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Aspen defends environmental stance

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Steamboat for sale in pieces

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. – Two of the biggest pieces of the resort puzzle at Steamboat Springs are now up for play.

Earlier this year, American Skiing Co. announced it was testing the waters for potential sale of the Steamboat ski area, one of its most consistently successful ski areas.

Now, several major components of the base area are being marketed. Those components include the 315-room Sheraton hotel, the Thunderbird Lodge, and a commercial complex called Ski Time Square. Also available for sale are the golf course and Graystone residential subdivision.

The owner is Ski Time Square Enterprises, which is composed of six individuals plus Starwood Hotels.

Denver-based HVS Capital was hired to market the properties, and the firm’s managing director, Mike Sullivan, told The Denver Post that he expects the properties will fetch "well over $100 million." He also said “there is a high probability that whoever buys the base-area properties would also buy the mountain. It makes good sense."

The base area of the ski area has been the target of redevelopment for the last two years. An urban-renewal authority was formed in 2005 to fund more than $18 million in public improvements there.

Suzanne Bott, the town’s senior planner, told The Post that consolidating ownership of the base area and the ski area could yield some “amazing redevelopment."

Loss of immigrants felt

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. – The labor pinch is becoming more pronounced in the Aspen-Glenwood Springs-Rifle area, reports the Rocky Mountain News, and wages for such jobs as landscapers and painters have been climbing.

The oil-and-gas boom in the Rifle-Parachute area has contributed to that pinch, drawing workers in the Rifle area who might otherwise have gravitated 30 miles upvalley to Glenwood Springs or even 80 miles to Aspen. But the newspaper also reports a secondary cause: some illegal immigrants left last spring when the dialogue about immigration heated up.

The result has been increased wages. One advertisement offered to pay painters-in-training $20 to $30 an hour.

Jackson nears worker tipping point

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