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Mountain News: Brittle and artificial, like Whistler?



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But walking that talk isn’t particularly easy. For example, the city council recently held an all-day retreat in one of the buildings promoted as among the Roaring Fork Valley’s most environmentally friendly. The food service, however, was not.

For example, says The Aspen Times, there were disposal paper cups from Starbucks, bottled water imported from the South Pacific, and bottled fruit juices imported from Massachusetts.

“If we are going to be environmental stewards, we are going to have to think a little deeper,” said Councilman J.E. DeVilbiss. “The irony is that as environmental stewards, we are renting a space that serves Fiji water bottles, and I don’t think that’s appropriate,” said City Councilman Jack Johnson. “You’ve got to start walking the talk, and it has to be part of our overall psyche,” said Councilman Dwayne Romer.

One possible rule: all food must come from within 500 miles for city functions. That will certainly quash the shrimp bowl.


LEED neighbourhood in works

SNOWMASS VILLAGE, Colo. – Comes yet another announcement of plans for LEED-certified development at a ski area, this time at the base of the Snowmass ski area. The development had been launched by the Aspen Skiing Co. and Intrawest, and from the get-go the real estate had been relatively “green,” with energy efficiency standards far more stringent than required by the local building code.

Related/WestPac bought them out, and now has $2 billion in real-estate development underway or planned at Snowmass. The company plans to incorporate the LEED certification program for neighbourhoods. Vail Resorts is also planning to do the same thing at a project in Vail called Ever Vail. The certification program for LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, seeks to minimize environmental impacts.

Scheduled to attend ground-breaking ceremonies in Snowmass this week was George Pataki, a former governor of New York, He now operates a consulting company that concentrates on climate change, energy and the environment.


Assessed valuation tops $1 billion

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. – The assessed valuation of Teton County, which is where Jackson Hole is located, has now topped $1 billion. This is nearly triple the value of 10 years ago. New construction is part of the story, officials tell the Jackson Hole News & Guide, but so are increasing values.

By way of Colorado comparisons, Eagle County (Vail) last year had an assessed valuation of $2.4 billion, followed by Pitkin (Aspen) $1.9 billion, and Summit (Breckenridge) $1.27 billion.