News in Brief |

News in Brief

SNOWMASS (AP) ” Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute has been awarded the Volvo Environment Prize.

Lovins is the institute’s chief scientist and a longtime advocate of energy efficiency. He was awarded the $235,000 prize Thursday in Stockholm.

The Environment Prize is for contributions to understanding or protecting the environment through innovation or discovery.

Lovins argues that the world has enough energy for everyone, provided it’s used efficiently. He has also expressed optimism that some effects of global warming can be stopped.

The Rocky Mountain Institute, based in Old Snowmass, promotes efficient use of natural resources.

ASPEN ” Roaring Fork Valley residents who only plan to hit the slopes a few times this season have the opportunity to purchase the Aspen Skiing Co.’s classic pass locally this weekend.

The classic pass will be sold at the Buttermilk ticket office on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 3 and 4. Those specific passes aren’t always available for sale at the Skico ticket offices.

The four-day classic pass is good for four days of skiing and riding at Aspen Mountain, Snowmass, Buttermilk and Aspen Highlands, with no blackout dates. The price is $159 for adults, and $129 for youths ages 7 through 17 and college students younger than 25 years old. College students must present a student identification from an accredited four-year college.

The seven-day classic pass is available for $259 for adults, and $199 for youths and college students.

Passholders can add days at discounted rates off regular lift ticket prices.

All new passes must be purchased in person. Passholders from the 2006-07 season can renew online at The Skico also has a classic hotline at (800) 525-6200, ext. 4475.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Kurt Wigger flipped through the delicate pages of a dusty-green journal Thursday at his Buffalo Valley Restaurant. He had tears in his eyes.

Autographs scatter the pages. There’s one from Clint Eastwood and another from Rock Hudson. Dodgers left-handed pitcher Sandy Koufax is there, too. Priceless memories of his 46 years in the Roaring Fork Valley. His restaurant soon to join the pages of his journal.

A memory of his lifetime in the valley.

Wigger has owned the restaurant, just south of Glenwood Springs on Highway 82, since 1986 when he paid $400,000 for the establishment. The 67-year-old said he recently signed a contract with Terry Claassen and TCC Properties LLC, to sell the restaurant for $3 million. A closing date has been set for Jan. 1.

But it will be a busy couple of months.

Wigger said that he wanted to finish the year out with his customers.

“I have so many holiday parties booked already that I couldn’t leave just yet,” he said.

Claassen confirmed that the property was under contract but said that it wasn’t a “done deal.”

“It’s a great location and a great business,” Claassen said. “(Wigger) built it up over 20 years and it will be a nice redevelopment.”

But Claassen said he plans on keeping the establishment a restaurant for the time being.

TCC Properties LLC is also the developer behind the large Roaring Fork Lodge project near the Sunlight Bridge.

Claassen said there’s no connection between the sale of the restaurant and the development.

GARFIELD COUNTY ” Garfield County administrator Ed Green has coined a nickname for a county that is seeing explosive growth: Mount Garsuvious.

Trying to keep pace with that volcanic population increase is causing the county’s budget to explode as well. It is expected to total nearly $100 million for next year.

Green has submitted a budget proposal to county commissioners that exceeds $99 million. Commissioners are scheduled to approve a final budget on Dec. 10.

The budget is up from probably about $60 million five years ago, Green said.

Helping to pay for that growth has been about a five-fold increase in county property tax revenues during this decade. Those dollars have grown from $7.7 million in 2000 to a projected $34.8 million this year and are anticipated to reach $39 million next year.

Green said probably two-thirds of the county’s property tax revenues are related to oil and gas development and production. That industry also is contributing to county population growth that is expected to continue at 5 to 7 percent a year.

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