Local hopefuls | VailDaily.com

Local hopefuls

Sarah L. Stewart
Dominique TaylorBeaver Creek Beavette Lin Funk, right, winds up for a strike as her fellow Beavettes watch her technique at the Back Bowl Bowling Alley in Eagle. The Beaver Creek Beavettes meet there every Monday for bowling.

Eagle County – The hat-throwing continues.

Former county commissioner Dick Gustafson announced last week that he will challenge incumbent Peter Runyon, who will run for reelection, for his District 1 seat this November.

Gustafson, a Republican, served as commissioner in the 1980s. Runyon, a Democrat, will seek his second term.

Vail – The Arrabelle has been open for months, but they’re still working out the details.

A proposed five-story affordable-housing complex on the North Day Lot in Lionshead would fulfill Vail Resorts’ promise to provide 120 beds of worker housing as part of the Arrabelle at Vail Square project.

“We think there are some decisions for the town to make,” said Rob Katz, chief executive officer of Vail Resorts.

The town has asked the resort to include a town-funded bus station in the North Day Lot complex. Vail Resorts said that would cost $14.4 million, which is “on the high end” of what the town expected to pay, said Greg Hall, Vail’s director of public works.

The proposal is the latest in an ongoing debate between the town and Vail Resorts over the Arrabelle’s housing requirements. Vail Resorts was given until Feb. 25 to submit a plan for employee housing; the project must begin by May 2009.

Denver – Now’s the time of year to pay attention to those “Watch for Falling Rocks” signs.

Warmer weather means more rocks are dislodging and tumbling onto highways, the Associated Press reported. Last week, a truck passenger was treated for minor injuries after the vehicle hit a basketball-sized rock on westbound I-70 in Glenwood Canyon.

A 30-foot long, 12-foot wide and 12-foot tall boulder tumbled down McClure Pass recently, landing on the edge of Highway 133 between Paonia and Carbondale.

In addition to damaging cars, several people have been killed by falling rocks in recent years.

Edwards – A suggested new I-70 exit would make it easier to get to Cordillera and western parts of Edwards ” and easier to get around downtown.

The county has researched the effects of an exit at Hillcrest Drive near Cordillera. Eagle County engineers found that the exit, which would be a “half” exit like Eagle-Vail’s, with an eastbound onramp and a westbound offramp, could reduce traffic in downtown Edwards by almost a third.

“The real hurdle would be to get the Federal Highway Administration to approve it, and we haven’t even presented this to the Colorado Department of Transportation,” said County Engineer Eva Wilson. “We’re just investigating the effects of if there was an exit.”

Denver – Smokey the Bear got a big victory last week from the U.S. Forest Service.

Fines for having a campfire during a fire ban were raised from $25 to $300, more than a 1,000 percent increase, the Associated Press reported.

Other increased fees include: Damaging a road or trail, $300, up from $75; operating a motor vehicle in a prohibited area, $250; setting off fireworks, $200, up from $75.

Denver – You’d think Colorado’s picture-perfect scenery would be enough to convince movie makers to film here, but apparently they want to see more green than just trees.

With measures such as a $10 million tax incentive, the Colorado legislature is trying to make filming movies in the state more appealing to production companies. In recent years, places with aggressive incentive programs, such as New Mexico and Canada, have hosted lucrative shoots for movies set in Colorado.

According to the Colorado Film Commission, an average feature film will spend about $100,000 a day when in production. Also, for every dollar spent on production, an additional $2.50 is spent in the wider economy including hotels, shopping, restaurants and transportation.

– Compiled by Sarah L. Stewart

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