Telluride emphasizing Rugged. Refined. Real. |

Telluride emphasizing Rugged. Refined. Real.

Special to the DailyAround the Mountains

TELLURIDE – The Telluride Ski and Golf Co. has unveiled a new “brand.” This latest message to the outside world is not easily explained, but it does frequently repeat the following phrase: “Rugged. Refined. Real.”The Telluride Watch reports that this latest brand was delivered after a more methodical approach than previously used in the past when selecting the resort’s message. Ski area officials hope it helps deliver 385,000 skier days. Last year, the ski area registered 411,000 skier days, but Telluride enjoyed both locally wonderful snow conditions and national booming economic conditions, which may not necessarily be repeated this coming winter.$12 million nailed for open space along I-70 at EdwardsEDWARDS – The Vail Valley Foundation has come up with the $12 million necessary to preclude development of a 72-acre parcel at Edwards. The property, some of which was formerly used as a gravel pit operation, is the largest undeveloped portion of land along Interstate 70 in the upper Eagle Valley.Half of the money comes from the coffers of Eagle County government, with the balance from private donations secured by The Foundation, a group traditionally known for its role in landing and hosting World Cup and other ski races. A key figure in the foundation is Harry Frampton, the managing partner in East West Partners, a Beaver Creek-based developer of high-end homes from Summit County to Truckee.

The property is to be given a new name, Eagle River Preserve. A few trails, picnic grounds and perhaps a shelter will be allowed on the site, but ball fields and other such improvements will not.Some observers thought $12 million was far too much for the property, and urged the money instead be used for purchases of outlying areas. But Bobby Warner, a developer in Edwards, said in retrospect it will be viewed as the right thing to do, similar to a major open space purchase in Vail called Ford Park that was done in the late 1970s.Ski insurance taking off at Aspen and elsewhereASPEN – Ski insurance is gaining fans in Aspen and elsewhere. At Aspen and a projected 21 other ski areas this winter, customers can buy insurance on lift tickets, whether for one day or for season passes. The cost is a flat rate of 6 percent.If the pass cannot be used, whether because of medical injury on or off the slopes, the value of the remaining use of the pass is returned, as are any evacuation fees provoked by a skiing injury.Several dozen people purchased the insurance when it was first offered three years ago at Aspen, but this year 500 purchasers are expected. The average age is 52. The insurance is offered to recreation skiers 70 and younger.

More Leadville natives are expected for the time being LEADVILLE – A frequently misused word is “native.” Many people use it to mean the place where they grew up, or even the place they have lived a long time.Both are wrong. A person is native to the place where he or she was born. And, since at least 1879, when St. Vincent Hospital opened for business, there have been natives in Leadville, the old mining town located at 10,152 feet in the Colorado Rockies.But since Climax, the last big mine, closed in 1981, Leadville has been suffering through shrinkages of various kinds. The latest threat was the suspension of obstetrics at the hospitals. Without an obstetrics department, the hospital could deliver no babies and hence, the only Leadville natives would be those born in homes or in dire emergencies, like the back seat of cars speeding to hospitals. However, for the time being, hospital directors have chosen to keep the obstetrics department operating.The fear seems to be that if obstetrics disappeared from the hospital it would be hard to recruit a physician to deliver babies. Once that happens, the hospital’s services might further erode.

As is, more and more Leadville patients are going to hospitals in nearby towns, particularly along the I-70 corridor. The hospital in Vail has been delivering bumper crops of babies from Leadville for years, and now Frisco, just 25 miles to the east of Vail, is gaining a hospital, and that new hospital will be even more convenient for Leadville patients.Frisco is 1,000 feet lower in elevation than Leadville, and Vail is 2,000 feet. Given the fact that there’s a strong correlation between low-weight babies and high elevations, won’t these alternative hospitals be better for deliveries? No, not really. A new study finds that the correlation is more between lower income families and low-weight babies.Cops warn that they need real estate, tooMOUNT CRESTED BUTTE – The real estate market is going crazy in Crested Butte. Agents are making money hand over fist. Town governments are ladling in transfer taxes.And now comes the other side of that sword – the affordability of housing for key personnel, like town cops. Hank Smith, who is the police chief in Mount Crested Butte, the slopeside town located two miles from Crested Butte, the old mining town, told his town council that people making $30,000 to $45,000 per year – the pay range for cops in the two towns – cannot afford to move there. Chris Morgan, mayor of Mount Crested Butte, told Smith the town council is aware of the problem and may earmark some of the 16 units of affordable housing being built in conjunction with a new second-home project to be set aside for crucial town employees.

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