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Mountain News:

Vail conference centre going to voters again



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The distinctions are blurring. Aspen now has four lanes of freeway to the town’s edge, while Eagle County is talking about an Aspen-style move, a moratorium on upzonings.

And now, Aspen is getting a clientele somewhat more like that of Vail, reports The New York Times. "The face of Aspen’s wealth is changing," reports the newspaper. "The party scene of the 1980s and ‘90s has faded as a new kind of buyer has taken over in the second-home market."

The newspaper quotes one real estate agent who reports most buyers now are Wall Street types from New York, California, Texas, and Florida, younger Baby Boomers, from their mid-40s to mid-50s. "These buyers prefer a long day on a mountain bike to a long night of partying, and they see Aspen as a family paradise."

Banff’s boa mystery solved

BANFF, Alberta — For several days people in Banff were wondering just how long a big boa constrictor could survive in the early autumn of the Canadian Rockies. A snake skin had been found on a vacant lot, and authorities surmised a pet boa had gotten loose.

In fact, no mice were in danger, let alone the public. Indeed, somebody’s pet boa had shed its skin, and the colorful artifact had been gleefully claimed by a tattoo artist, who thought he might make use of it. But, returning home from a pub a bit on the wobbly side, he inadvertently left it in the lot and hence the public mystery.

Realtors can’t afford Aspen

ASPEN, Colo. — Real estate is getting so expensive in Aspen that even the Aspen Board of Realtors is leaving Aspen. In moving down valley 18 miles to Basalt, directors figure to live what they preach and buy property, instead of leasing space, reports the Aspen Times.

However, this puts the Aspen Board of Realtors into Eagle County, which is where Vail is located. Despite this indelicacy, the group intends to keep its original name.

A battle lost

KETCHUM, Idaho — In many ski towns of the West, there has been a quiet war going on for the last 10 to 20 years. The war is between real estate development and tourism.

That battle is suggested in Ketchum where a local grocery store, Williams Market, is closing. The owner, Chris Williams, said the decision was premised in the changing demographics of the Ketchum area. Like many ski towns, Ketchum has fewer shops catering to tourists and more shops and businesses catering to locals.