Mountain News: 

Bank robbers come and go

VAIL, Colo. — In case you never heard the slogan "crime doesn’t pay," two stories from Colorado’s I-70 corridor this past week testified to that notion.

First came the bumbling bank robbers in Vail. The BB-gun brandishing duo made no effort to disguise their accents when relieving a bank of $130,000 in deposits. With that linguistic clue, Vail police quickly reviewed the list of recent troublemakers. Bingo, a couple of 19-year-old seasonal workers who had grown up on Australia’s Gold Coast had been previously suspected of shooting paintballs at a local house.

With names, accents and everything else in an all-points bulletin, guards working at Denver International Airport several hours later snagged the pair, who had round-trip tickets to Mexico. Instead of spending spring vacation on the beach, the two men – who the Vail Daily reports are being called Dumb and Dumber in their native Australian haunts – are biding their time in jail.

Several days later, FBI agents and a swat team descended on a cabin south of Breckenridge after being informed that a 43-year-old Denver-man suspected of robbing 24 banks along Colorado’s Front Range was hiding out in his parent’s cabin. For all the commotion, says the Vail Summit Daily News, some neighbours thought it was just another peaceful morning in the Rocky Mountains.

It’s Caddyshack time

TELLURIDE, Colo. — The Denver Post took a hard look at Telluride and found that Chuck Horning, the real estate titan from California who purchased the ski area along with his son, Chad, has been acting like something of a buffoon, both socially and in the way he has been operating the ski area.

While none of the local media in Telluride had reported the story beforehand, they noted the Denver Post story without quibble. One source in Telluride told Mountain Town News that the Post got the story exactly right. "It’s Caddyshack," said the source, alluding to a movie staring Rodney Dangerfield, who plays the role of a "loud, vulgar, twitching condo developer who is thinking of buying an exclusive WASP country club and using the land for housing," (to borrow the description of movie critic Roger Ebert).

"Essentially the ski area is being run by Rodney Dangerfield."

Critics do not necessarily disagree with Horning’s vision for the ski area and the community. Like the new owners of Crested Butte, he thinks Telluride must increase skier days to about 600,000, to better compete with larger resort areas like Aspen, Vail, and Summit County. Locals are questioning his administrative abilities. He has already dismissed two ski area managers in little more than a year and seems to have put all remaining employees on edge. The real question, says one individual, is how much money Horning brings to the table to implement his vision given his lack of people skills.

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