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Mountain town news

Allen Best/Special to the Daily

CRESTED BUTTE – In its travel section, USA Today highlighted ski areas that it defined as “small enough and far enough off the freeway to feel remote,” ones that “aren’t just corporate concepts; they’re real communities that happen to be near mountains that beckon dedicated downhillers.”

In the West, the newspaper chose Crested Butte and Bozeman: Of Crested Butte, it said: “Free-thinking, outdoors-loving residents enjoy a lively party, from Mardi Gras celebrations to the coal miners’ polka fest. Cows outnumber residents 20 to 1 and downtown boasts dozen of one-of-a-kind shops, none of which sell fur.”

Of Bozeman: “Rubbing elbows along Main Street are academics, artists, ranchers and more recently, an influx of urban refugees seeking the quiet life. The town exudes youthful exuberance, whether because of the college students (it’s the home of Montana State University) or the generally sports-crazed population.”

Both descriptions are apt, but just one question for USA Today – don’t they know that Bozeman is large, has an airport nearby, and interstate running through it?

Butte owner wants to appeal to GP crowd

CRESTED BUTTE – Crested Butte once hosted the X Games. Could the GP Games be next?

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That’s what Tim Mueller, who expects to buy Crested Butte Mountain Resort by Jan. 1, insinuates is in store for the mountain. “The mountain is the mountain,” he says of Crested Butte’s extreme terrain. “I would never get away from the extreme skier, but it needs to be rounded out so that the family knows that Crested Butte is more than just an extreme paradise.”

To get more intermediate skiing, Mueller intends to pursue the expansion of lift-accessed skiing onto Snodgrass Mountain, he told the Crested Butte News. The Forest Service approved Snodgrass in 1982, but Crested Butte did not act on it, and then by 1996 the community was opposed. After several tough economic years, caused partly by drought but more importantly by the faltering destination skier market, community opposition to that expansion has significantly softened.

Park City and Moab fight for wind power

PARK CITY, Utah – Among Utah towns, only Moab and Park City have agreed to a municipal competition to see who can buy most into a wind power program being sponsored by Utah Power.

Park City recently announced it would purchase 7.5 percent of it energy from wind energy. The wind power costs more than electricity from coal-fired power plants, so the city plans to replace fixtures and appliances with more energy-efficient models.

The next step is to get businesses involved. Three ski resorts – Deer Valley, The Canyons and Park City Mountain Resort – have all agreed to buy 6 percent of their power. Several businesses have also signed onto the Blue Sky program.