Friday, July 27, 2007

Mountain Town News


No overall decline in
skier safety in decades

DENVER, Colo. -- Jim Chalat is Colorado's best-known lawyer in ski-related cases. He told The Denver Post recently that the ski slopes are not necessarily safer than they used to be.

Helmets have been proven to improve safety, and he'd have ski areas make sure that skiing employees used them, to serve as role models.

Still, no substantial statistical decrease in injuries has occurred since the advent of the modern alpine release binding. He believes an increasing percentage of collisions is due to increasing skier density. "You've got high-speed lifts pouring skiers on trails that were cut ... for a different era." The Forest Service, he suggests, needs to administer its property better.

First resort in French Alps
falls victim to warming

ABONDANCE, France -- Abondance has become the first ski station in the French Alps to fall apparent victim to global warming.

The City Council in the resort town, located near Lake Geneva, Switzerland, voted to shut down the ski station, elevation 3.051 feet (930 meters). A report from The Associated Press indicated the lack of snow was the primary reason, although it also offered a dissenting opinion that mismanagement was at play.

A report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development found that warming in the Alps in recent years has been roughly three times the global average, but with even greater changes expected in coming decades.

German resorts are predicted to suffer the most from climate change, and those in France the least.

Crested Butte comes
back for more flights

CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. -- Although other ski resorts in Colorado smiled through winter, Crested Butte took it on the chin.

The difficulty was partly reflected in the direct flight program. American Airlines lost $765,000 on its flights, mostly from Texas cities, and the local transportation authority covered $500,000 of the loss.

Still, Crested Butte is coming back again next year for more of the same, but with more mid-week shuttles from Denver on United.

Next summer, Crested Butte expects to get flights from Denver on the new Frontier regional jets. So do Jackson Hole, Aspen, Vail and a good many other resorts in the Rocky Mountains.

Obama raising cash
in mountain towns

ASPEN, Colo. -- Presidential candidate Barack Obama was getting the most money out of Aspen residents during the early part of the year, almost twice as much as Hillary Clinton.

Clinton was in Aspen once this year to raise donations, although the donations from that visit may not show up until a later reporting period -- or in different zip codes, where the second-home visitors of summer have their primary residences. The owners of the Aspen Skiing Co., the Crown family of Chicago, are among the official campaign organizers for Obama, notes the Aspen Times.

Obama also got notable support from Vail, where both Harry Frampton, the managing partner of East West Partners, and his wife, Susan, each chipped in more than $4,000 each, reports the Rocky Mountain News.

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