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Mountain News: Ski towns and valleys step up energy changes

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Intrawest says n'yet to gondola in Steamboat

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. - Intrawest, owner and operator of the Steamboat ski area, has declined to fund a share of the $7 million high-speed people-mover gondola that had been planned. The base-area developer, Resort Ventures West, instead plans to build a slower-pulse gondola, which has a cost of $3 million.

"We're just a victim of the current economic climate," Chris Diamond, president of the ski area, told the Steamboat Pilot & Today.

The base-area project, Wildhorse Meadows, is located a mile or two from the more traditional ski area base. The high-speed gondola had been expected to eliminate the necessity for skiers to take shuttle buses. The slower gondola will have insufficient capacity to replace the shuttle buses.

It's possible that the slower gondola will be replaced at some time by a higher-speed version, development representatives told the newspaper.

Seven-legged calf not long of the world

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. - A seven-legged calf was delivered by Caesarean section at a veterinary clinic in Steamboat Springs. It calf had two spines but just one head. IT lived for just 10 minutes, although the cow did just fine.

"I've been in practice for 14 years, and I've only seen one other calf with a fifth leg," veterinarian Lee Meyring told The Steamboat Pilot & Today. "It's just a twinning process that had an incomplete splitting of the embryo, then the fetus. "

Few Whistler rooms left for the Olympics

WHISTLER, B.C. -Already, 85 percent of rooms in Whistler have been booked for the 16 days of the Winter Olympics next February.

Whistler's Pique Newsmagazine reports that Whistler.com, one of the resort's primary booking portals, limited how much lodging partners could mark-up their rooms during the event. A survey had shown that tourists would pay a 30 to 50 percent premium for the Olympics, but not more.

Still to be secured, says Pique, are rooms for essential workers needed to stage the Olympics. The newspaper notes speculation that the workers would be housed on cruise ships in Squamish, a port city located about 45 minutes down-valley from Whistler.

Revelstoke notes 52 per cent gain in second season

REVELSTOKE, B.C. - In its second season, Revelstoke Mountain Resort reported a 52 percent increase in skier visits. A resort spokeswoman said no absolute numbers were being released, however.

The resort looked to be on a slippery financial slope last year after majority owner Don Simpson, a Denver-based developer, found the cost of starting up a new ski area to be a larger undertaking than expected. As well, the resort real estate market had started to decline.

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