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Mountain News: Telluride expecting big drop in revenues



TELLURIDE, Colo. – Telluride’s real estate economy is seriously in the tank. The town during November collected $18,000 in real-estate transfer taxes. That compares with an average $387,000 for the five previous Novembers, a 95 per cent decline.

Although sales tax collections haven’t dropped as severely, town manager Frank Bell is calling for reductions in spending by town employees that assume a 25 to 50 per cent drop in revenues this winter. Bookings for the winter are currently running 25 per cent below last year’s banner ski season, notes The Telluride Watch.

For employees at town hall, credit cards will be reined in, travel will require special approval, and overtime pay will be banned, except for emergencies and snow removal. Presumably, lack of overtime for snow removal would provoke an even greater emergency.


Vail aims for next gen skiers

VAIL, Colo. – From all the construction cranes in Vail, you wouldn’t know a major recession is underway. A new Four Seasons hotel is rapidly rising, as is a condominium project called Solaris. Both were conceived during sunnier economic times during the last decade, but with each one requiring a number of years to get approvals, financing, or both.

Meanwhile, Vail Resorts seems to foresee an end to this recession. For several years it has been acquiring property in parcel on the fringes of the main resort areas. There, it intends to construct a new gondola to Vail Mountain and create a major, 11-acre project called Ever Vail.

John Garnsey, co-president of the company’s mountain division, told a group in Vail recently that Ever Vail represents his company’s effort to create a real-estate product for people who are now in the 25- to 35-year-old range.

“Vail is the best ski mountain and the best ski town,” he said. “But everyone is trying to figure out how to capture the next generation. We’re going to be left at the curb if we don’t, and Ever Vail will help us do that.”

The company is investing heavily in new, green-thinking designs. Company officials in the past have said they intend to create a project able to get platinum designation, the highest of four levels of certification under the LEED program.

The Vail Daily reports that two traditional issues, affordable housing and parking, worry town officials as they inspect the company’s plans for the $1.5 billion project. The officials worry that the project won’t provide enough of either.


Economy trumps climate change