Mountain Town News | AspenTimes.com

Mountain Town News

Allen Best

Lift lines are almost non-existent at Telluride, the slopes rarely cluttered, and the powder skiing phenomenal for those willing to do a bit of hiking.So why would the ski area operator install a $2.2 million fix-grip quad to add even more ski terrain?That new lift, reports The Telluride Watch, will put riders 400 feet higher on Gold Hill than existing lifts opening up an area previously called San Joaquin Bowl to advanced-intermediate skiers, with some adjoining areas suitable to expert skiers.The lift will reach 12,570 feet in elevation and, says the newspaper, offer the best lift-accessible powder skiing on the mountain. As well, it reduces the hiking required to access yet another powder-laden bowl, Palmyra Basin, to just 160 feet of climbing. Altogether, the ski area now has 3,845 vertical feet of skiing, but 4,425 feet if you include that which is accessed by hiking.Dave Riley, the chief executive of Telluride Ski & Golf, describes this bigger church as a gambit. Our purpose in building this lift, quite frankly, is to signal our commitment to the community to the long-term success of this region.In return, his company wants more hotel rooms. The company believes it could have more skiers and snowboarders if only there were more places for them to stay. To the degree that we see progress in correcting our bed-base problems, it will make it far simpler for us to move forward, he told The Watch.One such answer may be a project called Mountain Village Hotel, which is proposed for 189 rooms.Comments on the newspapers website suggest support: Im sure the usual group of people that wish it was still 1973 will whine about the new lift, but this is incredible news that will open up some unbelievable terrain and cement Tellurides reputation as one of the best ski area and resorts in the country, wrote one.Said another: I dont work for Telski, but Im thrilled about the prospect of this new lift. Have we really gotten to the point in this town where people cant get excited about skiing deep pow?

Ketchum continues its review of three new hotels at the base of Mount Baldy, the key attraction of the Sun Valley Co. Like many ski towns, it has shed hotel beds over the years, to the point that Ketchum is a tourist town with not very many tourists.But three proposals promise to reverse the flow, collectively offering 286 so-called hot-bed guest rooms and another 134 residential units that could also be put into the rental pool.The largest of the three, Warm Springs, would be huge in any town. As proposed by DDRM Greatplace, the hotel would be a five-star operation, with 75 rooms and another 45 condominiums for rent. As well, there would be a nine-hole golf course plus 90 townhomes, villas and single-family lots.DDRM Greatplace is currently completing development of a St. Regis Hotel in the Deer Valley component of Park City. When launched in 2005, the project set a per-square-foot record for cost of real estate in Utah.Ketchum, notes the Idaho Mountain Express, also has two other hotel projects in the hopper.

The updating and enlarging of the base complex at the Steamboat ski area is continuing. Through the winter, the foundation was poured for One Steamboat Place, which is to be 428,000 square feet in size when completed sometime next year. In early June, the structure will begin rising. Some 100 truckloads of steel will be needed. The complex will include 80 residential units, underground parking, a new ski school facility, and a nice restaurant, reports The Steamboat Pilot & Today.

Jeanie is a familiar figure in Whistler. She had had nine cubs in five litters in years past, and often shell bring them to town for a meal or two.And that is the problem, say bear enthusiasts in Whistler who are calling for Jeanie to be given a birth control chemical in a process called immunosterilization. The injection would prevent her from giving birth for five years and perhaps, free of having to feed little black bear mouths, shell cease her visits into Whistler. This would be the first time a wild bear has been so treated in Canada.I dont think that the risk is that great [of the injection], and I think it may save her life in the long term, said Sylvia Dolson, executive director of the Get Bear Smart Society of Whistler.Last year, conservation officers in Whistler killed 13 so-called conflict bears, the highest death toll since the 1990s.But bear expert Michael Allen, who named the bear after his Scottish grandmother, fiercely opposes the idea of bear birth control. He calls it a cop-out.We are not dealing with the root of the problem, garbage; and I am losing patience with the system, Allen told Pique newsmagazine.She is showing us how she has changed throughout the years in response to us changing her environment, so to start changing her biology is almost criminal, said Allen, who has studied bears for 23 years, 15 of which in Whistler.Whistler Mayor Ken Melamed said government can only do so much. We have a bear-proof collection system, but it is all of the activity that happens outside of the system that is a failure, and that really lands on the shoulders of personal behavior.

Allen Best compiles Mountain Town News. He can be reached at allen.best@comcast.net.


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