Hip and green
Ever Vail is not only supposed to be a green ski village, it’s also supposed to be cool.
“It’s targeted toward a different generation, a different demographic,” Tom Miller, who is managing the project for Vail Resorts Development Co., said in announcing more details about the West Lionshead development, last week.
In Vail’s vision, Ever Vail has a gondola running to Vail Mountain, a five-star hotel, and about 100,000 square feet of stores and restaurants, including a small supermarket.
Miller said the company is focusing on the public areas between buildings as much as it is focusing on the buildings themselves.
“There are openings and closings,” Miller said. “There will be areas of discovery. You walk around a corner, and it’s totally different.”
Public plazas, 1.5 acres in all, would be able to host events such as concerts, Miller said.
Eagle County – Republican presidential candidate John McCain dropped in on an Edwards fundraiser last week that cost supporters $1,000 to attend.
Local Republicans say they’ve raised $1 million for McCain over the past few weeks.
McCain brought his wife, Cindy, and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham with him.
Speaking for about 15 minutes at the home of Frank and Patricia Lynch high above Lake Creek, McCain talked at great length about the conflict in South Ossetia between Russia and Georgia, saying the U. S. must take a tough stance with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
McCain touched on energy, the war in Iraq, and even fit in a few jabs at the sitting Congress.
“They went on a five-week vacation without doing anything on energy,” he said. “They should come back to town and do the work of the American people.”
Local supporters said they were impressed by McCain’s appearance.
“He’s so much better in person than he is on TV,” said Randy Milhoan, chairman of the Eagle County Republicans, lauding McCain for his experience in politics and his expertise in world affairs.
Deep snow may be more important than financial doldrums when it comes to how busy ski season is going to be.
The Kottke National End of Season Survey, conducted annually for the National Ski Areas Association says last season is proof that skiers and snowboarders will head to the slopes in droves despite the cost of fuel and all its expensive side effects.
There were more than 60 million visits to U.S. ski resorts last season, a record.
And there are indications that younger people are sticking with the sport.
“These are, in fact, the golden years of the ski business right now,” said Michael Berry, president of the National Ski Areas Association, a trade association based in Lakewood.
Some resorts, however, are not quite convinced that powder means everything. As the cost of air travel escalates, some resorts are offering travel deals ” including coupons for luggage fees ” to attract skiers and snowboarders just in case snow conditions don’t lure them to the slopes.
Free and expanded bus service in Eagle County could help locals with the cost of gas but would likely require a sales tax increase.
The county is considering both, hoping to bring buses to more neighborhoods in Edwards, Eagle and Gypsum.
Bus ridership is up 27 percent this year, and the system already is struggling to maintain and pay for the existing routes, Taylor said. Rising gas prices have left the bus system a little cash strapped this year.
Meanwhile, Eagle County’s Taxpayers for Common Sense, a bipartisan group that has been fighting recent tax hikes, held its third meeting last week.
The group and its attorney suggested the county did not send voters the required information when it asked to be exempt from state laws that limit tax increases.
Rather than filing a costly lawsuit over the matter, East Vail homeowner Ron Murray said a more cost-efficient way to make a difference might be for the group to support candidates who will promise to lower taxes.
Eagle County and the town of Vail are helping to fund the most extensive study yet of building a high-speed train or monorail from Denver to the mountains.
The study, which will done by the Rocky Mountain Rail Authority, will also look at high-speed rail along Interstate 25, which runs from north to south from New Mexico, though the Denver metro area to Wyoming.
The study is supposed to take a year, and will look at factors such as whether there is enough demand, what technologies are available and the terrain the rail would have to traverse.
Other studies have been done on a possible rail system, but this is the most comprehensive thus far, says Eagle County Engineer Greg Schroeder.
“This will go into a lot of detail ” what ridership will be, how long it will take, and alignments,” he said. “There’s a lot of momentum going with this.”
Don Rogers, publisher of the Record-Courier in Gardnerville, Nev. and former editor of the Vail Daily and Vail Trail, will return to Vail as associate publisher and editor on Aug. 25.
He will replace Alex Miller, who is moving to Summit County to be the editor of the Summit Daily News.
Rogers was editor at Vail from 1999 to 2007. He left in December to take a job as publisher with the Gardnerville paper, which is owned by the Vail Daily’s parent company, Swift Communications. Rogers said it was a great experience but that he is looking forward to returning to Vail.
Publisher Steve Gall said Rogers will take on an expanded role as associate publisher.
“We’re excited to have Don back in Vail,” Gall said. “He brings a lot of knowledge of this area and true passion for the newspaper and the community.”
Boulder Internet entrepreneur and philanthropist Jared Polis is the Democratic candidate for Eagle County’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
And his victory in Tuesday’s primary means he’ll likely win the general election in November in the heavily Democratic district that includes Boulder.
In the most expensive House race in Colorado history, he poured $5.3 million of his own money to beat former Colorado Senate president Joan Fitz-Gerald in a close race that also included conservationist Will Shafroth.
Polis was the former chairman of the Colorado Board of Education. He founded the New America School, a charter school where immigrants can learn English. There is a branch in Gypsum.
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