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Mountain news: Jackson Hole pilot sets paragliding record

Headlines and links from Telluride, Aspen and Jackson Hole

Summit County, Colorado.

Aspen: Mixed results on Pro Challenge bike race

The USA Pro Challenge has been touted as a big economic boost for Colorado, with communities vying to host stages for the perceived benefits. In Aspen, it looks like retail sales may have taken a little hit during the day of the race, while restaurants reported booming business, according to the Aspen Daily News.

Some service-oriented businesses were affected by a lack of access, while hotels reported 90 percent occupance and restaurants saw an early rush, with some establishments reported lines on the sidewalk. Read the full story in the Aspen Daily News.

Paper-bag fee challenged in court

A $0.20 fee charged for paper grocery bags in Aspen stores has raised almost $4,000 during its first two months, as the town tries to encourage shoppers to bring reusable bags for their shopping needs — but the bag fee is facing a court challenge, according to the Aspen Daily News.

The plastic bag ban took effect May 1. Under the law, the grocery stores can keep 25 percent of the collected fees (up to $1,000 per month) during the first year to help with the transition, with the town using the rest for education and awareness efforts.

The lawsuit challenging the fee was filed by the Colorado Union of Taxpayers Foundation, which alleges that the fee is actually a tax that violates the Colorado Constitution. The Mountain States Legal Foundation, an ultra-conservative group that opposes environmental and public lands protection, is representing the taxpayer group. Read the full story in the Aspen Daily News.

Jackson Hole paraglider sets record

A 204.6-mile flight from near Teton Pass to near Rawlins, Wyoming was good enough for the North American distance record for paraglider Nick Greece, who cross the state’s Red Desert during the Aug. 7 flight.

Soaring for about seven hours, Greece’s flight is also the fifth-longest flight for a paraglider anywhere in the world, according to the Jackson Hole News & Guide, which reported that the world record flight (312.5 miles) was made in Dec. 2008 by Nevil Hulett of South Africa. Read the full story at the Jackson Hole News & Guide website.

Plane crash reported near Steamboat Springs

The Routt County sheriff’s office is investigating a plane crash that was reported Saturday (Aug. 25) by a sheepherder. The pilot died in the crash, but few other details are known about the crash — including exactly when the crash happened. Read the full story at the Steamboat Today website.

CMC opens new facility in Steamboat

For all the talk of education funding woes in Colorado, the high country community college network seems to be doing OK. Just a couple of years after opening an impressive new home campus in Breckenridge, Colorado Mountain College last week opened an $18 million building in Steamboat.

The new facility includes a 290-seat auditorium, a fitness center, a business enterprise center and a dining hall with panoramic views of Mount Werner, Emerald Mountain and downtown Steamboat. Read more about the new CMC building at the Steamboat Today website.

Telluride adopts grease-control regs

Telluride restaurants will have to install grease traps to reduce the amount of oily waste reaching the town’s wastewater treatment system. Restaurants that don’t yet control grease will have to do so if ownership changes or if they get a building permit for remodeling. More details in the Telluride Watch.

Telluride ski area chief moves on

The Telluride Watch’s Seth Cagin also covered the departure of ski resort CEO Jim Riley, who helped push Telluride Ski Area toward opening some impressive new terrain, including Prospect Basin, Palmyra Peak and Gold Hill, as well as easy access to the side country in Bear Creek.

Under Riley, Telluride also cracked down on unsafe skiing with stiff penalties, including loss of ski pass privileges for skiers found responsible for collisions. At the time, the move was seen as an effort to present Telluride as a safer alternative to the extremely congested I-70 corridor resorts like Keystone, Breckenridge and Vail, where collisions are common.
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