Compiled by Allen Best
CANMORE, Alberta Canmore has been getting big second-home money for awhile now, but it is just now getting its first gated community.
Except that the developer hastens to add that its not a gated community. Just a gate.
"Nineteen homes do not a community make," explained Greg Varricchio, executive vice-president of land development for Three Sisters Mountain Village. At least one of those 19 lots has sold for more than $1 million. In an interview with the Rocky Mountain Outlook, Varricchio cautioned that this enclave is "at the narrow end of the bell curve" of housing types at Three Sisters. "Youre not likely to see another development like this on Three Sisters property."
It appears that the town cannot prevent the gate, as its on private property. Similar requests have been made before, but town officials have tried to discourage them. The town may see what it can do to pass a bylaw, but its not clear that anything can be done. The towns primary leverage seems to be access for emergency services.
Still, the idea goes down hard, if public pronouncements by municipal officials are a guide. "Thats not what this town is about," said the municipal planning director, Robert Ellis. "Its not about creating private enclaves." Said Mayor Glen Craig, "I hope we never develop that kind of community "
The Rocky Mountain Outlook saw the gates as very real evidence of the growing chasm between the wealthy and the not-wealthy. "Canmore has been heading down this road for a long, long time," said the newspaper. "Weve seen it coming like the headlamp of a train on a darkened track."
The newspaper did not cite any particular impacts of gates, but did dwell at length on the "imagery that disturbs us."
Houston-Vail flights in works
EAGLE, Colo. Last year promoters from Vail and the Eagle Valley initiated daily direct flights to Dallas.
The flights were a $475,000 risk, a third of the money put up by the county government. In the end, the hotels, developers, and government paid a collective $20,000. About half the people flying were second-home owners.
This year, those fights will continue, reports the Vail Daily, but various businesses and governments are pulling together $250,000 to guarantee flights from Houston, another primary source for tourist and second-home owners in the Eagle Valley.
Wal-Mart helps downtown businesses
DURANGO, Colo. In Durango, as at other resort regions across the West, theres great concern that the old mining-era downtown is losing its business and its vitality to the suburbs.