Mountain News: Denver contemplates Olympic bid 

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"The buyers are definitely back," said Matthew Hintermeister, a broker at Peaks Real Estate Sotheby's International Realty.

Down the gondola at Telluride, the town collected $266,000 in real estate transfer taxes in January, more than double the same period last year and the fourth straight month of increased sales.

The highest sale was for more than $10 million. Most transactions have been in cash. What constitutes the lower-end market in ski towns has not yet returned, however, as it depends upon credit - and credit remains difficult, especially in non-traditional markets.

 

Canmore raising building standards

CANMORE, Alberta - In 2007, Canmore officials adopted regulations requiring all new buildings have fewer environmental impacts, such as for energy and water use, by meeting the requirements for the base levels of either the BuiltGreen or LEED programs.

Now, Canmore planning officials propose elevating requirements - and the new increments sound suspiciously like those first introduced in Aspen in 2000 and other ski town municipalities since then. The proposed standards would require larger houses be built more efficiently.

Alaric Fish, a community planner, said the proposal is premised by the fact that larger homes, by their very nature, consume more energy. To offset their size, he said, they should be held to a higher standard than smaller houses.

The town, reports the Rocky Mountain Outlook, hopes to encourage builders and developers to consider how to make the homes more energy and water efficient when planning first begins, to save money in the long run. The newspaper suggests there may be controversy in the proposal that buildings that do not meet energy efficiency targets won't be given occupancy certificates.

 

Neighbour too nosy

ASPEN, Colo. - Even doctors, lawyers and such live in deed-restricted housing in Aspen. But the question at a project called North 40 was whether Dr. Kenton Bruice and his wife, Donna, lived in the complex at least nine months of the year, as rules require.

The Aspen Times reports that the Bruices filed a request for civil protection against a neighbour who had been observing them and taking notes. "She was watching me five times a day and making notes in her Blackberry about what I was doing," said Kenton Bruice, a gynecologist and obstetrician. He called it creepy.

The neighbour, in a report to public officials, had said she wanted to draw attention to what she believed to be a dishonest use of the system. The doctor and his wife split their time between Aspen and Denver, where he also works.

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