Mountain News 

Second homes 12 per cent of sales

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"We understand the suburban dream, but we don’t need it," says McGovern who, with her husband, is rearing children in a three-bedroom condominium – with no particular aspirations to ever find a house.

It is a lifestyle choice, says a young single professional, Erik Skaravan. "Living small allows you to live big in Aspen," he says.

Film fest speakers remembered

BANFF, Alberta — Bernadette McDonald, the director of the 31-year-old Banff Mountain Film Festival is moving on, eager to get at several writing projects. Started in 1976 as a one-night slide show, the festival has expanded to a nine-day extravaganza that draws about 10,000 people.

Through the years the festival has featured any number of climbers. Among those who spoke McDonald remembers Reinhold Messner, who "dominated that stage," she said. Another was Sir Edmund Hillary. And not least was Carlos Carsolio, the fourth and youngest man to climb all 14 of the world’s 8,000-metre peaks without supplemental oxygen. "It was the most emotional presentation of mountain climbing I’ve ever seen," McDonald told the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

As for her present and urgent plans, she intends to write a biography of Charles Houston, the famous mountaineer and physician who is now in his 90s and in deteriorating health. In addition to scaling K2, he was also among the world’s renowned experts on high-altitude medicine.

Utah drawing skiers

PARK CITY, Utah — Who says the ski industry is flat? That’s certainly not the case in Utah. Skier days there have increased 29 per cent during the last three years, and this year broke the four million barrier. While some of the gains could have been explained in previous years by droughts elsewhere in the west, that’s not the case this year. Nearly all areas of the west had good snow. Some of Utah’s success is attributed to the greater realization by the nation’s skiers how close the airport at Salt Lake City is to the ski slopes, no more than 45 minutes in most cases.

Newest big box is circular

AVON, Colo. — Two big boxes, Home Depot and Wal-Mart Supercenter, are found along I-70 in Avon. Both are gussied up but remain big boxes typical of suburbia.

But next door a new building called Traer Creek Plaza will soon go on line that is very different indeed. For starters, it is not a box, but semi-circular.

It will also have a sod roof. The sod roof will be planted with 17 species of sedum sod, plants that are more like a bean sprout than grass. Colors will change from rust brown to yellow, orange, and green before returning to brown in fall. A drip irrigation system is to be installed.

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