By Allen Best
Hydrogen buses test well
WHISTLER, B.C. – The 20 buses in Whistler powered by hydrogen fuel cells are about halfway through their five-year pilot phase. Despite minor problems, the experiment is working out well, officials tell Pique Newsmagazine.
One complaint is that the hydrogen is manufactured in Quebec. Even so, it represents a 60 percent decline in emissions, a reduction to be increased further with completion of a sodium chlorate plant in North Vancouver in 2013. Local emissions from the buses, of course, are virtually non-existent: Just a few drips of water coming out the tailpipes.
Flags over Grand Lake
GRAND LAKE, Colo. – If Aspen can have a festival focused on macaroni and cheese, why can’t Grand Lake, the town located at the west entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park, have a week-long celebration of the signing of the U.S. Constitution.
The Sky-Hi News says the festivities include a “patriotic parade, plenty of flag-waving, a Constitution trivia contest, and more. The event was capped by what was called the Forefather’s Fireworks Extravaganza, which seemed to offer a good excuse to set off the fireworks that couldn’t be used on July 4, when fire danger gripped Colorado.
Vail hustling for summer biz
VAIL, Colo. – Vail is boosting its budget to market its allures to the outside world for next summer by 8 percent, to $2.57 billion.
The Vail Daily says that the Vail Local Marketing District wants to grow the percentage of out-of-state business from 56 to 60 percent of the total, and to bring back more international visitors during summer. The share of summer guests from international locales dropped by half from 2010 to 2012.
Colo towns explore air link
CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. – Telluride wants Crested Butte to pool resources to draw in a new low-cost air carrier to deliver visitors to both resorts from the Phoenix and San Francisco areas.
Planes by the airline, which hasn’t been identified, would land at Montrose, which is already the primary portal for visitors to Telluride, about an hour away. Crested Butte is two hours distant.
To make the deal work, the two resort communities would have to scrape together a minimum of $650,000, maybe $1 million, to market the flights, explains the Crested Butte News.
There is some concern as to whether the flights would have the 90% load factors that are predicted as another matter. Flights to ski markets average 60 percent, according to flight consultant Kent Meyers, and he points out that the originating airports would be in suburban locations. The airport that would serve the Phoenix area is 45 minutes away from the major Phoenix airport.
Bike race has wheels
ASPEN, Colo. – After two years, the U.S. Pro Cycling Challenge appears to have strong wheels. But Aspen is somewhat worried about the financial commitment of hosting the event, tabulated at $1 million this year, although offset by increased lodging and spending by visitors.