11, and
lodging rates this year didn't march back up.
Town sees major political
RED CLIFF, Colo. Ten to 20 years ago,
there were often fewer candidates than there were vacancies on the
Red Cliff Town Board. This year, it's different in the old mining
town that is located, as one T-shirt proclaims, "on Vail's Back
Not only are there
enough candidates, but competition as well. In fact, several
candidates have assembled brochures, placards and other campaign
Some think this is
evidence of the greater politicization of the United States this
year. However, others see it as the natural result of demographic
changes peculiar to Red Cliff. Although largely Hispanic 20 to 30
years ago, the town now has many Generation X Anglos who are more
highly educated and obviously affluent. Homes that a decade ago
were selling for $50,000 are now fetching $250,000 and up. As well,
after years of a moratorium on growth because of water supply
problems, new homes are sprouting up.
In yet another sign of
change in the town of 300 people, an old restaurant called Reno's
has been closed. Long a favorite of out-of-town cross-country
skiers who finished a 12-mile trip across nearby Shrine Pass, it
served Mexican food at a time when Mexican food wasn't all that
common. Locals, however, tended to disdain the food as inferior.
The building is said to be the future storage site for portable
Paul McCartney takes Truckee stage
TRUCKEE, Calif. For the second year in
a row, Paul McCartney dropped in to play some music at a local bar,
Sierra Moody's Bistro and Lounge.
McCartney was reportedly
on a ski vacation last year when he dropped in, improvising a song
he called the "Truckee Blues." This time, McCartney played a couple
of songs with the local regulars, retrofitting the lyrics of
"Kansas City" to the local environs. "I'm going to Tahoe City,
going to get me some skiing," he sang.
One of the regular
musicians, Caleb Dolister, told the Tahoe
Daily Tribune that playing with McCartney was
"What I mean by that," Dolister said, "is some people that are
famous for doing a certain thing oftentimes aren't that comfortable
outside of their element. But he was really able to adapt and it
was kind of like just having another guy in the band, except it was
Paul McCartney, which was incredible."
Jackson sees new urban
JACKSON, Wyo. A robbery at Wendy's Old
Fashioned Hamburgers in Jackson is being cited as evidence of
Jackson's increasing urbanization.
The incidence of serious
crimes has been increasing, police say. "We're breaking that
distinction from being a small town to being a small city," said
Jackson Police Sgt. Alan John. Still, it was only the first armed
robbery in Jackson Hole since 1994, reports the Jackson Hole News & Guide . No one was hurt, although three
employees spent an hour chilling in the store's walk-in
refrigerator before pushing their way out.