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Decoding the secret language in real estate ads

Allen Best/Special to the Daily

WINTER PARK – Are you ever confused by what is meant by certain words in real estate advertisements? Penny Hamilton, a real estate agent in Grand County, came up with a tongue-in-cheek lexicon. Here are a few samples, as printed in the Winter Park Manifest:

Amazingly convenient: The ski bus passengers probably look into your bathroom and bedroom windows every 10 minutes as the shuttle roars past your property.

Close to Night Life: The neighbors play loud music.

Completely Remodeled: If you think this is funky, you should have seen the orange shag carpet and macrame wall hangings before the remodel to rattan chairs and fluffy throw rugs.

Covered Parking: After each snowfall, your car is covered.

Gently Sloping Lot: Mountain goats call it home.

Incredible View: If you cock your head at just the right angle, you can almost make out the tip of a peak.

Mountain Chic: The same mountain cabin, but costs more, just as chocolate mousse costs more than chocolate pudding.

Quiet Location: At the end of the telephone and electric lines and snowplow route.

Realtor: A person who speaks only in adjectives.

Ski company countersues director of housekeeping

PARK CITY, Utah – Somebody’s lying here. Shortly after he was fired from his $60,000-a-year job as director of housekeeping at Park City Mountain Resort, Mario Escobar filed a lawsuit against the resort, alleging things that were illegal, unethical, or both.

For example, Escobar accused the company of knowingly recruiting undocumented immigrants so that it could pay lower wages. Also, he said, the resort’s Hispanic employees were asked to clean the homes of senior managers, were required to eat in a separate basement lunchroom and did not receive the same privileges afforded non-Hispanic employees.

Wrong, says the resort in a countersuit. The legal counsel for the American Skiing Co., which owns the resort, told The Park Record that “for the most part the facts are different than he alleged, and in some cases they are the exact opposite.”

For example, Escobar had the employees cleaning his home, says the company. As for the separate lunchroom, there is a lunchroom that serves discounted meals, and it’s close to the headquarters for housekeepers, but it’s not a segregated lunchroom.

Thinned trees help heat and power Nederland community center

NEDERLAND – At Nederland, located west of Boulder and a few miles from the Eldora Ski Resort, an attempt is being made to nail two birds with one stone. The forest there is ripe for fire, so the U.S. Forest Service allowed a contract to have the forest thinned.

But what to do with all the wood?

Denver’s Rocky Mountain News reports that a small portion of the thinned forest is fed into a chip-fired, steam-powered microturbine. When fully operational, the burner is expected to consume a ton of wood chips daily and generate 30 kilowatts of electricity. Meanwhile, steam from the boiler heats the 30,000-square-foot community center. Electricity and gas bills for the community center and adjacent buildings have been running around $50,000 annually.

Still, it’s just an experiment. The Environmental Protection Agency wants to assess the emissions produced by the burner to see if air quality is substantially impaired by carbon monoxide, particulates and nitrogen oxides, among other pollutants.

“It looks to be burning clean, but we won’t know how clean until we run all the tests,” said a project manager for the testing company.

Drought revealed by level of Lake Tahoe

LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Lake Tahoe fell below its natural rim in the days before Thanksgiving, the most extended period for such a low level since 1995. This reflects a drought that continues, despite a wet summer and early snowstorms, reports the Tahoe Daily Tribune. However, the lake is still well more than two feet above its lowest recorded level, which occurred in November 1992.

Park City warns Whistler of Olympic expectations

WHISTLER, B.C. – Although it’s still six years away, Whistler is preoccupied with hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics. But Park City, which has been in Whistler’s situation, is warning the town against expecting too much.

Bill Malone, manager of Park City’s chamber and resort associations, reported that landlords who evicted tenants in hopes of quick profits got burnt. He tells of one property management firm that wanted $130,000 in rent for a large home, spurned an offer for $65,000, then got neither – the property sat empty.

Business fell about 8 percent in Park City during the Olympics, but Park City has been much stronger than other resorts in destination tourism in the two years since the Olympics.

Film chronicles small ski area from 1930s

BUTTE, Mont. – In the 1930s, about the time Sun Valley was getting under way as the first destination ski resort in the West, the West was populated by dozens of small ski areas, among them a place at Butte called the Beef Trail.

Although the miners and other residents there had little money, they built ski runs, jumps and rope tows; they even erected lights for night skiing. That ski area, now long gone, is the topic of a documentary film recently broadcast in Montana.

“The Beef Trail was a physical place all right, but it was really a spiritual place for people to get together,” filmmaker Terry Lonner told the Bozeman Chronicle. “They built quite a little hill. And it was a little hill, but it had a big heart.”


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