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Mountain News: Park City boosting marketing to bikers

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The ski company also allowed the trademark for other branding expressions to lapse, among them: "The Mountain Town" and "Just Plain Fun."

Guess it just wasn't fun enough.

Wariness about water

ASPEN, Colo. — As mountain towns in Colorado move into summer, they continue to consider what lies ahead as the result of the incredibly low snowpack this year. By some measures, the drought is far worse than the epic summer of 2002.

In 2002, says The Aspen Times, the Roaring Fork River was reduced to a "series of puddles connected by a trickle of water" as it flows through Aspen. As a result, new legislation was adopted in Colorado that allows water-rights owners to donate their water to the river without fear of losing legal entitlements.

Administrators of the White River National Forest, which includes the Aspen, Vail and Breckenridge ski areas, warn of heightened risk from wildfires. "Everything's lining up for a fire season that could be pretty severe," forest supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams told local officials in Aspen last week.

Soil moisture in Aspen is at five to 10 per cent, whereas average is at 60 to 70 per cent, he said. Drought conditions are predicted for western Colorado through July.

At issue, too, is whether water agencies should ration supplies. Eric Kuhn, general manager of the Colorado River Water Conservation District, was quoted recently as saying that agencies should be more aggressive in restricting outdoor water use.

In the Vail area, the water district is urging conservation but is not taking additional measures. "Every customer can lessen the impact of the drought to our community by carefully considering their outdoor water needs," said Linn Brooks, general manager of the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District.

Steamboat paying max for airline guarantees

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. — Managers of Steamboat's ski season flight program expect to spend $3.5 million this year to meet revenue guarantees to airlines that brought direct flights to the resort last winter.

The amount is a record, reports the Steamboat Today, and just short of the maximum allowed in contract with the airlines.

Poor snow across much of the country was blamed for fewer people flying to Steamboat for vacations. As a result, the number of airline passengers dropped 5 per cent.

Airline officials estimate they typically have to spend $30 to subsidize each passenger, says the newspaper. But each passenger spends $1,100 during a winter vacation.

Next winter, because of the dropping numbers last winter and continued high fuel prices, Steamboat officials expect the airlines to require even higher revenue guarantees.

Solar to cut natural gas use at rec centre

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