TELLURIDE, Colo. Its one of those many paradoxes that can be found in ski towns. Ski towns commonly pride themselves on being very caring of the environment. The word "sustainable" is used at every turn.
But the very premise of destination resorts is to extravagantly use resources, with arguably huge environmental consequences. If most climate-change scientists are correct, we are horribly risking the future well being of people because of all the greenhouse gases we have been emitting into the air.
Art Goodtimes, a commissioner in San Miguel County, writes of this in The Telluride Watch, noting the cost of air travel. In traveling round-trip between Chicago and Telluride by air, a person causes the same amount of carbon to enter the atmosphere as that same person would during two months of driving.
Already, aviation is the single greatest contributor to greenhouse gases, and growing steadily.
Quoting a British magazine, Resurgence, he says, "Unless significant improvements are made to reduce aviations ecological footprint the responsible tourism movement will continue to be a worthy yet optimistic patter amid the deafening roar of an increasingly polluting industry, the consequences of which for climate change are becoming all too apparent."
To calculate the greenhouse impacts of your travel you can go to the Website www. responsibletravel.com.
Aspen looks to Denver
ASPEN, Colo. Its a three-and-a-half hour drive from Denver to Aspen, with turnoffs for 12 ski areas along the way. Still, Aspen sees some Front Range skiers and hopes to see more.
Last year the Aspen Skiing co. introduced a seven-day Classic Pass, at a cost of $179. The pass was intended as a counter to the Colorado Passport, which allows unlimited access to three ski resorts in Summit County plus 10 days at Vail, Beaver Creek, or both. This year, the price has gone up to $219.
"Our Classic Pass was very successful in the Front Range, as well as the (Roaring Fork) valley," David Perry, senior vice president of marketing, told The Aspen Times. He would not divulge how successful the pass has been, but the Times said he clearly feels there are more customers to tap from the Front Range.
However, he did say that the average purchaser of one of the Vail Resorts passes uses it nine times; he did not give comparable figures for those purchasing Aspens pass.
The price of powder
ASPEN, Colo. Mirror, mirror on the ski town wall, who has the priciest season pass of all? It all depends upon how early in the season you buy the pass of course, but it would appear that Sun Valley or perhaps Vail is at the top.