Mountain News: Albertans, residents trade barbs in Invermere 

INVERMERE, B.C. – Feathers seem to be ruffled in the resort area of Invermere, where the local newspaper, the Valley Echo, has had a lively exchange of letters. At issue seems to be whether people from Calgary produce good or bad when they visit Invermere and other resort towns in the Columbia River Valley.

“Your story blamed Albertans for tearing up the wilderness with their ATVs but then went on to say they didn’t know who owned these vehicles because they weren’t licensed,” complained Eileen Diemeret, who splits time between Calgary and the western slope hamlet of Edgewater.

People from Calgary and Alberta were not solely to blame for melting the glaciers, causing housing prices to skyrocket, and degrading the environment, she said.

“This is not Alberta’s or any other province’s ‘playground,’” responded a full-time local, Venessa Kelly.

She said the “beef is with the part-time residents who come here thinking they own the whole town. They come in to our shops and restaurants, let their children be unruly, and then are rude to the staff. After which, they slap their money down, expecting to buy our respect,” she says.

Too, there’s some sort of quarrel about population. “In such a crowded world we all need to get along with our neighbours,” writes the part-timer from Calgary. “The last I heard we all had the freedom to live, play and pray wherever we chose in Canada.”

Responded the local, “You choose to live in a crowded city; we choose to live in a small, quiet town.”


Minger worries about Vail

STEAMBOAT SPIRNGS, Colo. – Mountain resort towns are famously self-preoccupied, worried about the good life dissipating into some form of purgatory.

This anguished fretting is clearly evident in Steamboat Springs, which is girding for major changes. Massive amounts of money are to be invested in base area redevelopment. The old main street, Lincoln Avenue, is also changing rapidly.

That this was going to someday happen was clear enough 10 and even 20 years ago. At some point, baby boomers were going to have lots of money, and they would want to spend it in places away from cities but with good restaurants, bike paths and all the other amenities.

The New York Times, in a front-page story on Monday, examined a corollary shift, that of the so-called lone eagles settling into mountain resort towns of the West. It used Steamboat as its focal point.

Also on Monday, Steamboat hosted a session about the dynamics of growth in resort communities. Among those speaking was Terry Minger, who was Vail’s second town manager, from 1968 to 1979.

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