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Aspen wants to keep X Games

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ASPEN – Aspen wants to host the Winter X Games permanently, says David Perry, senior vice president of the Aspen Skiing Co. Aspen has the event contractually locked through 2007, but Perry told a recent gathering that he believes Aspen can get the games – now in their ninth year – far longer.One of Aspen’s virtues is that it has four ski areas, which means it can allocate one ski area, Buttermilk, to the preparation and then the event for a total of three weeks without hurting the company’s income stream.The event has been steadily growing. ESPN estimates that 66,500 spectators attended the four-day event last year, up from 58,700 and 36,300 in the two preceding years. This year, in the days before the event, Aspen and Snowmass were booked to 90 percent of capacity.However, Perry warned that if Aspenites want to hold onto the X Games far into the future, hoteliers must avoid the temptation to gouge attendees, particularly the ESPN crews, reports The Aspen Times.

VAIL – In Vail-dominated Eagle County last year, $2.26 billion in real estate sales were recorded, besting the old record set in 2000 by 133 percent.In the highest of the high end, a 10,000-square-foot home located in Bachelor Gulch, a project within Beaver Creek, went for $10.1 million, while a slightly smaller house in the same neighborhood sold for $8.5 million. In all, the county had 10 sales that went for more than $4 million. Still, while the Vail area does more total real estate, the Aspen area has pricier digs, with some 10 homes selling for more than $10 million.The hottest action in Eagle County, however, was in the so-called entry-level homes, which the Vail Daily defined as homes priced at less than $500,000. Altogether the average sales price for the year in Eagle County was $676,000.

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. – A district court judge has come down on the side of Teton County in the case of a couple who expanded their already massive log home beyond what county regulations permitted.The judge fined the couple, Thomas and Carol-Ann Crow, $363,000.The case, explains the Jackson Hole News & Guide, goes back to the mid-1990s. The couple built their house, but then wanted to expand it.They were told that county regulations limited homes to 10,000 square feet of total floor area and 8,000 square feet of habitable space. They expanded as they wished anyway, to a total of 13,000 square feet of total floor area.The judge said the Crows failed to prove that the term “habitable space” was voided because of its vagueness. He also ruled that the county can regulate the use and size of interior space with a completed dwelling.The couple may yet be required to remove the offending portion of the house. It contains a bedroom and several bathrooms.

TRUCKEE, Calif. – Prices skyrocketed nearly everywhere in the ski towns and valley last year. Among the highest was in the area of Truckee, Squaw Valley, and Alpine Meadows, where the median home price jumped by 24 percent. The same appreciation was also noted in Tahoe City, although the rest of the Lake Tahoe area appreciated much more slowly.With the median home prices hitting $540,000, many of the locals in the Truckee area are cashing out and moving to more outlying communities, where they can ratchet down their mortgages, reports the Sierra Sun. And the buyers? At least some of them are people who rent in the Bay Area (San Francisco, Berkeley, et al), and who are buying their first home in anticipation of retirement.


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