The blessed event, in prime time |

The blessed event, in prime time

Don Rogers

Half the Vail Fire Department will get on planes for the big wedding this weekend. The ultimate destination? Rancho Mirage, Calif., at the RockResorts hotel there.

Wednesday night at Eagle’s Mi Pueblo, wives sneaked peeks at the television set during the Ryan and Trista show. Usually, it’s the husbands trying to surreptitiously keep up with whatever game is on while hoping the Missus thinks they are fully engaged in the table conversation. Nice to see the tables turned.

Next week – the anticipation! – a two-hour airing of the blessed event itself. Showtime is 8-10 p.m. Wednesday on ABC affiliates. The show is reasonably popular, too. Last week’s episode attracted 12.1 million viewers, according to Nielsen, and this week’s looks like more.

This week’s show’s highlight, or lowlight, had Ryan woozy at his bachelor’s party and wandering off briefly with strippers. Oh, the tension. Would they smooch? No, Ryan became upset and stumbled off, stripping himself of his microphones and shaking off his trail of camera people.

Naturally, since this is all contrived anyway, Trista and her bachelorette entourage swept in just about this time to crash the boys’ party. But where’s Ryan? Tears flow.

Oh, the agony. But enough about husbands trying to fathom how their wives could be so fascinated by this stuff. Just order another Pacifico, and let her enjoy the show.

Rentals open up

Eagle County’s rental vacancy rate leaped from 1.2 percent in third quarter 2002 to 17.1 percent in the third quarter this year, the state reported Wednesday.

The report’s accuracy is questionable. Consider, for example, that Timber Ridge is empty for the moment because of concerns about mold, not because renters aren’t eager to move in.

Still, the report at least broadly confirms the buzz through the valley about lots of vacancies.

Before you leap to the obvious conclusion that all the new affordable housing projects are to blame, consider Aspen’s rate leaping to 18.1 percent and Lake County’s rate to 32.8 percent.

Too bad, from a renter’s vantage, that Eagle County’s rental prices rose and again topped the High Country – and the entire state. That also suggests weakness in the report. Rental costs go down if there’s truly a glut of empty rentals.

Even so, prognosticators don’t see double-digit rental vacancies in this county lasting for very long, especially as the general economy rebounds. Jobs are predicted to outpace population by 12,000 as soon as 2010, and by 36,000 by 2025.

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