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Mountain News: Aspen sheriff known as ‘Dick The Dove’ dies

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Sun Valleys’ first black ski instructor tells story

SUN VALLEY, Idaho — Ed King is finishing up his fifth year as a ski instructor in Sun Valley. He is the first black in the 70-year history of the Sun Valley ski school.

But in the 1960s he wasn’t exactly welcomed. Reared in Seattle, he comes from a family of blacks with a string of "firsts" among black people in Washington state. He took his first ski lessons at Stevens Pass when he was 11, and he was immediately hooked.

In 1968, he became a certified ski instructor and went to Sun Valley. Although welcomed by some, he seems never to have been asked to teach. Returning in 1970, the story was the same.

But after he returned again during the 1990s, Sun Valley was ready for him to join the ski school. "It is where I belong," he says.

Utah expecting new record

PARK CITY, Utah — Utah’s 13 ski resorts may top their three-year-old record of 3.3 million skiers.

Kip Pitou, president of Ski Utah, projects 3.4 million skier visits. This compares with about 11 million skiers visits in Colorado, where resort officials reported only a top-three finish as of late February, before a surge of warm weather. Pitou credited good snow – and the absence of either the Olympics or a poor economy, which bogged numbers the last two years.

Daily flights produce visitors

KETCHUM, Idaho — Daily flights from Los Angeles and Oakland to the Wood River Valley ended in March, but the program was successful enough in recruiting new visitors that local boosters will seek a new contract, reports the Idaho Mountain Express.

The Sun Valley Co. had agreed to pay for any revenue shortfalls incurred by the carrier, Horizon, and the company’s director of marketing and public relations, Jack Sibbach, said Sun Valley would be writing a cheque.

Such revenue guarantees are the rule, not the exception, for direct flight programs at resort airports.

Real estate agents swap notes

PARK CITY, Utah — The Rocky Mountain Resort Alliance recently met in Park City. The group was formed in 1996, after real-estate agents from ski towns of the West observed that they had more in common with one another than they usually did with their state and regional organizations.

The focus, Park City real estate agent Dennis Hanlon explained to the Park Record, allows the organization to provide more relevant information. For example, Sun Valley agent Jed Gray reported a near record year in sales in 2003. Strongest was the $500,000 and under segment, a common theme in the resort towns (and also elsewhere).