Mountain News: Drug testing for students near resort 

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Without mentioning climate change specifically, he also made it clear that energy use is an environmental, as well as economic, issue. “For a growing number of us, when we see energy being wasted, we see the environment being damaged,” he said.

The company owns four ski areas in Colorado and one in California, plus dozens of hotels, stores, and other operations.

Katz called for the company to reduce energy use by 5 per cent during fiscal 2009, and then another 5 per cent the following year.

“Everything is on the table,” he wrote. He said that many day-to-day practices were instituted when gasoline cost 90 cents a gallon. As well, the increased fuel costs may justify different investments. “With oil over $130 per barrel, projects that may have been ‘iffy’ before may be very compelling today,” he said in the memo.

One of the most energy-costly aspects of operating ski areas is in snowmaking and snow grooming. Some have even suggested that ski areas need to cease shooting for Thanksgiving openings.

Katz mentioned this “snow surface” that is at the “core part of our experience in the mountains. This is an area that will require significant thought and discussion to make sure we consider every possible alternative to improve efficiency, but without detracting from one of our core strengths in any way.”


Liquor flows in Minturn

MINTURN, Colo. – Despite being sandwiched by two of the nation’s glossiest, most affluent mountain resorts, Vail and Beaver Creek, the community of Minturn still has an element of the grime accumulated from its 90 years as a railroad and mining centre.

Soon, there may be gloss in a third direction. Town residents, by a margin of 87 per cent to 13 per cent, last week affirmed the annexation and approved development proposed by Ginn Resorts, a Florida-based company.

This is the company’s first foray into the Rocky Mountains — but it is a very big one. Tentatively approved are 1,700 homes, from condominiums located in a former Superfund mining area along the Eagle River to mansions that are high-end in both the economic and literal elevational sense. Connecting the two will be a gondola. As well, there is to be a semi-private ski area and also a golf course built atop mine tailings.

Although housing prices in Minturn have inflated relative to those of the nearby resorts, it remains a small town with a population that is interrelated in the way that many small towns are. There are, in other words, plenty of second and third cousins.

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