Sales of wood stoves booming |

Sales of wood stoves booming

Allen Best

TRUCKEE, Calif. With prices of natural gas rising rapidly, sales of pellet stoves are booming. One store in Truckee, Mountain Home Center, reports sales have increased 300 to 400 percent during the last two months. The demand is so strong that manufacturers are completely sold out, meaning some purchasers won’t get their stoves until January or February, the Sierra Sun reports. The stoves, which burn pellets of wood, cost from $1,800 to $3,000.Resort may get 500 new lodging unitsMOUNTAIN VILLAGE, Colo. With $1 billion in work now underway, Vail already is experiencing a building boom at the base of its ski mountain and Aspen is starting down the same path of massive investment in base-area construction.Mountain Village, above Telluride, could soon join the list. The slope-side counterpart to Telluride, Mountain Village has a million square feet of space in the pipeline. Potentially six projects will be built, yielding 500 new condominiums and hotel rooms.The St. Regis is typical of the hybrid, explains The Telluride Watch. Six years in the planning, it is designed to have 100 hotel rooms and 42 condos. With all this living space opening up in the next two to five years, there’s some anxiety about whether the market will be sufficient. Among the optimists are those who say that St. Regis, with its global marketing reach, will generate sufficient businessBut filling the beds also requires more planes flying into the area, and Tom Hess, president of he Telluride/Montrose Regional Air Organization, says fuel costs and air operations are rising more rapidly than tax receipts. He suggests the new lodges will have to help subsidize more flights.Another worry is whether the rising cost of construction could destabilize these plans. China’s hyperactive economy and hurricane reconstruction are both inflating costs of everything from timber to cement. One developer says sales may need to reach $1,500 to $2,000 per square feet to justify expansion.Not least, this added high-end housing will generate more jobs, and the Telluride-Mountain Village never has enough affordable housing – with no easy escape valves to bedroom communities.Vail, Colorado

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