Utah shatters skier record
PARK CITY, Utah – The moral of the story in Utah this winter was that nothing beats good, early season snow. That early snow boosted Utah to its second straight record, nearly 3.9 million skiers. That’s a 12 percent increase from the year before.Snows came in October in about double the normal amount, and good snow continued through January. The three ski resorts at Park City – Deer Valley, The Canyons and Park City – were right in line with that gain. They did a total of 1.6 million skier days. That’s about what Breckenridge and Vail do, individually.Steel skeleton to be disassembledWINTER PARK – The mid-1980s had several half-finished or not-really started building projects in ski towns. Vail, for example, had a concrete foundation that lasted so long – about 20 years – that it was officially called The Ruins. Avon, at the base of Beaver Creek, had a massive project that sat for nearly 15 years only 75 percent complete, causing one of the ski magazines to joke about Avon’s municipal yard sale. By the, it is now corporate headquarters for Vail Resorts.Winter Park has had something similar in the late ’90s boom, a project called James Peak Lodge. It was to have had 80 condominiums and, in later phases, much, much more. But the $20 million project got no further than a three-story steel skeleton, notes the Winter Park Manifest, which is how it has remained for more than four years. Now, town officials have reached a deal with the purchasers of the failed project’s assets, and the erector set is to be removed.Swans return to Bow ValleyCANMORE, Alberta – Just as the swallows always return to Capistrano, each spring hundreds of tundra and trumpeter swans return to Canmore on their path north.The trumpeters, the largest swan in the world, with wing spans of up to eight feet, spend winters in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, where thermal vents keep some bodies of water open year-round. The tundra swans are smaller and are believed to winter in California, but return to Alaska and the high Arctic.Along the way, both species of swans stop by in the Bow River Valley, sometimes in congregations of 1,300. On their stop-over they eat and often indulge in a little whoopee, reports the Rocky Mountain Outlook. But the birds aren’t promiscuous, adds the newspaper, as both species of swans mate for life.Vail, Colorado
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