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Tourist homes are already taxed at a commercial rate, notes the Rocky Mountain Outlook. Their inclusion in the proposed bylaw is a housekeeping amendment.

Swank Four Seasons hotel opens in Jackson Hole

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. — Four Seasons has opened its first mountain resort, a 124-room hotel with a workforce of 350. Those who attended the grand-opening bash everywhere along the way saw walls hanging with the likes of Miro, Alberto Giacometti, and Grant Wood, reported the Jackson Hole News & Guide. The hotel, said the newspaper, "adds another level of class to the valley." Four Seasons also plans hotels in Vail and Whistler.

Office Depot latest of franchises in Vail Valley

AVON, Colo. — Office Depot, the national office-supply chain, is the latest among national franchises to open up shop in the Valley Valley. The Vail Daily reports that the store has signed a lease to move into space next to Gart Sports and Pier One stores.

The Vail Valley and Summit County, both bisected by Interstate 70, seem to be in a race as to which one will become exurbanized, suburbanized and urbanized first. Although sliced by another highway, Interstate 80, and adjacent to a different metropolitan area, Summit County, Utah, seems to be in the same race.

Keep Wal-Mart out, says publisher of newspapers

GRANBY, Colo. — Although certainly on the rise, the Winter Park-Granby-Grand Lake resort area does not appear to have the demographics to support a Wal-Mart.

Good, says Patrick Brower, publisher of the Sky-Hi News and Winter Park Manifest. All the better to create the legal mechanisms, such as design guidelines that prohibit big-box buildings, to keep this particular big box out.

Consumers do gain with Wal-Mart’s lower prices, concedes Brower. And so would the town treasury. But when Wal-Mart moves into a town, it typically displaces five local businesses within the first year. Also, Wal-Mart employees are typically offered wages below those prevailing in an area. Finally, he says, Wal-Mart would kill the existing downtown.

Or maybe not. The downtown area isn’t particularly thriving as is – most people drive to Denver, about 75 miles away, to shop at big-box stores, as one reader pointed out.

Four ski areas respond to market differently

DURANGO, Colo. — The market for destination skiing is flat, as everybody except for Rip van Winkle knows, and has been flat for a decade or two. But four ski areas in Southwestern Colorado, all of them largely dependent upon destination skiers, are responding in very different ways that mirror changes across the West.