$1,000 given for old wood-burning stoves
The program, announced by the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District, is offered in Alpine, Inyo and Mono counties. reports the Tahoe Daily Tribune (Dec. 27). Any stove built before 1993, whether it’s wood or chip burning, does not meet air quality emission standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Vail went through a similar incentive-laced upgrade program around 1993, with the result that the Gore Valley, where Vail is located, has seen significantly less air pollution pall. Other mountain towns have adopted similar measures.
Snow puts Mammoth gondola behind time
MAMMOTH LAKES, Calif. – Mammoth Mountain has received six feet of snow, good for skiing but not good for last-minute work on the Village Gondola. The gondola had been scheduled for opening by Jan. 1, but the load-test is now scheduled for Jan. 28, reports the Mammoth Times (Dec. 26).
Labor shortage a top concern in Bow Valley
CANMORE, Alberta – A survey of businesses in the Bow Valley has revealed what everyone seems to have understood anecdotally before, that there aren’t enough workers.
A common refrain in the building industry, reports the Rocky Mountain Outlook (Dec. 19), was lack of framers. Basements sat open across Canmore for months, waiting for framers. A lodge also reported high turnover, despite a 5 percent boost in wages.
Farther up the valley, however, Banff businesses fared better, with a good crop of younger people to choose from. One theory is that they weren’t traveling abroad much in the wake of 9/11.
“Intrawest is boss’ in Winter Park
WINTER PARK, Colo. – “Intrawest is boss,” said the thick, inch-high headline in the Winter Park Manifest (Dec. 25), which clearly describes how pivotal the newspaper sees a deal finally wrapped up between Intrawest and the City of Denver.
With the agreement, Denver retains ownership of the ski hill, but Intrawest will take over operations. The company has pledged to invest $50 million in mountain operations over the next decade, including $8 million in upgrades over the next two years. It is also required to pay Denver $3 million up front, $2 million annually for 10 years, then $2.5 million based on ski area revenues after that. Intrawest is also to develop base-area real estate.
Under management by a quasi-public group, the Winter Park Recreational Association, Winter Park was falling behind on payments to the city. The perception in Denver was that a more experienced ski area operator was needed, and one with deep pockets, to compete with Vail Resorts and Intrawest in the competitive ski and resort market along the I-70 corridor. In the Winter Park area, people for decades have called for outside ownership or management, believing Winter Park was failing to get its due as a ski resort.
The Manifest reports that Gary DeFrange, the resort CEO, will continue to remain at the top at Winter Park, but with the new Intrawest title of vice president and general manager.
Meanwhile, David Barry, the Copper Mountain general manager, is to head Intrawest’s Colorado office, located in Golden, from which he will oversee Intrawest’s operations at Copper Mountain, Winter Park, and several smaller retail businesses. As such, he will also oversee real estate developments. No replacement for Barry had been named at Copper Mountain.
With a pitched battle brewing in the state legislature over his signature “public option” health insurance bill (HB19-1004) from last session, state Rep. Dylan Roberts, D-Avon, is urging calm before the coming storm.