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Mountain biking drops in popularity

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While Wi-Fi is becoming common in ski towns and other locations, Vail Mayor Rod Slifer says that this new service will establish a new benchmark for service at a ski resort. "This is the kind of innovation that continues to differentiate Vail from other resort destinations," he boasted.

Sheriff ups the ante

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. — In Jackson Hole, it’s official public policy that violent ramming of cars is good, clean family fun, but naked bodies are not.

The ramming of cars occurs at the Demolition Derby, the concluding event in the Teton County Fair that is held in early August. In recent years anywhere from one to 10 people have chosen the occasion to doff their clothes and "streak" in front of the alcohol-fueled crowd of 3,000.

Last year, a sheriff’s deputy used a Taser to fell a streaking man who was carrying a fire extinguisher. The act had Jackson Hole in an uproar for a month as to whether the use of the electrical device was warranted.

But the sheriff’s department isn’t backing down, reports the Jackson Hole News & Guide. Instead, it’s upping the ante. This year, say the authorities, displays of nudity will result in misdemeanor charges of child endangerment. That stiffens the potential punishment to a fine of up to $1,000 and one year in jail.

The sheriff, Bob Zimmer, said several families have told him they don’t go to the Demolition Derby anymore because it’s so rowdy and because of the streaking. "Their kids can’t enjoy one of the main attractions at the county fair," he complained.

New jets likely to be a big hit

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. — A new type of plane, called a VLJ, which stands for very light jet, is expected to be a hit among the sorts of people who live in affluent mountain towns.

The Steamboat Pilot & Today explains that the VLJs will have four to seven seats, about the size of a large sports utility vehicle. The cost is $1 million to $4 million. More important, operating and maintenance costs are expected to be low.

This means that a company could charter one of these planes for the same cost as a full-fare commercial ticket. The planes, says the Pilot, will be purchased mainly as corporate "limos."

The planes will have speeds of 400 mph, and at altitudes of up to 35,000 feet. They have ranges of 1,600 nautical miles. Important, at least from the perspective of Steamboat, is that the planes can land on short runways. Steamboat has an airport on the town’s edge too small for conventional, wide-bodied jets.