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Stars aligning for record winter in Colorado

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Elite Traveler, which claims to cater to people with a net worth of $10 million or more, says a survey of 511 such individuals shows that they will be spending more money this year than last.

The magazine, reports The Aspen Times, predicts the super rich will spend an average $54,600 during the holidays on hotel and resort visits, up 32 per cent, while villa and ski house rentals are expected to climb 27 per cent. And so it goes for everything: alcohol, gifts, and bling-bling (jewelry).

As well, they are expected to increase their charitable contributions, but only by 5 per cent. After all, they’ve been giving heavily to hurricane relief efforts, says the magazine.

Still too warm to freeze beetles

VAIL, Colo. — The only sure way to stop the spread of bark beetles in the forests of Colorado is deep and extended cold. While the cold of early December was certainly the most extreme so far this century, with temperatures dropping to 30 below or less, it might not have been cold enough to kill the beetles.

U.S. Forest Service etymologist Bob Cain told the Vail Daily he thought it was cold enough to kill some beetles, but he wasn’t sure how many. Because the bark insulates the beetles from the cold, temperatures need to be more than 25 below, some studies have shown, he said.

Vail had a mere 15 below zero, although other mountain towns in Colorado shivered through temperatures of 30 below and less – just like the good old days.

Thompson chums writing book

ASPEN, Colo. — Two chums of the late journalist Hunter S. Thompson plans to issue a book of their own containing their reminisces. The two chums, Pitkin County Sheriff Bob Braudis and local artist Michael Cleverly, spent a great deal of time in Thompson’s kitchen, where he met guests.

They had joked about the book over the years, Cleverly told The Aspen Times, but after Thompson committed suicide in February, the two cranked out several sample chapters. They got 19 rejections, but the 20 th publisher, Harper Entertainment/William Morrow, has forwarded what Cleverly called a "niggardly" advance.

"It’s about friendship, as far as I’m concerned," Cleverly said of the book’s premise.

Brokeback premiers in Jackson

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. — The film Brokeback Mountain opened in movie theaters in New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco last weekend – but it was also shown in Jackson Hole.

The Jackson Hole Institute had worked for a year to get an advance screening. The director, Ang Lee, was expected for the premiere, as was one of the lead actors, Heath Ledger. Both are being prominently mentioned as Academy Award candidates.