Steamboat Springs is an everyday sofa |

Steamboat Springs is an everyday sofa

Allen Best
Vail, CO Colorado

CRESTED BUTTE ” If your town were a piece of furniture, what kind would it be?

That was the question posed to 100 residents, business owners and visitors in Crested Butte as part of a branding study being conducted by the ski area operator.

The general opinion was that Crested Butte is a hardwood-and-iron bench, same as Telluride.

As for Aspen, those surveyed see it as a fancy, futuristic, over-the-top chair. Steamboat is an average sofa.

The Crested Butte News also notes that those polled asked what they wanted Crested Butte to become. The majority answer was a middle-level Casio watch, rugged, with stainless steel, but not too expensive.

PARK CITY, Utah ” Last year the Park Record interviewed a local architect who said that clients were finally starting to ask for smaller, not bigger, houses. That architect obviously does not work for Tony Thompson.

Thompson recently completed a 33,000-square-foot house adjacent to The Canyons ski area. It has a two-story glass wall of British-made Pilkington glass that looks out onto the ski runs.

The house also has 14 bedrooms, 17 bathrooms, and room for 3,500 bottles in the wine cellar, plus a 28-car heated garage.

The asking price is $28 million, although it is also being marketed as an opportunity for fractional ownership.

SILVERTON ” Various lakes and reservoirs in the San Juan Mountains have elevated levels of mercury. People are advised to limit how many fish they eat from Vallecito, McPhee and other lakes and reservoirs because of the high mercury levels.

The question is where the mercury is coming from. Sometimes mercury is found naturally in the environment. Then again, it is also found in the emissions of power plants. Specifically suspect, but lacking any specific fingerprints, is the nearby Four Corners power plant.

Preliminary results of samples taken at Molas Divide, located between Silverton and Durango, indicate high concentrations of mercury in snow and rain. The samples were taken from April to November by the Mountain Studies Institute.

These findings, says the institute, are consistent with elevated concentrations often recorded at Mesa Verde National Park since monitoring began in 2002.

Does this mean that the mercury is resulting from emissions by the Four Corners coal-fired power plant or other power plants? A newsletter issued by the institute for December offers no theories.

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