Mountain News: Fresh snow putting butts in beds 

ASPEN, Colo. - With the snows finally arriving, bookings in Aspen have been picking up. It's still not going to be a traditional Aspen Christmas, with nary a spare bed to be found. But lodging occupancy should surpass 80 per cent during Christmas week, experts tell the Aspen Times.

A couple of months ago, 80 per cent occupancy was "looking like a distant fantasy," said Bill Tomcich, the president of Stay Aspen Snowmass, a reservations agency. He credited the uptick to lots of swell deals on lodging but also that traditional marketing genius: snow.

Vail Resorts last week had less encouraging news. Advance bookings for the season at its five resorts were down 13 per cent through November. However, sales of season passes were up 11 per cent.


Telluride hopes attract Euros

TELLURIDE, Colo. - Telluride ski area continues to see dividends ahead for its latest investment in the adventure component of the skiing market. Its Palmyra Peak and Revelation Bowl additions of recent years have plenty of that outback, big bowl skiing.

"While not all skiers can ski that terrain, they may aspire to ski it, and it has that sex appeal people like to see in adventure vacations," said Dave Riley, chief executive of the Telluride Ski & Golf.

"There's an old saying in the ski business: 'It takes about three years before people realize you've built a new lift.'" He predicts that Europeans and Australians will be flocking to Telluride once they recognize its new skiing dimensions.


Ski towns tighten carbon belts

REVELSTOKE, B.C. - Ski towns across the North American West continue to plot their strategies for tightening their carbon belts.

Revelstoke, B.C., which was the focus of a spread about ski resorts in the Sunday New York Times, plans to meet in February to hash out targets for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and strategies for achieving it. Any reductions will necessarily come at the expense of cars and trucks, notes the Revelstoke Times Review , as two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions come from road transportation. Another quarter of pollutants are produced by heating, cooling, or electrifying buildings.

In Wyoming, town officials in Jackson are hoping to secure $10 million in grants as seed money for their plans to introduce energy efficiency on a neighbourhood-by-neighbourhood basis.

The town and county had committed to carbon reduction in 2006, but had contained efforts to government operations, such as police cars and sewer plants.

"We're going into uncharted waters," said Wendy Koelfgen, energy affairs coordinator for the Town of Jackson and Teton County. "There just isn't any cookie-cutter model out there for this kind of thing."

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