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Pee-yew - who let the skunk into the house?



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But Janet Kaul, who has been visiting Park City since 1974, finds nothing interesting about the Shoe Tree, which has now become a row of trees decorated with dangling sneakers, clod-hoppers and other assorted footwear.

"It looks like a trash heap," she told the city council. "I, for one, don't think old tennis shoes are a real romantic idea."

The city officials, however, refused her proposal to conduct more than the occasional thinning.

The Park Record interviewed a local resident who said the tradition started in either 1969 or 1970 when his brother, a veteran of Vietnam War, visited him in Park City - and wincing from the pain of blisters on this heels, he removed his combat boots and bathed his feet in a stream. As he did so, the local resident took the boots and pitched them into the tree - where they remained for four or five years.

"I thought the city would come and say this isn't right, you've got to take them down," he said. "I'm surprised (the Shoe Tree) is still there."


Mac & cheese as Aspen drums up special events

ASPEN, Colo. - Macaroni and cheese may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Aspen. Just the same, the very first Aspen Mac & Cheese Festival will be held this coming weekend, with up to 19 restaurants participating in this decidedly niche festival.

Keith Bulicz, a city employee charged with organizing the festival, said he Googled in search of something comparable, and could find nothing of the sort across the United States.

The festival is being underwritten by a $1,500 grant from the city government, which during the last two years has been deliberately seeding more unconventional festival ideas during the shoulder seasons, in an effort to grow the tourism economy even as the real-estate market slumbers.


Buyers want smaller as market stays soft

TELLURIDE, Colo. - Real estate activity in mountain resorts has mostly improved this year, but not consistently so. From both Aspen and Telluride come reports of ups and downs -especially after the July decision by the Standard and Poors to downgrade the U.S. government's creditworthiness.

"Everything became dysfunctional in the government, and we saw people losing certainty," Telluride Properties broker Brian O'Neill told The Telluride Watch . "Then, couple that with the S&P downgrade as well as the international issues going on in Europe and Japan, (and) everybody started panicking."

July sales in Aspen were down 16 per cent compared to the same month last year, according to a report from Land Title Guarantee Co. The Aspen Times notes a roller-coaster year, with some months up, others down, but a general trend of strong improvement. Real estate sales are likely to exceed those in both 2009 and 2010 - and with a surge at the end, could exceed those of 2008.