Friday, February 15, 2013

Mountain Town News


Jackson Hole explores elderly house-sharing 

JACKSON, Wyo.—Does being elderly necessarily need to be a black and white thing—either you’re in your own home, and then to some institution, usually a nursing home?

A project called Jackson Hole Elders aims for a more comfortable transition.

“The standard model is that you’re in an institution with long hallways and there’s a structure for caring for people,” Sandy Shuptrine tells the Jackson Hole News&Guide.

But with a model being examined in Jackson, a house would be shared by 10 to 12 people, each with private bedrooms and bathrooms. But the kitchen, dining and living rooms are all shared space.

For each five to six residents, a caregiver would be available for cooking and supervising. A registered nurse would also be present for most of the day and on call at night.

The model has been pioneered in other parts of Wyoming, including Sheridan. There, four such homes have been built.

Shuptrine tells the Jackson Hole News&Guide that most of the people working on the project are at an age “where we have parents who need loving, personalized care.” But while parents want to stay in their own homes, at some point, friends and family are being called on to become full-time caretakers.


Pioneer of discounted lift passes raises rates

BOISE, Idaho—Bogus Basin, the ski area that introduced the idea of discounted season passes, is finally raising its rates. Since 1997, the cost has stood at $199. But next year the passes will cost $229.

“We need a little extra to pay the bills,” said General Manager Alan Moore. “Everything has gone up, from diesel fuel to seasonal labor to operation of the high-speed quads, since the $199 pass was introduced.”


Speaker says sunshine expected in ski towns

PARK CITY, Utah—Smile, as there’s opportunity ahead for ski towns. That seemed to be the take-away message from a presentation by Andrew Busch, who does a CNBC show called “Money in Motion” and recently spoke to a business group in Park City.

As reported by The Park Record, Busch advised his audience to think of the big picture, including international markets. Japan’s stock market is hyperventilating, and China is starting to spend money.

“China is a perfect example. The growth of the middle class there is so enormous, so rapid, and those people want to travel. For Park City, the wealthy in China are already interested in coming here. When I look at businesses, this is a strategy that is often completely undeveloped. If it were me, I would be trying to find travel agencies in China, overseas partners that could help navigate tourists to this town.”

He also said the United States will slowly grow jobs, but that the European debt crisis is still going to play a significant role in the global market.

Among his listeners, reports The Record, was City Councilman Andy Beerman, who also owns a local hostelry. He said he was encouraged by what he heard, noting that while Park City taps the wealthy, that still requires discretionary income.

“Park City, even though we are insulated to some extent, is still tied to the national economy,” he observed.


Idaho microbrewer gets big-name help

McCALL, Idaho—Salmon River Brewery, which is located in the Idaho mountain town of McCall, is on a roll. It is more than tripling its brewing, to 3,500 kegs a year, and hopes to expand more into Boise and also to Ketchum and Twin Falls.

The reason for this success, reports the Idaho Statesman, is the investment of a fellow named Adolphus Busch IV, of the famous St. Louis family that brought us Budweiser and other suds. Busch came across one of Salmon’s products, Idaho Gold, at lunch one day.

“It caught my attention,” he told the Statesman.

So he went to the brewery on one of his rafting trips to Idaho and decided to introduce himself. He now owns 49 percent of the brewery, providing money necessary for the expansion.


Equality State kills a proposal for equality

JACKSON, Wyo.—Wyoming calls itself the Equality State because, in 1869, while still a territory, it approved the first law in U.S. history explicitly granting women the right to vote.

Now comes a movement in the Wyoming Legislature that would extend rights to gay people, though it very carefully side-steps using the word “gay,” reports the Jackson Hole News & Guide. The proposed bill would have extended full legal rights to “domestic partnerships.”

“It is not a gay marriage bill,” Rep. Ruth Ann Petroff, a Republican from Jackson, told the newspaper. “It simply gives two people the right to enter into a contract that affords them certain rights and privileges.”

She and other backers said the bill would help in situations involving heterosexual relationships.

Nonetheless, the Wyoming House of Representatives killed it.

“We know this is about same-sex and civil unions no matter how it’s sugarcoated,” said Rep. Mark Baker, a Republican from Rock Springs.


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