Mountain News 

Canyons wants out of lease

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For example, city officials are skeptical how much time and hence money owners of fractional units spend in Aspen. It has been suggested they would spend more during their trips because they don’t have a big lodging bill at the end of the stay.

Even if fractional projects like the Ritz-Carlton deliver what the developers promise, some community members might want something else again. "Those of us who live here need off-season," said Aspen Mayor Helen Klanderud. "There may be a diminished off-season due to fractionals."

The Times notes that the fractional projects are commanding extremely high prices. A three-bedroom condo at the Residents at Little Nell is going for $1.37 million. The Ritz-Carlton say its members have net income of $300,000 or higher, with a net worth of $3 million or more. That’s good enough for the top 1 or 2 per cent of the market.

‘Green Team’ cleans from inside

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. — A team of employees within the Steamboat Springs city government continues efforts to green the city from the inside out. Or, to quote Gavin Malia, a supervisor of the Green Team, "We thought we should clean our house before we tell others how to clean theirs."

Formed in 2005, the Green Team Energy aims to boost alternative energy and also energy conservation. The team persuaded the city to buy $5,000 worth of renewable energy certificates for wind power for electrical use at a city building.

The presumption is that the buildings will last for 50 to 75 years, and that in later years energy will be much more costly. As such, it makes sense to spend more money in the short term to reduce long-term energy costs.

But architecture that reduces energy costs doesn’t necessarily cost more money, Malia told The Steamboat Pilot and Today. For example, the current designs for the new community centre include rooflines to help shade the building during the summer but allow more natural light during winter. "These things "don’t necessarily cost more money, but you need to do it up front," Malia said.

Smoke aids bank robbers

BANFF, Alberta — The word "smokescreen" ceased to be metaphor and was the literal device used by robbers of a bank in downtown Banff.

Witnesses in a nearby tavern said they noticed a thick, yellow smoke, which smelled like burning plastic, coming from the building. Just how much the robbers made off with while emergency personnel attended to what was presumed to be a fire was not disclosed.

The Rocky Mountain Outlook reports that at about the same time police investigated a suspicious suitcase left outside the nearby Hudson’s Bay Company. The suitcase held no bomb, and apparently had been left by a tourist. The possibility of a bomb – the bank has been target of three bomb threats in the last year – muddied the situation for police.

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