Ski-town news roundup: Crested Butte owners considering a ‘reasonable offer’ to sell |

Ski-town news roundup: Crested Butte owners considering a ‘reasonable offer’ to sell

Compiled by Lauren Glendenning

While no sales contract has yet been signed, Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) management executives are in serious talks with a potential buyer. The signing of a formal sales contract is possible before the end of the month, but as with any business dealing, nothing is done until it is done.

The Mueller family, through Triple Peaks LLC, controls the CBMR ski area operation management contract, along with significant property in and around the resort. The holdings include the Cimarron property at the base of the ski area and the North Village property at the base of Snodgrass.

The Muellers were approached about a possible sale of their Crested Butte real estate holdings earlier this year. That has morphed into a possible deal for the operations aspect of CBMR as well. Letters of intent and non-disclosure agreements were signed this fall.

CBMR vice president and general manager Ethan Mueller said he could acknowledge talks are going on but was not at liberty to say who has made the offer. CBMR employees were alerted about the potential sale late last week. Representatives of the potential buyer have been in town since last week to conduct due diligence and inspect the property.

“The resort has not been and is not actively for sale. At this point, this is only exploratory,” Mueller emphasized. “Please know that myself and our family are committed to making this a successful year for CBMR. The circumstance is like owning a house and everything is going along smoothly and then someone comes to the door and makes an offer on the house. That’s the situation we were in. We were not looking to sell but we were approached with what we considered to be a reasonable offer.”

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Jackson Hole hires DestiMetrics

Five Jackson Hole tourism groups hope a new data analysis company will help them plan further out for their busy seasons.

The Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce currently collects and releases economic indicator data including advance reservations at hotels for the coming week.

A new contractor, Denver-based DestiMetrics, will collect a wider range of data and will be able to use it to predict visitor behavior as much as six months ahead of time, said company director Ralf Garrison.

“We provide statistically valid information for the next 180 days,” Garrison said. “We can help people get really ahead of the curve.”

JH Air, the Chamber, Travel and Tourism Joint Powers Board, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and Jackson Hole Central Reservations are sharing the cost of hiring DestiMetrics.

The company bills itself as “a leading supplier of lodging metrics and market intelligence for the mountain travel industry,” and features a client list that boasts several Jackson Hole competitors, including Aspen, Colo., and Park City, Utah.

The DestiMetrics team started collecting “baseline” data in September and will be ready to start releasing information this winter, Garrison said.

Garrison and colleague Tom Foley visited Jackson on Wednesday to introduce future participants to the potential uses for the data and get them used to the system in a series of meetings hosted by the Chamber.

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Chamonix lift installation delayed

The Chamonix lift company announced that both the Flegere cable car cabins will be replaced as part of a long term investment plan for the Chamonix ski area.

The new $677,000 cabins will be largely glazed giving a better view on the way up the mountain and boast important modern lift specifications.

The replacement of the cabins is experiencing delays and the scheduled opening of Dec. 14 will no longer happen. This means that although the Flegere ski area will be open, access will be via the Brevent gondola and liaison. The Flegere cable car is now expected to open Dec. 21, in time for the busy Christmas week in Chamonix.

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Shopping local in Steamboat

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — If you see people walking the streets of Steamboat this week wearing white buttons emblazoned with “I Shop Steamboat,” they’ve taken a pledge to do all or some of their holiday shopping in Steamboat Springs.

The push for local shopping this holiday season is a partnership among the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association, Mainstreet Steamboat Springs, Steamboat Mountain Village Partnership and the Steamboat Pilot & Today.

It’s also part of a two-phase approach toward building awareness of how important local spending is to businesses in Routt County.

The Chamber’s board of directors made a local shopping campaign an objective for 2014, Chamber CEO Tom Kern said. The direction was to revive and redesign a campaign that would stress to full-time and part-time residents why it’s important to buy locally.

The Chamber has decided to break that into two parts: holiday and year-round programs.

Pilot & Today Local Sales Manager Laura Tamucci said she decided to do all of her holiday shopping in Steamboat and found others wanted to do the same as she talked about the idea.

The I Shop Steamboat online pledge and coordinated campaign came out of that.

“I thought if we could get a large number of people to commit to shop locally, that would make a big impact for our businesses,” Tamucci wrote in an email. “We made the campaign fun with holiday-themed pictures of our celebrity shoppers because holiday shopping should ultimately be a fun experience.”

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Commuting is big in Jackson Hole

One of every four people who works in Teton County lives somewhere else.

Ten percent commute from nearby Teton County, Idaho. And 8 percent drive from Lincoln County, just to the south. Others come hundreds of miles to get to their jobs in Jackson Hole.

A report released Thursday by the Wyoming state economist said the percentage of Teton County workers that commutes to work is greater than that in any other county in Wyoming, excepting only Sublette County. The study was based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

The numbers represent an increase in the county’s commuter workforce since 2000, when 80 percent of Teton County workers lived within its borders. Of Wyoming counties, only Sublette imports a greater percentage of its workforce.

When large numbers of workers commute from outside the county it “is an indicator that the unemployment rate is lower and the economy is stronger” in the county where commuters are headed, said Wyoming Principal Economist Wenlin Liu.

Commuter numbers reflect not only the condition of the economy here, Liu said, but to a lesser degree the state of Teton County’s housing stock.

While some commuters prefer to live in other counties or states, many of Teton County’s commuters are likely to work here but live elsewhere because distant housing is what they can afford, he said.

“For these workers, it’s not easy to commute, particularly in the winter,” Liu said. “When you spend hours commuting, that’s pretty hard.

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