News in Brief | AspenTimes.com

News in Brief

Aspen residents lined up outside the Wheeler Opera House early Thursday for a shot at discounted tickets to a Dec. 29 performance by Tony Award winner Bernadette Peters.Tickets to the general public go on sale today, but 53 seats – the first four rows, atop the orchestra pit – were offered Thursday to local residents who appeared in person at the Wheeler Box Office. The bargain tickets, available for one day only, went for $75. The rest of the “premium seats” for the Broadway-style show are priced at $225; other seats are priced at $150 and $125.”We wanted to do that for the locals,” said Gram Slaton, executive director of the Wheeler, who found a queue outside the opera house when he arrived Thursday morning. He let ticket buyers into the lobby to wait until the box office opened at 10 a.m.The discounted tickets were all snapped up quickly.Slaton, who didn’t know what response to expect from the offer, said he hopes to arrange similarly discounted tickets for other acts the Wheeler hopes to bring to Aspen.

Beginning today, the city is conducting its annual citizen survey this week. Surveyors will be making calls over the next two weeks. City officials will use the information to help improve services and to provide feedback to employees on meeting community needs.Earlier this year, an anonymous group commissioned a telephone survey in which operators falsely claimed to be calling on behalf of the Aspen Planning Commission. City officials want residents to know that Aspen has commissioned the telephone survey that begins this week. The city has commissioned the survey every year since 1997.For more information, contact Barry Crook in the city manager’s office at 920-5296 or by e-mail at barryc@ci.aspen.co.us.

DENVER (AP) Vail Resorts Inc. reported Thursday a smaller fourth-quarter loss as real estate and mountain revenue rose during the summer period that typically is slow for the nations largest ski resort operator.Chief Executive Officer Rob Katz noted the company reported record net income for the year that was nearly double the results from the 2005 record-setting year. He credited the improvement to higher ticket prices and more skiers.Our strong winter season at our Colorado resorts was partially offset by a challenging year at Heavenly, which faced unusually difficult weather conditions, especially during the Christmas holiday, he told analysts during a conference call.He declined to make specific comments about potential acquisitions, including whether the company is interested in the Steamboat Springs ski resort, which American Skiing Co. has put up for sale for a price that has not been publicly disclosed.Vail Resorts, which moved its headquarters to the Denver suburb of Broomfield from Avon the year, owns and operates Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone and Breckenridge ski areas in Colorado, Heavenly in Nevada and California, and the Grand Teton Lodge Co. near Jackson, Wyo.For the period ending July 31, Vail Resorts recorded a net loss of $31.3 million, or 80 cents per share, down slightly from a net loss of $36.4 million, or $1 per share, in the previous fourth quarter.Excluding stock-based compensation expenses, the company reported a $30.1 million loss, or 78 cents a share, in the most recent quarter.Analysts polled by Thomson Financial had forecast a loss of 79 cents a share.

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