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Mountain News: Vail not interested in downhill biking

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One of the contentions of those who want to expand the existing airport, instead of building a new airport farther down valley, is that the greater distance will discourage use. But the airport would be only 35 miles from Ketchum, at the base of the Sun Valley ski area, which compares with the 36 miles between Vail and its airport, Eagle County Regional. The airport serving the Steamboat market is 25 miles away.

Mammoth gets new links

MAMMOTH LAKES, Calif. - Mammoth Lakes likely will get increased commercial air service from West Coast cities this coming winter.

Ski area officials expect to get two daily flights from Los Angeles and another one from San Jose, Calif. Horizon Airlines also has been evaluating flights from San Francisco and Seattle.

The ski area will post revenue guarantees.

CB real estate sales strong

CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. - Here and there come some glimmers that real estate sales have picked up this summer. That's the story being noted in Whistler, Vail and Crested Butte.

In July, $17 million in sales were recorded in the Crested Butte area. The year has totaled $30 million, reports the Crested Butte News .

"I wouldn't say we are back to the super-busy times of a few years ago, but after the worst six months in the last five years, we are seeing some good activity," said Channing Boucher of Benson Sotheby's International Realty.

"We were probably off 50 per cent the first part of the year, so it is good to see positive movement," he added.

As was predicted in Jackson Hole by veteran real-estate agents, the top and bottom ends of the market have done well. Of course, everything is relative. Crested Butte had its first $2 million sale. That, in Jackson Hole, is considered the middle market.

As elsewhere, condos have been moving sluggishly, because banks have been unwilling to extend credit.

Defensible space abandoned

BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. - Faced with a revolt from homeowners, the Breckenridge Town Council has abandoned its requirement that trees and other vegetation that could help spread wildfires be removed from around houses.

Opponents argued that the law infringed upon their property rights and that there was insufficient evidence that defensible space requirements will prevent forest fires from spreading, reports the Summit Daily News .

Fire department officials inspected more than 200 homes earlier this year, finding that on average 10 trees needed to be removed. Some residents, however, complained of costs running at $1,200 or more.