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VR planning to diversify collaterals

ALLEN BESTspecial to the daily

VAIL – Vail Resorts plans to put some color on its websites, advertisements and other collateral material. To that end, photographers have been taking photographs of African-Americans, Hispanics and other racial minorities on the ski slopes.This is part of a greater drive toward inclusivity being pushed by Roberto Moreno, a Denver-based former ski instructor and ski patroller. Moreno argues that ski areas have perhaps unwittingly turned a cold shoulder on racial minorities, failing to extend a welcoming hand. One way of extending that hand, he says, is to have people of color in front-line positions, such as in ski schools and at ticket windows. But he also argues that ski areas need to make racial minorities feel welcome by showing them on websites.Bill Jensen, the chief operating officer for Vail Mountain, has been supportive of Moreno’s work, and this year gave 2,000 lift ticket/lesson/and rental packages to Moreno’s organization, Alpino. Copper Mountain, Eldora and other ski areas in Colorado have given another 2,000 similar packages, and next year Moreno expects Steamboat Springs to participate.

GRAND LAKE – A group of business owners in Grand Lake who believe they are being victimized by thieves getting money to support drug habits have begun a campaign to raise money for anti-drug police work.”I bet you I lost $50,000 out of my pocket last year on drug theft,” one restaurant owner told the Sky-Hi News. He did not say how he lost the money, except in “hits,” but he’s sure of what motivated the thieves: drugs, particularly methamphetamines.Grand County Sheriff Rod Johnson doesn’t think his jurisdiction, which includes Grand Lake, has an abnormal use of drugs, but does note that an increase in domestic assaults of late has been tied directly to use of methamphetamines. He welcomes more money for undercover work and for training of deputies who patrol the roads.

CRESTED BUTTE – Apache helicopters were flapping around Crested Butte and Gunnison recently. Boeing, the manufacturer, wanted to test the noisy birds in cold weather, and the Gunnison Basin may well have the franchise on that in Colorado. Some 200 Apache helicopters have been used in Iraq, reports the Crested Butte News. Boeing also tested a military plane out of the Gunnison-Crested Butte Airport last summer.Maybe too little water for new Intrawest villageWINTER PARK – It’s nip-and-tuck whether there is enough water for the $70 million first phase of real estate construction that Intrawest plans at the base of the Winter Park Resort. While there would be enough water most of the time, drought years and peak-use months of March and July are another matter.

Intrawest altogether plans 1,200 to 1,500 units in coming years, but this first phase is expected to include only 160 condominiums and 42,000 square feet of commercial. But is there enough water for even this? Water district and Intrawest officials think yes, but the buck stops at town hall, and the Winter Park Manifest reports that officials there are dubious.Who’s to know for sure? That’s partly what a $60,000 study aims to find out, with Intrawest picking up most of the tab. Longer range, the community is also looking at various have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too schemes. One involves a reservoir to trap spring runoff, but three other ideas now being explored involve pumping water back from below sewage treatment plants, to ensure water remains in the Fraser River as it flows through the town. Even at 9,000 feet, water gets recycled.Winter Park entering the affordable housing eraWINTER PARK – Work is expected to begin next fall on 10 more homes in what is expected to be 45 affordable-level, single-family homes in Winter Park. The town owns the seven acres, which were purchased for $1.3 million. The mostly two-bedroom, two-car garage homes are expected to sell for $217,000 to $245,000 to full-time workers in the Fraser Valley. This is part of the first flush of affordable housing there.


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