Mountain News 

Aspen’s mayor candidates entertaining

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The Eagle Valley Enterprise reports the town is preparing a $9 million budget this year. “When I started with the town in 1994, our budget was about $100,000,” joked Jeff Shroll, the town manager. In fact, the budget was about $1 million.

Estimated sales tax collections this year of $3.25 million. It is rebating $1.3 million in tax collections to Costco. And, as per a revenue-sharing plan with neighboring Eagle, which is absorbing most of the traffic impacts from the Costco, will give that community $231,000.

Real estate transfer tax collections are also yielding a pretty penny, $1 million. Among Gypsum’s newest additions is a gated community called Brightwater.


Project facing greater scrutiny

MINTURN, Colo. – Plans for a huge, high-end housing development between the towns of Minturn and Red Cliff and the Vail ski area are being reviewed by Minturn, which is considering annexation.

The Ginn Co. proposes 1,700 housing units in a project that has been estimated at anywhere from $1 billion to $4 billion. Project plans include a golf area built on reclaimed mining wastes and a small ski area, all of this on about 5,400 acres of one-time mining properties.

In Minturn, the sentiment last year seemed to be that it was time for Minturn to have its own high-end development. A sampling of opinion reported by the Vail Daily and others now suggests rougher sledding ahead for the Ginn development on Battle Mountain. Some of the dissension concerns a 150-foot-tall building planned at the base of the project, near the golf course. This rivals and even exceeds some of the buildings in Vail and Avon.


Too tall for Ketchum?

KETCHUM, Idaho – Despite being at the base of the Sun Valley ski area and the site of the first destination ski resort in North America, Ketchum is a quiet place at night. It’s not a particularly busy resort these days.

As is true at resorts across the West, Ketchum has had declining hotel rooms. Condominiums once used by visitors have been withdrawn from rental pools. Like so many ski towns, it has become a place where skiing is an amenity for home owners. Tourism has been flat or declined.

Several years ago a developer proposed to build a hotel on Ketchum’s Main Street, and finally got approval. He could not, however, get financing. Hotels alone, said the financiers, were not enough.

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