The Home Front: Resort skiing in Colorado less affordable than ever

Your daily roundup of the biggest stories from newspapers across the state

“The $200 barrier for a walk-up ski lift ticket was broken for the first time by Vail Mountain and Beaver Creek this season, according to industry sources,” reports The Summit Daily. “Vail and Beaver Creek are charging $209 per day for a walk-up window ticket, according to their website. The price is reduced to $199 if purchased online.”

“Coloradans shopping for groceries on Tuesday spotted a new item lining the shelves of their neighborhood supermarket: full-strength beer,” reports The Denver Post. “As of Jan. 1, Colorado’s 3.2 beer law — a restriction from the Prohibition era that prevented many supermarkets and convenience stores from selling full-strength beer — is no more. Now shoppers can now buy the golden brew while also checking off their grocery lists.”

“Broomfield officials could not legally stop oil and gas wells, so when plans to drill were brought to the table, first responders and public health officials began planning for worst-case scenarios,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “New equipment has been purchased, training has begun and table-top exercises are underway to bolster preparedness in case of an oil- and gas-related emergency. Extraction Oil & Gas, Inc. in mid-December began construction on the Interchange A&B Pads, south of the Northwest Parkway, east of Huron Street and west of Interstate 25. ‘We took into account emergency and safety issues from the very beginning of this proposed Extraction development,’ said Tami Yellico, director of strategic initiatives for Broomfield.”

“Based on a 2018 survey of school districts by the School Nutrition Association, school meal programs nationwide face challenges when students who aren’t part of the free lunch program can’t pay for their meals,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “The survey found widespread unpaid meal debt, with about 75 percent of districts reporting unpaid debts at the end of the 2016-17 school year. The median amount is $2,500, a $500 gain over the median amounts reported in the 2014 and 2016 surveys. Last school year, after donations, Boulder Valley wrote off $96,734 in unpaid lunch balances, according to Chief Financial Officer Bill Sutter. Money for the unpaid amount comes from the district’s general fund. That $96,734 is well above the median amount of $20,000 for large school districts nationally, based on the School Nutrition Association survey.”

“Old skiers never die, most of them just don’t ski as much as they used to — and that’s creating a challenge for Aspen Skiing Co. and much of the ski industry,” reports The Aspen Times. “The youngest of the baby boomers are now 54 years old, an age when the aches and pains increase while time on planks or bike saddle decreases. Aspen Skiing Co. President and CEO Mike Kaplan summarized the problem succinctly earlier this winter in a meeting with the Pitkin County commissioners. The ski industry as a whole faces a ‘flat skier visit environment,’ he said. People have less free time and more competition for the valuable leisure time they do possess. Ski trips are competing with cruises, trips to Las Vegas and beach getaways.”

“Earth is getting warmer, scientists say. Higher average temperatures will bring stronger storms, longer droughts and shorter winters, all of which could cause problems for cities not built to withstand those extremes. Durango is no different, and city officials have been thinking about how to address those issues for at least three years,” reports The Durango Herald. “City officials identified 181 actions in 2015 that the municipality can take to make the city more sustainable and resilient to climate change. Those suggestions range from infrastructure improvements to energy efficiency, conscious conservation to thoughtful transparency. Some of the suggestions have been implemented, more are in working stages and others have yet to be started, said Imogen Ainsworth, sustainability coordinator for the city of Durango. Some of the measures are small, such as reminding employees to turn off the lights when they’re not in use, while others are more significant, like installing solar arrays atop government buildings.”

“Like first-time college students who matriculate in September, the wave of young adults who arrive for ski season in November is known colloquially as ‘the freshman class.’ And like those other freshmen, new Telluriders sometimes may make befuddling choices and exhibit irrational behaviors,” reports The Telluride Daily Planet. “San Miguel County Sheriff Bill Masters on Monday called out foolish freshmen when he issued a warning about the dangers of ducking ropes to ski or snowboard closed slopes. This illicit activity is colloquially known as ‘poaching’ terrain. Masters cited ‘two individuals in their 20s who are new to Telluride. They allegedly ducked a rope and traversed down below Black Iron Bowl where Telluride ski patrollers were engaged in avalanche mitigation work. When patrollers yelled at them to stop, the female skier did so while the male snowboarder continued, later claiming that he did not see closure signs, a rope or hear the commands to stop,’ according to a news release. ‘Ducking a rope,’ Masters continued, ‘is considered a petty crime, but skiers who venture into a closed area with people below can be charged with reckless endangerment. And if those people are then injured or worse, you’re talking about a serious felony. The District Attorney has assured me he will prosecute poachers to the fullest extent of the law.'”

“Alicia Kwande works in a Colorado Springs library, but she isn’t here to talk about overdue books,” reports The Colorado Springs Gazette. “She doesn’t care if ‘Turtle,’ the woman standing in front of her, is watching a movie, eating lunch or just relaxing in a chair inside the Penrose Library, whiling away the hours before she has to return to life on the streets. Kwande wants something else entirely. She wants this woman to apply for housing. Count Kwande among the newest additions to the Pikes Peak Library District — a social worker whose sole job is to help homeless and low-income visitors ease their struggles. She’s the latest of several social workers hired by libraries across the Front Range — including in Denver, Jefferson and Arapaho counties — to help visitors find a home in which to enjoy their borrowed books.”

“The Cañon City Police Department investigated allegations that bullying may have played a part in the suicidal death of a Cañon City High School student, but authorities stated Tuesday that nothing has been discovered to support that claim. In a Facebook post Wednesday, the Cañon City School District stated they are saddened to report the loss of a sophomore who attended the school,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “‘Please join us in lifting he and his family in your thoughts and prayers,’ the post stated. On Saturday, the CCPD received allegations that bullying contributed to the student’s death. In a press release Tuesday afternoon, authorities stated that the CCPD, Fremont County Sheriff’s Office and the school district jointly investigated any connection with the death and allegations. ‘The comments made on social media accounts and verbal reports following the student’s death have been investigated,’ the release stated. ‘At this time, nothing has been discovered during the investigation to support that the student’s death was the result of bullying. Additionally, no reports of bullying were made by the student who passed away or his family prior to this incident.'”

“Local experts say the resources to help those who need affordable housing most — the elderly, people with disabilities, veterans and single parents — simply aren’t keeping pace. With half of renters’ incomes burdened by ever-rising monthly housing costs, the path to home ownership is looking less like an uphill battle and more like an unscalable wall,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “Tom Teixeira, as executive director of the Greeley-Weld Housing Authority, has overseen help for several families like Barreras’. He estimated about 40 percent of people in Section 8 housing through the Greeley-Weld Housing Authority are either elderly or living with a disability. Most households are headed by a single parent. The annual income for tenants benefiting from the housing authority, in both its Section 8 and public housing programs, averages to about $19,580. Teixeira notes that the authority isn’t even given the budget to help all the families they’re authorized to help, a number set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. That number hasn’t changed since about 2001, he said, and in the past five or six years, the authority hasn’t even been budgeted enough to help all those families.”


The Colorado Independent is a statewide online news source operating in a time when spin is plentiful, but factual, fair and unflinching news in the public interest is all too rare. Our award-winning team of veteran investigative and explanatory reporters and news columnists aims to amplify the voices of Coloradans whose stories are unheard, shine light on the relationships between people, power and policy, and hold public officials to account. We strive to report the news with context, social conscience, and soul, and to give Coloradans the insight they need to promote conversation, understanding and progress in this square, swing state we call home.


  1. ‘We took into account emergency and safety issues from the very beginning of this proposed Extraction development,’ said Tami Yellico, director of strategic initiatives for Broomfield.”

    So Broomfield residents/taxpayers are footing the bill for safety equipment deemed necessary so that a private corporation can make money by extracting a resource from the ground? What’s wrong with this picture?

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