Earthquakes push ski area
to higher elevation
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. It's probably
not enough to warrant revising the trail maps, but Mount Rose has
gained just a little bit of vertical in the last eight months. A
swarm of 1,600 tiny earthquakes coincided with a slight shift in a
Global Positioning System station on Slide Mountain, where the ski
area is located. The mountain rose 8 millimeters, or about 3/8ths
of an inch, researchers said.
"We've been watching
earthquakes for 30 years in the Tahoe area and have never witnessed
an earthquake swarm anything like this," said Ken Smith, a research
seismologist for the Nevada Seismological Laboratory at the
University of Nevada, Reno.
Causing the earthquakes
is molten rock that is migrating 20 miles below the surface of the
Sierra Nevada. But there's no need to fear lava flows on the ski
slopes, say experts contacted by the Tahoe Daily Tribune . Chances of a volcanic eruption
within current lifetimes is almost nil.
Nearly all the recent earthquakes were too small to be felt.
Several decades ago, however, a 6.0 jolt near Truckee damaged the
dome on the Nevada state capitol several dozen miles away. An even
larger earthquake, with a magnitude of 6.5, struck the area in
Vail Resorts works on
adding minorities to slopes
AVON, Colo. Vail Resorts has committed
$600,000 during the next two years to a program that aims to
introduce more minorities to snowsports.
As well, the corporation
has agreed to a goal of putting at least 10 minorities into
front-line positions, such as ski patrol, lift operations and
mountain operations, at each of its resorts. The corporation owns
Heavenly in California and the Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and
Keystone resorts in Colorado.
Alpino, the sponsoring
group, was founded by Roberto Moreno, a former ski instructor and
ski patroller in Colorado's Summit County. He argues, as do most
demographers, that if the ski resorts are to thrive in years ahead,
they must more aggressively reach out to minority skiers, including
the fast-growing Hispanic population. If they do not, says Moreno,
ski resorts will even more resemble country clubs for the rich
unconscionable, especially given that they are located on federal
Moreno, and others, also
argue that to truly reach out to minorities, ski areas should make
conscious efforts to diversify their front-line personnel. If
minorities do not see others of their own kind on ticket windows,
lifts and other areas, they are less likely to stick around beyond
the hard part of being beginning skiers.
During the next two
years, Vail will give Moreno $10,000 for administrative purposes
and also provide 2,500 packages (including lift, lessons, rentals
and lunches) to be used at any of the company's four resorts in
Colorado. Youngsters from Denver, where Hispanics and blacks make
up about half of the population, will be given the trips based on
performance in school and community service.
will provide up to 1,000 discounted lift tickets for participants
next January on a day to be called Diversity Day.
"We have a
responsibility to show leadership, and that's what we're doing,"
said Bill Jensen, president of Vail Mountain.
Moreno told Ski Area Management magazine that Vail's program is
"probably the most insightful marketing move made by any ski
company since the industry started embracing
Electric grid extended to
mesa outside Telluride
TELLURIDE, Colo. The electrical grid
is being extended to Hastings Mesa, outside of Telluride. An
unspecified number of people already live on the mesa, but with
solar- and other forms of electrical power. This extension of a
25-kilovolt underground powerline was described by proponents as a
reliable source of backup power.
But some residents see
this as an opening of Pandora's box, with development pressures
increased and, even more important, the diverse consequences of
electrical use unrestrained. Of particular concern to some
residents is the prospect of lights blotting out the night sky.
While special regulations will require shielding, the residents
remain dubious of whether the regulations will or can be enforced,
reports the Telluride Watch
Some residents also fear the electrical lines will boost the
potential for leukemia.
Parking issues plague the
Roaring Fork Valley
ASPEN, Colo. It has lots of mass
transit. It has an environmental conscience. Aspen also has a
parking issue that makes its commercial core congested and
unfriendly to pedestrians.
To make Aspen's core
area more pedestrian-friendly, says Councilman Tim Semrau, the city
should raise prices of parking and strip the two-hour-free parking
zone from the nearby residential areas. "If we had the courage to
inconvenience locals, we could make this pedestrian-friendly
overnight," he said.
Other council members
didn't necessarily dismiss Semrau's suggestion, reports The Aspen Times , but neither did they rush to embrace
it. Mayor Helen Klanderud offered the most skepticism. "These are
people who feel priced out of the community in every which way,"
she said. "Why add another layer to it? You're not going to do that
without a lot of angst and anger."
Rachael Richards, a fervent believer in mass transit, is wary of
Semarau's idea. Raising parking fees to discourage locals from
driving into town could exacerbate the perception that Aspen is too
expensive, she said.
The town is considering new parking structures.
Smokers ordered out into
the streets in Banff
BANFF, Alberta Ashtrays disappeared
from bars and restaurants in Banff on Aug. 1 as a new town law went
Establishments that do
not want to order their smoking patrons out onto the sidewalk to
puff have the option of creating designated smoking rooms, although
waiters and waitresses cannot be asked to provide service in such
Not much grumbling was
evident among those businesses contacted by the Rocky Mountain Outlook , but then it's not 40 below outside
Man jailed for dragging
Rottweiler behind car
KREMMLING, Colo. Lately, the word
"horrific" is getting a lot of use and probably misuse. An annoying
twisted ankle? To some, it's horrific. But when a judge used
"horrific" to describe how a dog was dragged to its death last year
in Summit County, he was on target.
Several people camping
at a reservoir had been bothered by raccoons, and for some reason
this led to a Rottweiler named Misha being tied to the passenger
side-door of a Jeep belonging to Randy Dean Randels.
Randels left at 3:30
a.m. toward Silverthorne, apparently not hearing the screams and
shouts of the other campers. The dog could not keep up and was
dragged for 18 miles.
Newspapers cited no
evidence at his trial that he meant to do it, but the judge was
indignant that Randels had disposed of the dog's body "like a piece
of trash" next to a 7-Eleven garbage bin. "She didn't deserve
that," said Judge Edward Casias. "No pet does."
The dog's owner asked
that Randels be spared jail. The judge nevertheless ordered a month
in jail, 200 hours of community service, a $500 fine, and
counseling for use of drugs and animal-abuse.
New Revelstoke ski area awaits local sign
REVELSTOKE, B.C. The clock is ticking
for developers who want to expand a small ski area at Revelstoke
into a major international destination resort.
The developers, Mount
MazKenzie Resort Ltd., have now received conditional approval from
the provincial government for their master plan for the Mountain
MacKenzie ski hill. But that approval becomes dead unless they
reach agreements with city authorities at Revelstoke and with Cat
Powder Skiing, the current ski area operator, by the end of
A report in the Revelstoke Times Review , based on an interview with
Revelstoke Mayor Mark McKee, gave no suggestion that differences
will prevent such agreements.
The expansion during the next 20 years is expected to fuel
significant growth. The ski area itself is projected to have 20
lifts with a capacity of 6,700 skiers per hour.