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Direct flights not just for tourists

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The development also yielded handsome revenues for the town government, $1.5 million in building permit fees altogether.

This year is likely to be another big year, as three major projects are expected to begin construction: 1) The Ritz-Carlton Residences, 2) Four Seasons, and 3) Vail Resorts’ "Front Door" project. Also, zoning approvals for the redevelopment of the Crossroads Mall and the Roost Lodge are also expected soon, reports Russell Forrest, the town’s director of community development.

Duplexes becoming popular

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. — Last year was the year of the duplex in Steamboat Springs. The Steamboat Pilot reports permits for 107 duplex units were awarded, compared with 67 units the year before.

At the same time, fewer permits for single-family homes were awarded, reflecting a growing scarcity of vacant lots within Steamboat. Instead, more free-standing homes are now being built in Oak Creek and other outlying communities.

Overall, Steamboat issued permits for $119 million in construction, well below the banner year of 1998, when several major projects, including a large hotel and a hospital, pushed the total to $169 million.

More Vail on reality television

VAIL, Colo. — For reasons not entirely clear, the Eagle Valley seems to have an affinity for reality television.

First, in 2003, there was Ryan Sutter, the football player-turned-Vail firefighter who successfully courted Trista Rehn on national TV. They are now living in Eagle.

Next, in 2004, Raj Bhakta, the managing partner of a lodge in Vail, entered Donald Trump’s boardroom, making it to episode No. 9 before being fired.

Now, reports the Vail Daily, Dr. Travis Stork could be next. Now appearing on "The Bachelor," the 33-year-old doctor is completing his residency in Nashville, but has interviewed for jobs in both Vail and in nearby Frisco.

Too much of a good thing

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. — The snow has been so wonderful in some ski towns of the West this winter that it’s becoming a problem.

In Steamboat, for example, city officials plan in terms of "snow events." They figure 25 such "events" a year, but thus year they have had 26. What this means is that they’re out of places to dump the snow.

As of mid-January, 22 feet of snow had fallen this winter in Steamboat. The snowpack is about 135 per cent of average.

City officials were considering hauling the excess snow some miles to an airport, where ample land is available, although the cost of hauling it would mount rapidly.