Mountain News: 

Tahoe resorts ‘next best thing’

NORTH TAHOE, Calif. — Are the Truckee-Tahoe ski resorts soon to inherit the crown as the center of skiing in North America? A big winter has at least one economic development official talking such talk.

"We are on the edge of the next best thing," said Andy Chapman, tourism director of the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association. Colorado and Canada have had their turns, and now it’s Tahoe’s turn, he told the Tahoe World.

What inspired such optimistic talk was a winter that arrived early and stayed steady, even as resorts to the north faltered. As a result, collections of the lodging tax – a good barometer of the tourism economy – were up 21 per cent in the Thanksgiving-December period, while the first months of this year were up 10 per cent.

600-plus ski days and counting

HOOD RIVER, Ore. — Rainer Hertrich has been skiing every day since Nov. 1, 2003.

At more than 600 days, that easily surpasses the only record that Hertrich is aware of, the 366 days (it was a Leap Year) that British ski journalist Arnie Wilson logged in 2004.

A snow-groomer at Copper Mountain, Hertrich skied this year during ski camps after the conventional closing, then drove to Utah’s Snowbird for a few days, then on to Idaho’s Tamarack, where he skied a snow patch of less than 400 feet to keep his string intact.

The Vail Daily reports that Hertrich this summer has been living in a tent at the foot of Mt. Hood’s Palmer Glacier. It has been a drizzly or worse summer on Mt. Hood, and Hertrich several times was tempted to quit. When summer winds down, he plans to continue his skiing with a trip to South America, as he did last winter.

Hertrich, says the newspaper, "may some day go down as the quintessential ski bum, the guy who took the concept of an endless winter and ran with it like no one else ever has."

He is, by the way, a free-heel skier.

Idle promises?

ASPEN, Colo. — Aspen city officials are using a combination of sticks and carrots in a new program called "Idling Isn’t Cool"to put the pinch on idling cars.

The stick – not a very big one, admittedly – is a placard that is put on the windshields of cars that are left to idle. The placard notes that cars need to idle only 30 seconds to get engine oil circulation. It also notes a city ordinance the bans engines from idling for more than five minutes.


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