PARK CITY, Utah - With two major hotels coming on line at Deer Valley, the swank resort in Park City, travel consultant Ralf Garrison wonders whether Park City isn't overbuilt. Last year, Park City rates were down 20 per cent, while the industry average was 15 per cent, notes the Park Record .
More broadly, Garrison warns against lowering prices of lodging to compensate for reduced demand. In a recent speech before the Park City Area Lodging Association, Garrison also speculated that resorts have been hurting themselves by shifting their marketing to regional audiences, instead of sticking with their traditional customers in more distant locations.
"We discouraged brand loyalty inadvertently, and encouraged price loyalty last year," he said.
No word what Intrawest will do
COPPER MOUNTAIN, Colo. - What will Intrawest do when its big loan comes due in October? Gary Rodgers, chief executive of Copper Mountain, one of the company's resorts, spilled no secrets, but he did say that Intrawest has financing options that were unavailable eight months ago. But he stayed mum about any possible suitors, reports the Summit Daily News .
Rodgers also reported that Copper Mountain met its energy saving goals by cutting electricity use eight per cent, natural gas use by nine per cent and diesel fuel by seven per cent. Rodgers, reports the News, also said Copper may cut its contracts for renewable energy credits, the so-called green tags that allow ski areas to boast that they're 100 per cent wind powered. "We're struggling with whether they are worth it," Rodgers said. Instead, he said, Copper Mountain will invest resources in local projects, such as retrofitting lighting.
'Green' house with chopper pad?
ASPEN, Colo. - Dean Moffatt, an architect, has been working in developing low-impact housing since the 1960s, but often got pushback from clients. Finally, about six years ago, he found an opportunity to execute all his ideas.
He secured a plot of land on what Aspenites call the "backside" of Aspen Mountain. The house of 3,700 square feet has a geoexchange system for winter warming and summer cooling, and photovoltaic panels connected to batteries that can store electricity for up to five days of use.
The design provides passive-solar heating, and structural-insulated panels, called SIPs, which minimize heat loss.
The Aspen Times notes that a real estate brochure states that the lot "can easily accommodate a helicopter landing site."
"Is there a certain level of hypocrisy in this?" Moffat asks. Of course there is, he answers. But any development has some level of hypocrisy, he says. Some type of development would have been done on the old mining claim, he maintains. He believes the house he built was best for the site, located 5.5 miles from Aspen and 2,000 feet above it.