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"It didn't. And we're not going back to the days when people bought things over the phone sight unseen. It is not that we won't be strong. People will still be interested at looking at property and will spend real money on it. But it is not going to be quite as reckless."
The median price of property under contract today in Aspen is 18 per cent less than last year at this time, reported real estate broker Carol Hood.
Will tourism plug this gap? Not in the very short term. Bill Tomcich, president of Stay Aspen Snowmass, a central reservations agency, reported sparse advance bookings. Indeed, the Aspen Skiing Co. is worried enough about Christmas that it has announced discounted prices in advance, only the second time it has done so.
"In the past, the resort was filled out over the holiday," said Jeff Hanle, the company's public relations director. "There was no reason to incentivize people because the resort was maxed out. But now there is."
David Perry, the senior vice president of the Aspen Skiing Co., predicts improvement in 2010. "The second half (of the ski season) is going to loosen up and things will start happening," he said.
Real estate sales off by half
JACKSON, Wyo. - Real estate sales in Teton County, where Jackson is located, are off by half in terms of both volume and value, reports the Jackson Hole News & Guide.
Auctioneer William Burke of Progressive Auction Exchange claims that an auction he supervised showed that property values in the county are down 30 to 50 per cent.
Real-estate agent Tim Mayo told the newspaper that prospective buyers lack confidence in both the national and world economy.
Still, he's hopeful that springtime will restore that confidence, as has been detected in other parts of the country. "We run a year behind the rest of the nation," he said. "Hopefully, next spring we'll start seeing those signs of recovery in our market as well."
Transportation source of most emissions
JACKSON, Wyo. - Following in the path of Aspen, Park City and other mountain towns, Jackson Hole commissioned a study that establishes the sources of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse emissions. While heating and electrification of buildings causes nearly half the greenhouse emissions nationally, in Jackson Hole they were dwarfed by transportation, which causes nearly 80 per cent of emissions.
Tim Young, director of Friends of Pathways, said the report should redirect the priorities of the community's sustainability project to focus more on ground transportation and less on improving energy efficiency in buildings. He called it a wake-up call.
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