Around the Mountains: Mere millionaires need not apply |

Around the Mountains: Mere millionaires need not apply

ALLEN BESTspecial to the daily

GALLATIN VALLEY, Mont. – Being a millionaire ain’t what it used to be. The Wall Street Journal reports that by at least one definition it takes more than twice as much money to be rich today as it did in the 1980s.To participate in a hedge fund, the Security and Exchange Commission says a net worth of $1 million or an annual income of $200,000, the requirements set in 1982, are not longer sufficient. The new minimum is assets of at least $2.5 million, including equity in homes or businesses.At the Yellowstone Club, located near Big Sky, a net worth of $3 million formerly was required of prospective member. Now, it’s $7 million, says the Journal. Land prices at the private ski and golf course community now have pushed above $2 million.Lost boarder credits his life to girlfriend’s nagsBANFF, Alberta – A 25-year-old construction worker who spent the night on a windy ridge in extreme cold credits his nagging girlfriend with keeping him alive. She wasn’t there with him, but he could hear her voice.”I was desperate and exhausted, and every time I felt like just sitting down and lying there for a minute, I heard her screaming in my head, “No way, Phil. You just get back up on your feet and you come home!” Phil Durand told the Rocky Mountain Outlook.”Every time I laid down, every time she’d push me and I went forward, and that’s why I’m alive now, and that’s why I’ve got the best girl ever,” he added.Durand was among several snowboarders in Banff National Park, near the border with Jasper National Park. They were going back to a ridge to make another run when he lost sight of his companions in a snow squall. The snow was falling fast, and the wind later that night gusted up to 80 kilometers a hour, or about 50 mph.At the ridge, he went down the opposite side – waist-deep powder, but probably not worth the consequence. He trudged back to the ridge, then hovered in the trees not far from where searchers found a massive avalanche the next day. It was not terrifically cold, just a few degrees below freezing, but the wind combined with cold very nearly killed him. To stay warm, Durand said he stood up every few minutes and did jumping jacks, still wearing his snowshoes. “If I did fall asleep, I knew it would be my last sleep, and then I couldn’t sleep,” he said.”I’m in good shape, but that’s not what kept me alive. I know it’s all mental. It’s all my girlfriend screaming in my head.”No law in place, but Jackson Hole’s nearly smokelessJACKSON HOLE, Wyo. – Two more bars in Jackson Hole, including the famed Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, are going smoke-free this summer.The Cowboy Bar has thought about banning smokes for years, partly because of concerns about health effects of second-hand smoke on employees, but also to reduce maintenance costs. Smoke filters must constantly be replaced, and the smoke makes the building dingy, requiring constant cleaning.Smoking remains permissible at only three bars in Jackson Hole. Among them is the Virginian, where employees are advised in advance they will be among smokers. One of those smokers, a bar regular identified as “Spooner,” said smokers need a place where they can quietly go and be left in peace. “It’s an honest, crying shame,” he told the Jackson Hole News&Guide.Bar owners cranky about early closingsCANMORE, Alberta – Bar owners in Canmore were cranky when police ordered bars cleared an hour early on the Saturday night when daylight savings time begins. The law there allows bars to serve alcohol until 2 a.m., and to have all alcohol and patrons removed by 3 a.m. Police making the rounds ordered everything speeded up an hour. One bar owner estimated a $1,000 loss, reports Canmore’s Rocky Mountain Outlook.

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