Mountain News: Banff is pricey, but second to Whistler 

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BANFF, Alberta — In examining the housing needs for the next 10 years in Banff, consulting firm Housing Strategies has found that Banff is indeed an expensive place to rent a one-bedroom apartment. The cost last year ran $1,051 on average, higher than Jasper's $1,003 or Canmore's $934. But Whistler trumps them all at $1,168.

Of course, that's a small cost if you make lots of money. But the fastest-growing employment sectors are — hold your breath here — in the service arena. The average wages for jobs in food and beverages, housecleaning and those sorts of things average from $10.80 to $13.87 an hour.

Some brewers have it, others don't

CANMORE, Alberta — Grizzly Paw Brewing Co. opened its doors in Canmore in 1996 with such sudsy brews as Grump Bear, a honey wheat, and Rutting Elk Red. Since then it has expanded several times, and now is moving into bigger quarters yet, somewhat larger than what is commonly thought of as a microbrewery, says the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

Niall Fraser, the founder, says microbrews hit the spot with 10 per cent of Canadians and 19 per cent of all beer sold in the United States. "The world is different now than when there were just a few big breweries," he says.

But brewing is still brewing, an art as much as a science. "It's kind of like chefs," he tells the Outlook. "There are a lot of chefs out there, but only a few real chefs. There's an art to it and you have to learn it."

Idaho microbrewer's big-name help

McCALL, Idaho — Salmon River Brewery, which is located in the Idaho mountain town of McCall, is on a roll. It is more than tripling its brewing, to 3,500 kegs a year, and hopes to expand more into Boise and also to Ketchum and Twin Falls.

The reason for this success, reports the Idaho Statesman, is the investment of a fellow named Adolphus Busch IV, of the famous St. Louis family that brought us Budweiser and other suds. Busch came across one of Salmon's products, Udaho Gold, at lunch one day. "It caught my attention," he told the Statesman. "I had it a few more times and pretty much thought it was the best beer I'd had in a long, long time."

So he went to the brewery on one of his rafting trips to Idaho and decided to introduce himself. He now owns 49 per cent of the brewery, providing money necessary for the expansion.

Silver mining to resume by summer

OURAY, Colo. — The long-predicted return of hard-rock mining appears to be moving forward in Colorado. The Telluride Watch reports that 76 people have been at work just a few miles away, as the crow flies, in Yankee Boy Basin, above the town of Ouray. There efforts are underway to reopen the Revenue-Virginius Mine.

The operator, Star Mine Operations, now has a permit from state regulators. Workers have stabilized tunnels in the 125-year-old workings, working shifts around the clock. Mining of silver could begin by summer, and owners hope for a decade's worth of production, they tell The Watch.

Telluride plugs away at grid

TELLURIDE, Colo. — Bit by bit, town officials in Telluride are plugging away at decarbonizing their electrical supply. The latest stride comes with purchase of 215 panels in a community solar farm in the sunny Paradox Valley, 129 kilometres to the west, in the canyon country near the Utah border.

The town spent $187,000 for the panels, which will produce about $45 worth of electricity each per year. Mountain Village, the municipality adjoining Telluride, has also purchased panels in the array, notes the Telluride Daily Planet.

Telluride and Mountain Village in 2009 called on their communities to do what's necessary so that 100 per cent of the communities' electricity will come from renewable sources by 2020.

Gleanings from Aspen: fortunes, small fortunes

ASPEN, Colo. — Gleanings of the Aspen Daily News this week provide two compelling testimonies that Aspen just ain't like anywhere else.

Consider a local court case in which an heir to one of the continent's great fortunes sought free legal counsel. The 25-year-old named Cargill says his mother and her boyfriend are blocking his rightful access to a $250 million inheritance.

And then, in the public schools, a $100,000 flight simulator has been ordered. Private donors are paying for this and other instruction that will allow students at the school to have access to ground school instruction. Still to be raised is money for an aircraft.

Jackson Hole explores elderly house-sharing

JACKSON, Wyo. — Does being elderly necessarily need to be a black and white thing. Either you're in your own home, and then to some institution, usually a nursing home?

A project called Jackson Hole Elders aims for a more comfortable transition. "The standard model is that you're in an institution with long hallways and there's a structure for caring for people," Sandy Shuptrine tells the Jackson Hole News&Guide.

But with a model being examined in Jackson, a house would be shared by 10 to 12 people, each with private bedrooms and bathrooms. But the kitchen, dining and living rooms are all shared space. For each five to six residents, a caregiver would be available for cooking and supervising. A registered nurse would be present for most of the day and on call at night.

The model has been pioneered in other parts of Wyoming, including Sheridan. There, four such homes have been built.

Shuptrine tells the Jackson Hole News&Guide that most of the people working on the project are at an age "where we have parents who need loving, personalized care." But while parents want to stay in their own homes, at some point, friends and family are being called on to become full-time caretakers.

Speaker says sunshine expected in ski towns

PARK CITY, Utah — Smile, as there's opportunity ahead for ski towns. That was the take-away message from a presentation by Andrew Busch, who does a CNBC show called "Money in Motion" and recently spoke to a business group in Park City.

As reported by The Park Record, Busch advised his audience to think of the big picture, including international markets. Japan's stock market is hyperventilating, and China is starting to spend money.

"China is a perfect example. The growth of the middle class there is so enormous, so rapid, and those people want to travel. For Park City, the wealthy in China are already interested in coming here. When I look at businesses, this is a strategy that is often completely undeveloped. If it were me, I would be trying to find travel agencies in China, overseas partners that could help navigate tourists to this town."

He also said that the United States will slowly grow jobs, but that the European debt crisis is still going to play a significant role in the global market.

Among his listeners, reports The Record, was City Councilman Andy Beerman, who also owns a local hostelry. He said he was encouraged by what he heard, noting that while Park City taps the wealthy, that still requires discretionary income.


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