You don’t know all of your neighbors |

You don’t know all of your neighbors

Allen Best
Vail, CO Colorado

JASPER, Alberta ” Size does matter, and for some people in Jasper, 4,700 people is just right.

“It’s a perfect size ” not so small you know every single one of your neighbors, but small enough to offer support systems,” says Bob Covey, editor of a newspaper there.

Others similarly agree that the smallness produces a stronger sense of community, especially because of the town’s isolation.

It’s located in Jasper National Park, north of Banff. The park is Canada’s largest, wildest and most remote, notes the Rocky Mountain Outlook. The park is 100 years old this summer. A celebration is planned Sept. 14.

WHISTLER, B.C. ” The Crankworx festival at the Whistler Mountain Bike Park set several attendance records this year, despite several days of rain. Among those records was the busiest day ever, 2,197 riders.

One of the events, Kokanee Slopestyle, drew 15,000 to 20,000 spectators. An estimated 23,000 people visited Whistler to watch or participate.

Still, organizers tell Pique they believe the festival has room to grow. Among the ambitions are to get more high-profile athletes to the event, something they may achieve by growing the pool of prize money, which this year was $44,000.

DURANGO ” Nowhere in the West is the story of water scarcity told with such drama as in Las Vegas.

Despite the jungle waterfalls, Venetian-type canals and ooh-ahh Bellagio waterworks, the story in the suburbs is of bone-dry front yards and marginal grass even in the backyards. In fact, the water district has been paying homeowners to pull up their sod.

The situation is nowhere nearly as dramatic in Durango, but just the same, city officials hope to stretch existing supplies by 10 percent by mandating landscaping techniques that will use less water, reports the Durango Telegraph.

Kentucky bluegrass won’t be banned outright, but new developments will be encouraged to adopt the principles of xeriscaping, integrating more drought-tolerant plants into the landscape.

The city water-treatment plant is running at half capacity, but the population is projected to triple.

WHISTLER, B.C. “After a slump of several years, the real estate market in Whistler and its upvalley suburb of Pemberton is getting more active, and pricey.

For example, during the first six months of last year there were 45 sales of chalets at an average price of $1.48 million (Canadian). This year there were 79 sales at an average price of $1.72 million.

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