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Mountain News: Banff is pricey, but second to Whistler

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BANFF, Alberta — In examining the housing needs for the next 10 years in Banff, consulting firm Housing Strategies has found that Banff is indeed an expensive place to rent a one-bedroom apartment. The cost last year ran $1,051 on average, higher than Jasper's $1,003 or Canmore's $934. But Whistler trumps them all at $1,168.

Of course, that's a small cost if you make lots of money. But the fastest-growing employment sectors are — hold your breath here — in the service arena. The average wages for jobs in food and beverages, housecleaning and those sorts of things average from $10.80 to $13.87 an hour.

Some brewers have it, others don't

CANMORE, Alberta — Grizzly Paw Brewing Co. opened its doors in Canmore in 1996 with such sudsy brews as Grump Bear, a honey wheat, and Rutting Elk Red. Since then it has expanded several times, and now is moving into bigger quarters yet, somewhat larger than what is commonly thought of as a microbrewery, says the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

Niall Fraser, the founder, says microbrews hit the spot with 10 per cent of Canadians and 19 per cent of all beer sold in the United States. "The world is different now than when there were just a few big breweries," he says.

But brewing is still brewing, an art as much as a science. "It's kind of like chefs," he tells the Outlook. "There are a lot of chefs out there, but only a few real chefs. There's an art to it and you have to learn it."

Idaho microbrewer's big-name help

McCALL, Idaho — Salmon River Brewery, which is located in the Idaho mountain town of McCall, is on a roll. It is more than tripling its brewing, to 3,500 kegs a year, and hopes to expand more into Boise and also to Ketchum and Twin Falls.

The reason for this success, reports the Idaho Statesman, is the investment of a fellow named Adolphus Busch IV, of the famous St. Louis family that brought us Budweiser and other suds. Busch came across one of Salmon's products, Udaho Gold, at lunch one day. "It caught my attention," he told the Statesman. "I had it a few more times and pretty much thought it was the best beer I'd had in a long, long time."

So he went to the brewery on one of his rafting trips to Idaho and decided to introduce himself. He now owns 49 per cent of the brewery, providing money necessary for the expansion.

Silver mining to resume by summer

OURAY, Colo. — The long-predicted return of hard-rock mining appears to be moving forward in Colorado. The Telluride Watch reports that 76 people have been at work just a few miles away, as the crow flies, in Yankee Boy Basin, above the town of Ouray. There efforts are underway to reopen the Revenue-Virginius Mine.

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