Ear to the ground

“It’s called vagazzling.”

– A Durangoan explaining the growing big city trend of decorating down there

Jewel of the Rockies

If you still don’t believe in your roommate’s so-called Jewel-sighting, it may be time for a second opinion.  The singer-songwriter recently passed through the region on a “bike trip.”

Jewel and her husband, Ty Murray, a nine-time world rodeo champion, spent nearly two months motorcycling through the Rockies this summer. For Jewel, the trip was therapeutic and helped renew her love of travel. “My job became travel, which I always really loved, but it really does become quite a grind,” she complained to CNN.  

The visit also offered a glimpse of small town USA and a welcome respite from the singer’s Texas ranch. “It gives back the joy of the small town and getting to look at towns and little restaurants and local places,” she told the network. “Whereas on a tour, you’re just on a tour bus, and honestly, you don’t see the city much anymore.”

Jewel did not make mention of Durango or La Plata County in the interview, but she surely passed through en route to her favorite stop on the tour.

“Telluride was beautiful,” she said. “It’s a little miner’s town, and it still takes place all on a single main street with a really old-town feel with original buildings. They have world-class food. I had some of the best sushi I’ve ever had anywhere in the world there.”

Virtual millions

Gamers all over the world have been cashing in at the cyberbank. Entropia, a giant video game where players colonize a virtual world with their own cities, is proving to be a lucrative hobby for many, including Durango High School student Mike Everest.  

Everest recently banked $35,000 from the game by building and selling virtual weapons to other gamers. He put the funds toward a sibling’s college expenses, according to a report in Britain’sDaily Mail.

If Everest’s windfall seems shocking, witness the example of Jon Jacobs, a British national. The Entropia regular recently sold Club Neverdie, “one of the most sought-after properties in the virtual world,” for a record $635,000. The nightclub is located on an asteroid orbiting the virtual planet and is the centerpiece of Entropia.

Jacobs’ virtual real estate score did come at a price, however. The gamer paid $100,000 for the asteroid in 2005 after taking a second mortgage on his actual home. And believe it or not, the purchase of Club Neverdie may have been a wise investment. The virtual building included a stadium, shopping mall and biodomes and was earning Jacobs an average of $200,000/year from fellow gamers purchasing its goods and using its services.



In this week's issue...

May 11, 2023
Digs for dirt bags

New hostel offers hikers, skiers and other frugal fun hogs place to hang their hats

May 4, 2023
Saving the cemetery

Proposed apartments spur efforts to preserve historical burial grounds

May 4, 2023
Rico reprieve

Small mountain hamlet to remain resort-free, for now