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As President Barack Obama’s approval ratings this month climbed to 2009 levels based on renewed economic optimism, hope in Colorado’s high country – and to some degree the state’s overall economy – has been literally falling from the heavens. The ski industry lobbying group Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) recently reported its 22 member resorts saw a 10 percent increase in skier visits for the first part of the ski season (October to the end of December), largely because of abundant early snowfall.
VAIL -- We all know who wins when an SUV loaded with skiers tangles with a tractor trailer out on the open road on an icy winter day in the Rocky Mountains. The resulting carnage sometimes shuts down high-country highways for hours at a time. There are only losers in such a scenario. But who wins politically in the battle for supremacy between skier traffic and the state’s trucking industry?