Vail buried under nearly four feet of snow |

Vail buried under nearly four feet of snow

Staff Reports

The last week reads like a lottery number for Vail Mountain: 9, 16, 2. 3, 7, 6. And the big winners are the snowriders who have been playing in some of the deepest snow in years.Those are the snowfall totals for the past six nights, culminating with 43 inches as of 7 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 27. And it was still snowing, with more headed this way throughout the weekend and into the first part of next week.”This is the epitome of what Vail is about,” Vail spokeswoman Jen Brown said. “Skiing the champagne powder in the Back Bowls on a daily basis is why we’re all here.”Vail’s mid-mountain base is up to 63 inches, and there’s a 74-inch base at the top.Beaver Creek has had more than two feet in the past week, and its mid-mountain base is up to 55, with 72 at the top.And the incredible conditions should hold up. Forecasters are predicting a wetter-than-average month of March, which is typically the snowiest month of the year anyway.Year to date, Vail on average has 241 inches on Feb. 27. The total so far this year is 282 inches.VR drops cancellation feesRockResorts and Vail Resorts Lodging Company Wednesday, Feb. 26, dropped all lodging reservation cancellation fees at all their Colorado hotel and condominium properties on travel completed by June 1.This new policy, which does not apply to group or conference reservations, is an attempt to alleviate travel concerns stemming from the possibility of a war with Iraq.Cancellation fees also have been suspended through the remainder of the 2002-03 ski season on all advance lift ticket purchases at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Heavenly (Calif.) ski resorts.”We recognize that during these very uncertain times, many people are concerned about committing to travel plans for the next several months, particularly families who traditionally enjoy their spring break vacation atour resorts and lodging properties,” said Ed Mace, president of RockResorts and Vail Resorts Lodging Company.”Their biggest concern, as we have heard from our reservations staff, is losing a deposit on their vacation if they choose to cancel at the last minute. We decided very quickly to drop cancellation fees in order to take that particular worry out of their decision-making process.”To make reservations at any RockResort, call (888) FOR-ROCK (367-7625) or visit For Vail Resorts Lodging Company reservations, call (800) 404-3535 or visit funding off the screenA joint House-Senate appropriations conferencing committee failed to fund an anticipated $8 million radar system at the Eagle County Regional Airport, county officials said this week, prompting calls for a local FAX and letter-writing campaign to the office of Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell.With the backing of Campbell, county officials were confident Congress this year would approve the radar system, which they say would increase the safety and potential growth of the airport the 8th busiest in the FAA’s Northwest Mountain Region during the winter (behind such cities as Denver and Seattle).In severe weather, the Eagle County Airport turns away up to 200 planes a day. Installation of radar, officials say, could increase air traffic by two to three times the current level a major economic boost for the region.In a letter to the community, Vail Valley Chamber and Tourism Bureau President Frank Johnson urged residents and business leaders to let Campbell know their disappointment with the lack of funding.”Our congressional delegation may believe the support for the radar is limited to the county commissioners and the (private general aviation) Jet Center, when in fact it is a vital safety and economic issue for all of us,” Johnson wrote. “It’s time to make this known. Without radar it will be almost impossible for us to grow our winter airport business and tourism .”Johnson goes on to urge non-form faxes or letters be written and sent to: Office of Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell; Mr. Brian Feintech, Appropriations Director, (202) 228-4606 (FAX), 380 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510. For additional information, contact County Administrator Jack Ingstad at (970) 328-8602, or by e-mail at awards announcedThe Town of Vail and the Eagle Valley Alliance for Sustainability recently announced the winners of the seventh annual Mauri Nottingham Environmental Quality Award.In the individual category, Susan Pollack of Vail took top honors for her contributions to environmental education programs throughout Eagle County.The top business winners were divided between R.A. Nelson for its commitment to environmentally-friendly practices and Vail Honeywagon for encouraging residents to use bear-proof trash containers.In the student category, 15-year-old Will James of Eagle Valley Middle School was acknowledged for the second time in three years for undertaking an effort to maintain open space in the Eby Creek Mesa subdivision.The winners for 2002 were recognized during the Feb. 26 Budweiser Street Beat Concert, and will again be honored by the Vail Town Council at its March 4 evening meeting. The Nottingham award is named for the founder of the valley’s We Recycle program and recognizes outstanding involvement, actions or programs that protect the valley’s environment. This year’s awards were sponsored by Vail Resorts, Holy Cross Energy, WestStar Bank, Alpine Bank and City Market.Vail Trail wins 4 CPA awardsThe Vail Trail received four awards during the annual convention of the Colorado Press Association Saturday, Feb. 22, at the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver.The CPA awards honor journalism excellence in editorial, advertising and design in six circulation categories for newspapers throughout Colorado. The Vail Trail won three first-place awards and one second-place award in its circulation category, which includes the state’s largest weekly papers.Taking home first-place honors were: Managing Editor David O. Williams (Best Business Story, for an article examining the unionization of ski patrols); former Assistant Editor Mike Larkin (Best Humorous Column): and former contributor Maia Chavez (Best Sports Story, for an article detailing the Mount Everest exploits of Vail’s Ellen Miller).Photographer Dan Davis, in conjunction with Larkin, won second place for Best Single-page Design for a cover illustrating an in-depth story on drought by current Assistant Editor Tom Boyd. q– Vail Trail staff report

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