Mountain News: Angry White Man speaks to Rush 

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Heartburn over missing Lynx

TELLURIDE, Colo. – At least for now, Frontier will not be flying its new Q-400 turboprop planes from Denver to either Telluride or Montrose, the latter being the primary gateway for Telluride. The flights are offered under Frontier’s new subsidiary, Lynx.

That omission is causing some heartburn in Telluride, where The Telluride Watch quotes several local business leaders as saying that the local direct-flight organization was not as aggressive as it should have been.

“To me, as someone who is responsible for bringing people to the region, it is concerning that a number of competitors will have lower fares and more modern equipment specifically designed for mountain travel,” said Scott McQuade, chief executive officer of Marketing Telluride.

Not only is Denver a crucial gateway for visitors from outside Colorado, but Denver itself is an important market for Telluride, he said, with 29 per cent of summer visitors coming from metropolitan Denver and 12 per cent in winter.

Dave Riley, the relatively new chief executive of Telluride Ski and Golf Co., the operator of the ski area, suggested that Telluride should have offered cash guarantees, in addition to the “significant amount of marketing support.”

“I can’t help but think at this point that had we also proposed some amount of cash in a revenue guarantee contract in addition to the marketing support, it may have helped,” he said. He said existing service from Denver to Telluride is “minimal and expensive.”

There was even more clear anger in the statement of Dirk de Pagter, chairman of MTI’s board of directors. “We need an overhaul of the philosophy of the air organization,” he said.

The Telluride-Montrose Regional Airport Organization collects money in Telluride and Mountain Village, with supplemental funds from Montrose, which is 65 miles from Telluride.

 

Surge in ‘sidecountry’ deaths

VAIL, Colo. – Of the 43 deaths recorded by avalanche researchers in North America this season, almost a fifth have been in what is sometimes called the sidecountry, the areas adjacent to ski areas. Typically, reports The Denver Post, only 6 to 9 per cent of U.S. avalanche fatalities occur in the sidecountry, also known as the frontcountry. Only once before have there been proportionately so many avalanche fatalities adjacent to ski areas. That was in 1987 when four skiers at Breckenridge and three at Telluride died after taking lifts to access lands beyond the ski area boundaries,

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