By Allen Best
Part-timers want right to vote
WHISTLER, B.C. – A group of people who own homes in Whistler and cash most of their fun coupons there, but work and otherwise live in the Vancouver area, wonder why they can’t vote in municipal elections.
British Columbia began allowing vote-by-mail in 2008, and some 32 municipalities have implemented it. Whistler is not among them.
Jim Scabo is among those protesting the lack of a vote, “My address is down here,” he told Pique Newsmagazine, referring to the Vancouver area. “But if I’m not working, I’m at Whistler,” he explained. “I spend quite a bit of money in Whistler. I have a home there, I pay taxes. I should have a say in who’s sitting in the mayor’s seat.”
X Games good for Aspen brand
ASPEN, Colo. – By various metrics, i.e. butts in bed, eyeballs on ESPN, the Winter X Games have been huge for Aspen.
Bill Tomcich, president of the local reservations agency, reports that occupancy at Aspen and Snowmass Village was expected to run “north of 95 percent.” That, he told The Aspen Times, is a higher occupancy rate than at Christmas, Presidents’ Day weekend or the Fourth of July. Before Aspen began hosting the X Games a decade ago, occupancy was lucky to hit 70 percent for the final weekend in January.
As for eyeballs, the Aspen Skiing Co. believes it gets huge exposure. In addition to the 84,000 people who show up in Aspen, roughly one out of every four teenagers in the United States watches the aerials on television live, said John Rigney, the vice president of sales and events at the ski company.
“It reinforces Aspen’s reputation for hosting world-class events on a global scale to millions of youngsters, athletes, families and influencers,” Rigney said.
Teva Games adds winter event
VAIL, Colo. – In June, Vail hosts an event called the Teva Mountain Games, which can be seen as a warm-weather answer to Aspen’s X Games. There is kayaking, rock climbing and all the other warm-weather sports.
Next year, there will also be Winter Teva Mountain Games, following the X Games by about a week. Running four days, it will include ice climbing, on-snow biking, telemark skiing, dog events and other types of competition.
The Teva Mountain Games don’t garner the same buzz as the X Games. Compared to the 85,000 in Aspen, the games drew 40,000 spectators to Vail.
The competition will be sponsored by Eddie Bauer, which reports that it has had “great returns” from sponsorship of the summer games. “The winter event will allow us to reach a passionate outdoors audience that not only enjoys seeing the pros compete year-round, but enjoys the challenge and excitement of participating themselves.”
Vail loses ski races to Beaver Creek
VAIL, Colo. – While the X Games surely are the biggest event involving snow sports in the United States, on the world-wide stage the World Alpine Ski Championships are a much bigger deal. Aspen hosted them in the 1940s, and then Vail did in 1989 and 1999. Now, it’s scheduled to do so again.
Sort of. The name Vail will go on the event, but all the racing events will be held at Beaver Creek, a few miles away. So will the awards and other celebrations.
This hasn’t’ been going over well in Vail, where the town government has been asked to contribute $1.25 million to the event, compared to $2.5 million for Beaver Creek. One town official, Andy Daly, a former ski industry executive, called it a “slap in the face.”
It sounds like this heartburn will continue for awhile. Vail remains ever vigilant about losing standing – whether to a distant competitor or its own offspring.
Debating cannabis dispensaries
CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. – Like many other Colorado ski towns, Crested Butte grapples toward consensus about how many dispensaries of medical marijuana to allow. For some, reports the Crested Butte News, the door should be wide open.
“Give us a chance to live the American dream,” said Richard Haley, of Western Holistics, in lobbying for an unlimited number of permits. “We are offering high quality medicine at low prices. Let the free market work.”
But will the unfettered free-market dampen tourism? Steve Ryan, of Iron Horse Property Management, reported a call from a family in Dallas that had cancelled the reservation of a house during spring break after learning of a dispensary near the town’s sledding hill. “I can only imagine the women who started the story spreading the word in Dallas,” he said.
Peter Maxwell, a restaurant owner, also has been uncomfortable with the broad use of marijuana. “Here it’s being glamorized with advertising on the bus talking about candy. The fact is we get a lot of Bible Belt clients, and marijuana is taboo in that culture,” he said.
So, is medical marijuana just a guise for legalization of a narcotic for non-medical uses? A new magazine published in Colorado suggests as much. Entitled Kush, it calls itself “Colorado’s premier cannabis lifestyle magazine.” It’s as lush as any ski town magazine designed to sell advertisements for granite countertops.
Crested Butte town officials are hewing to something of a middle ground, allowing five dispensaries but within a confined zone – including one near the sledding hill. It is, after all, a small town.
Lake Tahoe catches Olympics buzz
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. – The buzz is starting to build about a potential bid from the Lake Tahoe Basin for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. A meeting was scheduled, and organizers are soliciting donations of $1,000 a year for the next three years from businesses.
While the U.S. Olympic Committee remains mum about intents of bidding for the 2022 or any other Olympics, the Nevada-California effort is being led by Brian Krolicki, the lieutenant governor of Nevada. “While 2022 seems a long way away, this area needs to be prepared should the United States Olympic Committee call for a bid city,” he said.
Homeowners object to new roof
EDWARDS, Colo. – Again comes a story about aesthetics vs. environment. It seems that an angry crowd of 40 people from the Singletree area, located about 10 miles west of Vail, gathered recently to vent their displeasure about the reflections from the roof of a 66,000-square-foot recreational building.
“We are here for you to understand the gravity of the situation. We are not two or three dilettantes upset about the roof,” said their spokesman.
But the Vail Daily says that the aesthetics don’t seem easily solved. The bright coloring on the roof was selected to reflect sunlight and lower energy costs. The roofing component helped the building get certified as a green building.
Plant trees? How about installing solar panels on top of the roof? There seems to be no easy answers, although the search will continue.