We're talking to Colorado Sun outdoor reporter Jason Blevins about how the Colorado ski season is going on with the Epic and Icon passes at about the midway mark.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Today – we're talking to Colorado Sun outdoor reporter Jason Blevins about the latest developments in the effort to make Sweetwater Lake in Garfield County Colorado's next state park.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
We're talking to Colorado Sun outdoors reporter, Jason Blevins, about operators of a nordic skiing and hut system who have gone quiet - not responding to state and customer requests.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Today – Colorado Sun outdoor reporter Jason Blevins discusses landowners' concerns of having recreational access on their private property.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Today - we're talking to Colorado Sun outdoor reporter Jason Blevins about how the White River National Forest delivers $1.6 billion to local economies and how long unlimited growth can last.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
To support independent ski journalism, please consider becoming a free or paid subscriber. This podcast hit paid subscribers' inboxes on Dec. 24. It dropped for free subscribers on Dec. 27. To receive future pods as soon as they're live, please consider an upgrade to a paid subscription.WhoShaun Sutner, snowsports columnist for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette and Telegram.comRecorded onNovember 21, 2022About Shaun SutnerShaun is a skier, a writer, and a journalist based in Worcester, Massachusetts. For the past 18 years, he's been pumping out a snowsports column from Thanksgiving to April. For the past two years, he's joined me on The Storm Skiing Podcast to rap about it. You should follow Shaun on social media to stay locked into his work:Why I interviewed himI've often said that the best interviews are with people who don't have bosses. That's true. Mostly. But not exclusively. Because journalists are just as good. And that's because they possess many attributes crucial to holding an interesting conversation: on-the-ground experience, the ability to tell a story, and a commitment to truth. Really. That is the whole point of the job. Listen to the Storm Skiing Podcasts with Eric Wilbur, Jackson Hogen, or Jason Blevins. They are among the best of the 122 episodes I've published before today. It's a different gig from the running-a-mountain-and-making-you-want-to-ski-that-mountain post that 75 percent of my guests hold. And these writers deliver a different kind of conversation, and one that enriches The Storm immensely.I'd like to host more ski journalists, but there just aren't that many of them. It's a weird fact of America and skiing that there are far more ski areas than there are American ski journalists. The NSAA lists 473 active ski areas. NASJA (the North American Snowsports Journalists Association) counts far fewer active members. The NBA, by contrast, has 30 teams and perhaps thousands of reporters covering them around the world. There's a lot more happening in skiing than there are paid observers to keep track of it all, is my point here.But there are a few. And Sutner is one of the real pros – one who's been skiing New England for most of his life, and writing about it for decades. His column is enlightened and interesting, essential reading for the entire Northeast. We had a great conversation last year, and we agreed to make it an annual thing.What we talked aboutWell I still can't pronounce “Worcester,” but we didn't discuss it this time which thank God; opening day vibes at Mount Snow; comparing last year's days-skied goal to reality; that Uphill Bro life and chewing up all our pow Brah; surveying the different approaches to New England uphill access; cross-country skiing and the opportunity of the Indy Pass; skiing in NYC; the countless ski areas of Quebec; Tremblant, overrated?; Le Massif; pass quivers; the importance of racing and race leagues to recreational skiing; why the rise of freeskiing hasn't killed ski racing; Sutner's long-running snowsports column; the importance of relationships in journalism; the Wachusett MACHINE; Sutner defends the honor of Ski Ward, my least-favorite ski area; the legacy of Sutner's brother Adam, former executive at Vail, Jackson Hole, and Crystal, who passed away suddenly last year; reaction to PGRI purchasing Jay Peak; what's next for Burke?; the future of Gunstock; Mount Sunapee crowding; Crotched, Attitash, and Wildcat's 2021-22 struggles; what the Epic Day Pass says about Vail's understanding of New Hampshire; whether Vail's pay increases and lift ticket sales limits will be enough to fix the company's operational issues in New Hampshire; the impact of Kanc 8 on Loon and what that could mean for new lifts at Stowe and Mount Snow; New England's lift renaissance; eight-packs and redistributing skiers; let's play Fantasy Ski Resort owner with Sugarloaf; the investment binge at Loon; high-speed double chairs; will Magic ever get Black Quad live?; the rebuilding of Catamount; a New England lift wishlist; Berkshire East; fake vertical; Smuggs' lift fleet; the future of Big Squaw; The Balsams; Whaleback; Granite Gorge; and Tenney.Why I thought that now was a good time for this interviewWell the intent was to push this podcast out alongside the debut of Sutner's first column of the year, on Thanksgiving Day. I, uh, missed that target. But I'll fix that whole timing bit, and you can expect a Sutner appearance on The Storm Skiing Podcast every Thanksgiving week for as long as he's interested in doing it.What I got wrong* I noted in the podcast that it was a 15-minute drive from Mountain Creek to High Point Cross Country Ski Center in New Jersey – it's closer to half an hour.* Sutner and I referenced Seven Brothers at Loon as an unfinished lift. That was true when we recorded this podcast on Nov. 21, but the lift opened on Dec. 17.* Sutner referenced a New England lift project that he knew about but that was not public yet – it's public now, and you can read about it here.* Shaun referred to a “little-known” summit T-bar at Sugarloaf. It must be a really well-kept secret, because I can't find any reference to it, now or in the past.Why you should read Sutner's columnBecause what I wrote last year is still true:Because it's focused, intelligent, researched, fact-checked, spell-checked, and generally just the sort of professional-level writing that is increasingly subsumed by the LOLing babble of the emojisphere. That's fine – everyone is lost in the scroll. But as the pillars of ski journalism burn and topple around us, it's worth supporting whatever's left. Gannett, the parent company of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, has imposed fairly stringent paywalls on his work. While I think these local papers are best served by offering a handful of free articles per month, the paper is worth supporting if it's your local – in the same way you might buy a local ski pass to complement your Epkon Pass. Good, consistent writing is not so easy to find. Sutner delivers. Support his craft.I wish there was one place where all of Sutner's columns were collected, but the reality of being part of a larger entity is that your work gets mashed together with everything else. Here are direct links to Sutner's columns so far this season:* Skiing Vail Remains a Treasured Rocky Mountain Experience* Plenty of Updates and Upgrades have Crotched Mountain Resort Thriving in New Hampshire* Key Improvements Signal Strong Seasons Ahead for Attitash, Wildcat Ski Areas* World Cup Ski Racing Continues to Thrive at KillingtonSutner's column tends to be less-newsy, more focused on the long-term than the what-just-happened? But, thanks to decades of experience and a deep well of sources, he can fire off a breaking news story in a hurry when he needs to. Earlier this month, for example, he turned around this dispatch about Wachusett's sudden cancellation of its volunteer Ski Patrol program – known locally as “Rangers” – in just a few hours:Wachusett Mountain Ski Area ended its volunteer Ranger program at the start of the ski and snowboard season last month in an unexpected move that could have safety consequences on the mountain's busy slopes, at least in the short term. The ski area apparently was forced into ending or suspending the program due to an investigation by the state attorney general's office into whether treating the Rangers as volunteers violates state labor laws. A spokeswoman for the AG's office declined to comment on whether the office is investigating Wachusett.The case could have national ramifications in the ski industry, where more than 600 ski areas across the country use volunteer ski patrollers under the umbrella of the nonprofit National Ski Patrol, as well as volunteers similar to Rangers. Read the full story here:Podcast Notes* Sutner and I discussed Wachusett quite a bit, and specifically my podcast interview with resort President Jeff Crowley from last year:* We also had a long discussion about Ski Ward, which stemmed from this write-up I published in February:Ski Ward, 25 miles southwest, makes Nashoba Valley look like Aspen. A single triple-chair rising 220 vertical feet. A T-bar beside that. Some beginner surface lifts lower down. Off the top three narrow trails that are steep for approximately six feet before leveling off for the run-out back to the base. It was no mystery why I was the only person over the age of 14 skiing that evening.Normally my posture at such community- and kid-oriented bumps is to trip all over myself to say every possible nice thing about its atmosphere and mission and miraculous existence in the maw of the EpKonasonics. But this place was awful. Like truly unpleasant. My first indication that I had entered a place of ingrained dysfunction was when I lifted the safety bar on the triple chair somewhere between the final tower and the exit ramp and the liftie came bursting out of his shack like he'd just caught me trying to steal his chickens. “The sign is there,” he screamed, pointing frantically at the “raise bar here” sign jutting up below the top station just shy of unload. At first I didn't realize he was talking to me and so I ignored him and this offended him to the point where he – and this actually happened – stopped the chairlift and told me to come back up the ramp so he could show me the sign. I declined the opportunity and skied off and away and for the rest of the evening I waited until I was exactly above his precious sign before raising the safety bar.All night, though, I saw this b******t. Large, aggressive, angry men screaming – screaming – at children for this or that safety-bar violation. The top liftie laid off me once he realized I was a grown man, but it was too late. Ski Ward has a profoundly broken customer-service culture, built on bullying little kids on the pretext of lift safety. Someone needs to fix this. Now.Look, I am not anti-lift bar. I put it down every time, unless I am out West and riding with some version of Studly Bro who is simply too f*****g cool for such nonsense. But that was literally my 403rd chairlift ride of the season and my 2,418th since I began tracking ski stats on my Slopes app in 2018. Never have I been lectured over the timing of my safety-bar raise. So I was surprised. But if Ski Ward really wants to run their chairlifts with the rulebook specificity of a Major League Baseball game, all they have to do is say, “Excuse me, Sir, can you please wait to get to the sign before raising your bar next time?” That would have worked just as well, and would have saved them this flame job. For a place that caters to children, they need to do much, much better.As I'm wont to do, I followed that write-up with casual Ward-bashing on Twitter. Sutner took exception to this, saying that I was oversimplifying it and working on too small a sample size. Which, fair enough. He further defends the ski area's honor in our pod, though frankly I remain salty about the place.* Sutner spoke at length about his brother Adam, a member of Crystal Mountain, Washington's executive team, who died suddenly in April. Shaun wrote his younger brother's obituary, which reads in part:Adam lived and worked overseas in the advertising and tech business in Amsterdam, Brussels, London, Paris, Tokyo and Melbourne. He also lived and worked in advertising and the ski industry in New York City, Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and in Vail, Colo., Jackson Hole, Wyo., and Greenwater, Wash.He lived the life he wanted to live.He was widely known for working hard and being a leader in the ski industry profession he loved, often starting work before dawn.Adam loved French Martinis, fast cars and motorcycles, high-speed skiing, music, reading literature and non-fiction, wok cooking, James Bond and art heist caper movies and smoking his beloved cigarillos. He was an ardent fan of international soccer and rugby.He liked to pick up and drop off at the airport the steady stream of visitors who he accommodated, with utmost hospitality, at his various well-appointed homes. He collected watches, fine art and mid-century modern furniture and accessories.He was a witty storyteller, entertaining family and friends with tales of his lifelong travels and adventures. He had an acerbic sense of humor and keen intellect.Read the full obit here:The Storm publishes year-round, and guarantees 100 articles per year. This is article 136/100 in 2022, and number 382 since launching on Oct. 13, 2019. Want to send feedback? Reply to this email and I will answer (unless you sound insane or, more likely, I just get busy). You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org. This is a public episode. If you'd like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.stormskiing.com/subscribe
Today – we're joined by Colorado Sun outdoor reporter Jason Blevins to discuss how supply chain struggles slowed the opening of ski chairlifts in Colorado and across the country.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Today – we're talking to Colorado Sun outdoor reporter Jason Blevins about the plan to introduce up to 50 wolves over a 5-year-period to Colorado's western slope.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Today - we're talking to Colorado Sun outdoor reporter Jason Blevins about a Colorado Parks and Wildlife volunteer who was cleared after a 7-month investigation into a racism claim.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
To support independent ski journalism, please consider becoming a free or paid subscriber. This podcast hit paid subscribers' inboxes on Nov. 28. It dropped for free subscribers on Dec. 1. To receive future pods as soon as they're live, please consider an upgrade to a paid subscription.WhoBeth Howard, Vice President and General Manager of Vail Mountain, ColoradoRecorded onNovember 14, 2022About Vail MountainClick here for a mountain stats overviewOwned by: Vail ResortsPass affiliations: Epic PassLocated in: Vail, ColoradoClosest neighboring ski areas: Beaver Creek (20 minutes), Copper Mountain (23 minutes), Ski Cooper (42 minutes), Keystone (42 minutes), Loveland (43 minutes), Arapahoe Basin (47 minutes), Breckenridge (50 minutes) - travel times may vary considerably in winter and heavy traffic.Base elevation: 8,120 feetSummit elevation: 11,570 feetVertical drop: 3,450 feetSkiable Acres: 5,317* Front Side: 1,655 Acres* Back Bowls: 3,017 Acres* Blue Sky Basin: 645 AcresAverage annual snowfall: 354 inchesTrail count: 276 (53% advanced/expert, 29% intermediate, 18% beginner)Lift count: 32 (one 12-passenger gondola, one 10-passenger gondola, 4 six-packs, 14 high-speed quads, 1 fixed-grip quad, 2 triples, 1 T-bar, 3 platters, 5 carpets)Why I interviewed herI articulated this as well as I could a couple months ago, in an article about Vail Resorts' decision to limit lift ticket sales for the coming ski season:It was a notion quaint and earnest. Simplistic but no less authentic. To start with Vail would have seemed presumptuous. This American place most synonymous with skiing. Three-sided and endless, galloping back into valleys, super-fast lifts shooting in all directions. I wanted to be ready. To feel as though I'd earned it.My first trip West was in 1995. But I did not ski Vail until 2004. In our megapass-driven, social-media-fueled moshpit of a present, I doubt anyone thinks this way anymore. Vail is a social-media trophy – go seize it. But I proceeded slowly to the big time. Primed on Midwest bumps, anything would have seemed enormous. First, the rounds of Summit County. Then Winter Park. As though skiing were a videogame and I could not pass to the higher levels until I'd completed those that came before. And then there it was. That first time standing over Sun Down Bowl, the single groomed path winding toward High Noon below. Eleven thousand feet over Colorado. Sliding down the ridges. Powder everywhere. Back to Blue Sky. Laps all day through unmarked glades. Refills from the sky even though it was April. Three thousand feet of up and down. The enormous complexity of it all. The energy. That impossible blend of wild and approachable.Vail Mountain and – on that same trip – Beaver Creek, were exactly what I needed them to be: the aspirational summit of America's lift-served skiing food chain. The best mountains I'd ever skied. I won't say it was The Experience of a Lifetime. But it was the best five days of skiing that I had, up to that point, ever done.I'm not sure what else I can add to that. Vail Mountain sits at the summit of American lift-served skiing. Yes I know, Backflip Bro: the terrain is not as Rad-Gnar as Snowbird or Jackson Hole or Taos or Palisades Tahoe or Big Sky. It does not get as much snow as Alta or Baker or Wolf Creek or Kirkwood. It does not minimize and mitigate crowds like Telluride or Aspen or Sun Valley.But Vail Mountain stands out even on that hall-of-fame lineup. Five thousand-plus acres of approachable terrain seated directly off the interstate. The Big Endless: 18 high-speed chairlifts, the Back Bowls™, a bit of rowdy and wild back in Blue Sky, a frenetic base village. If any mountain in Vail Resorts' sprawling, intercontinental empire is almost guaranteed to deliver The Experience of a Lifetime™, it's the namesake OG of them all: Vail Mountain. Even after all the growth and change and the Epic Pass atom bomb, Vail Mountain remains one of the greatest ski areas in North America.It's also a personal favorite of mine, and one that I've been eager to feature on the podcast since I expanded The Storm's focus from the Northeast to the entire country last year.What we talked aboutOpening weekend at Vail Mountain; staying open until May in 2022 and whether the ski area could do it again; marking Vail's 60th anniversary; Vail's founders; building the mountain and the town from raw wilderness; Vail in the ‘80s; Afton Alps; transitioning from food-and-bev to resort leadership; a Colorado-Tahoe comparison; what it means for Vail Mountain to share the Vail Resorts masthead with Whistler; going deep on the Game Creek Express upgrade and the new Sun Down Express lift; how Vail decides between a four- or six-place lift, and why Game Creek got the promotion to sixer; the future of fixed-grip lifts on Vail Mountain; why it was finally time to build the long-proposed Sun Down lift, and how that will change the ski experience and flow around the mountain; how this happened at High Noon Express (in February 2020), and how unusual it was:How Sun Down may help prevent a repeat; why Vail built Sun Down before the proposed Mongolia Express outlined in the resort's master plan (see below); thinking through the future of the Eagle Bahn gondola; a potential future portal at West Lionshead and the sorts of lifts we could see there; how Pride Express could evolve up and down the mountain; how the Cascade Village lift could better serve day skiers; the potential for terrain expansion in Blue Sky Basin; the growth and future of snowmaking on Vail Mountain; housing drama with the town at East Vail; why Vail rejected the town's $12 million offer for the land; how Vail's housing market has devolved to crisis levels over the decades; what other towns are doing to fix housing and whether any of that could work at Vail; the evolution of two housing markets – one for locals and one at market rate; the potential for Ever Vail; reaction to $275 walk-up lift tickets; and the factors that will go into setting lift ticket limits each day this season. Why I thought that now was a good time for this interviewI've already written extensively about the valiant and courageous VAIL SHEEP DEFENDERS, an elite squadron whose mission is to ensure that local bighorns only have to poop next to rich people. In May, this group of nincompoops – the Vail Town Council – voted to condemn land where Vail Resorts planned to build 165 beds of worker housing on six acres of a 23-acre parcel (the remainder was to be set aside for bighorn habitat). Vail, which had already spent years permitting the project with the previous council, pushed back, and now the whole disaster has been swallowed by the courts, where it will likely remain for years.Meanwhile, the VAIL SHEEP DEFENDERS somehow missed the groundbreaking on, among other properties, a nearly $8 million, 5,700-square-foot mansion rising on that same bighorn habitat. This image – provided by Vail Resorts – distills the absurdity of the whole thing pretty well:In September, I chatted about this with Colorado Sun reporter Jason Blevins, who has lived in Eagle County for decades. He had a much more nuanced view:“Both sides have completely valid arguments here. Vail Resorts needs housing. They have the property, they went through three years of planning with the previous council to win all the approvals to develop this thing. They created a bighorn sheep management plan … Election came, new council came in, and that new council is more inclined to protect that herd than accommodate with housing. They've offered the company different spots in the valley where they could build. But the process has progressed, and it's along, and Vail is ready to pretty much break ground right now …“Yes, this is about bighorn. That council 100 percent supports the bighorn herd, and in their heart of hearts they are working to protect the bighorn. … And those bighorn have been there longer than us, and this is their winter habitat. They unquestionably come down in the winter … along the highway there.”The whole situation, Blevins told me, is reminiscent of the Telluride Valley Floor drama in the late ‘90s, in which the town and a developer took a land dispute all the way to the Colorado Supreme Court (read the court's full decision here). The town ended up paying $50 million to acquire the land. “Think of all the housing you could have build with $50 million in the early 2000s,” Blevins said.Unfortunately, Blevins said, “this one is lining up to follow that track. Could this fight go all the way to the Supreme Court? Could the town of Vail end up having a public fundraising campaign with rich residents giving money to support sheep habitat? Will it go that far? With the complaint filed last week, it certainly appears as though this is going to be a protracted legal battle that will end up costing the town millions and millions of dollars if they buy it from Vail Resorts. And the end result is no more new housing. So the true losers on this are the people in this town who need a place to sleep and live in that town.” You can listen to our full exchange on this topic, including a long discussion of the elusive NIMBY, starting at 56:50:So the housing drama made the pod timely. But so did the fact that Vail is installing two new chairlifts and celebrating its 60th anniversary. So did the fact that its peak-day lift tickets just hit $275. Really though, I wasn't sitting around waiting for an excuse to talk about Vail. It's Vail. One of the greatest ski areas in America. It's always interesting, always relevant. It's one of a handful of ski areas that evokes skiing whether you ski 100 days a year or never. Aspen, Telluride, Vail. The podcast was built to score interviews like this: a big-time mountain seated at the heart of our collective lift-served skiing experience. Enjoy.Questions I wish I'd askedI would have liked to have explored the impacts of the mountain town housing crisis on employees and the environment a bit more deeply. What does it mean to have a 50- or 60-mile commute through one of America's most extreme wintertime environments? How does such a setup further exacerbate the I-70 traffic that everyone so loathes? How sustainable and safe is this whole ecosystem?Last year, Vail Resorts, Alterra, Boyne Resorts, and Powdr – America's four largest ski area operators – launched “the ski industry's first unified effort to combat climate change with shared commitments around sustainability and advocacy.” These efforts include portfolio-wide shifts to renewable energy sources, climate advocacy, and “responsible” stewardship of the environment. All admirable and necessary steps toward creating sustainable 21st century businesses.However. I would propose an additional pillar to this joint pledge: these operators must commit to working with local, state, and national governments to encourage building density, expand mass transit, and limit individual car use wherever possible within the mountains.It is not just the ski area operators that are missing this. We built modern U.S. America on the premise of unlimited land and unlimited individual, anytime mobility. But this model does not scale up very well. When Congress passed the Interstate Highway Act in 1956, the nation had 156 million residents. It now has around 338 million. Interstate 70 through the Colorado Rockies is a miracle of engineering and one of the most beautiful roads in the world. But this thoroughfare, combined with poor regional planning and a U.S. American mentality that thinks you can shape the Colorado High Country in the same fashion as suburban Atlanta, have delivered Los Angeles-caliber traffic to the otherwise pristine high alpine.This is not sustainable. It was a dumb way to build a country. Sprawl and our car-centric culture are environmental and human disasters, the invisible antagonists to all our high-minded climate goals. Ski area operators and the municipalities they operate in have an incredible opportunity to showcase a different sort of America: a transit-oriented, weather-resilient, human-centered built ecosystem in which employees walk or ride a bus (or, God help us, a gondola) to work from hubs close to or on the mountain; the great mass of skiers arrive via transport other than a personal vehicle; and a Saturday on Interstate 70 does not resemble a wartime evacuation.For those of you fearful that this means Manhattan-in-the-mountains, that's not what I'm proposing here. Nor am I suggesting a Zermatt-style ban on individual automobiles. Just a better transit and housing mix so people who don't want the expense and hassle of wintertime commuting can avoid it. We actually have a pretty good model for this: the college town. Most students live, without cars, in dorms on or close to campus. Free and frequent shuttlebuses port them around town. A dense and walkable university center gives way to successive waves of less-dense housing, for more established employees or those with families. Some commuting occurs, but it is minimal. The university is a self-contained world that absorbs as much impact as it can from the problems it creates by concentrating many humans on a small footprint.The fact that the Town of Vail cannot accommodate 165 humans on 23 acres of land is pathetic. Their willingness to invest $12 million into ensuring people cannot live on this parcel crystalizes how unserious they are, long term, about creating a more sustainable, livable Vail. Rather than fighting Vail Resorts, the town ought to be partnering with them – as the previous council did on permitting this project – to see if the company could shrink the six acres down to three or four, and bump the 165 beds up 30 or 40 percent, with select units reserved for employees who agree to live car-free and use a shuttle system instead. The town's current, combative posture is only going to push the employees that could have lived in East Vail farther out into the mountains and into daily, likely solo commutes in a car, all of which will further degrade the mountain environment the town claims to treasure. This project could have been a model for cooperation and imaginative development. Instead, it's turned into a spectacle, a disappointment, the most predictable and U.S. American thing imaginable. What I got wrongI pronounced Vail Mountain founder Pete Siebert's name as “See-bert,” rather than “Cy-ber.” We also discussed Vail Mountain's remaining fixed-grip lifts, putting that total at just one. However, the ski area still has three fixed-grip chairlifts: the Cascade Village quad, the Gopher Hill triple rising out of Vail Village, and the Little Eagle triple at the top of Eagle's Nest.Why you should ski Vail MountainThere's a lot of pressure on Vail Resorts' flagship. While it's fairly easy to get to and navigate, Vail Mountain, for most skiers, is big, far, and exotic; a thing of myth, considered with reverence; less vacation destination than fantasy. It's work to get there, and no one wants to work without reward. Ride to your New England or Wisconsin or North Carolina local on a Saturday, and you'll cope with whatever mess they came up with. Arrive at Vail, and you expect the best skiing of your life.Vail can give you that. Yes, I know, Wasatch Bro, “Vail is great. Everyone should go there.” Sick burn, Bro. Original and hilarious. I'm not saying it's better than Utah or Tahoe or Aspen or Winter Park, but I am saying that the skiing at Vail Mountain is usually very good, often spectacular, rarely bad. It is big enough that there are always uncrowded bits somewhere. And since such a large percentage of the skiers here are tourists, and since most tourists are allergic to anything off-piste – and since only a small percentage of a 5,317-acre resort can be groomed at any one time – you can ride the ungroomed all day, most days, in relative isolation (meaning you're not speed-checking every four seconds at Fort Meyers Freddy arcs edge-to-edge turns over the fall line).I've often wondered how many skiers there are on Vail Mountain on any given Saturday. They won't tell me, but I'm guessing it's the population of a small city – 30,000 people? While the sorts of liftline nightmares profiled above do occasionally happen, they are, as Blevins (a Vail local) said in our interview, pretty rare, and pretty short-lived. The ski area moves people around really well.Everyone should ski Vail Mountain at least once. There is a sense of awe in being there. It is one of the best pure ski areas on the continent. Great terrain for (nearly) all abilities (sorry Backflip Bro, but you can hike over to East Vail). A terrific little town. Easy to get into and out of (off peak, at least). Affordable if you have enough sense to purchase an Epic Pass in advance. There are bigger and emptier and snowier ski areas out there, but Vail is going to give most skiers just about everything they want and a lot more than they need. The high expectations are earned, and, nearly always, met.Podcast NotesHoward and I talked quite a bit about elements of Vail Mountain's 2018 masterplan. Here's where new lifts could run on the frontside:And here's where they could run on the backside. You can also see potential new trails in Blue Sky Basin and Teacup Bowl:Vail is also aggressively building out snowmaking on the front of the mountain. Here's what that system could look like at full build-out:The Storm publishes year-round, and guarantees 100 articles per year. This is article 127/100 in 2022, and number 373 since launching on Oct. 13, 2019. Want to send feedback? Reply to this email and I will answer (unless you sound insane). You can also email email@example.com.The Storm explores the world of lift-served skiing year round. Join us. Get full access to The Storm Skiing Journal and Podcast at www.stormskiing.com/subscribe
Today – we're visiting with Colorado Sun outdoor reporter Jason Blevins about his discovery regarding an unusual warning the National Park Service issued about toads. We'll also touch on the record amount of sales tax collected in mountain towns this year.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Today - we're visiting with Colorado Sun outdoor reporter Jason Blevins about a surge in the use of outdoor spaces that is fueling momentum for laws supporting recreation.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Today - outdoor reporter Jason Blevins discusses an unexpected turn of events in an energy company's plans for a hydropower project in Unaweep Canyon. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Inspired by the Midwest's Race to Open Mayhem, a similar first ski area to open game debuts - The Race to [Second] Place to Face Killington. With ski areas having opened in the Midwest and out West, all eyes turn back East, to a region that has yet to offer lift-served skiing. But with temperatures finally (well, sort of) dipping in the northeast latitudes, the race is on! The Race to Place to Face Killington features a bracket of 16 northeast ski areas, all of which opened in November 2021 (i.e., early for northeast standards). They are seeded in the order in which they opened last year, along with a handful of wildcard ski areas that either also opened in November 2021 or have posted opening dates for November 2022. The intrigue is real. It's a showdown to see who is the likeliest ski area to swoop-in and steal Killington's perennial East Region opening crown. The Tips Up segment features SkiMag's Top 20 of East Resorts, TGR and Indy's new short film, In Pursuit of Soul 2: Midwest Independence and The Storm's recent podcast with Jason Blevins, Colorado Sun. If you're up for a little fun, find a piece of paper and pencil, draw a 16-team bracket and plug-in your picks as we go. “Just some good wholesome fun.” – Matt Z Segments: 2:45: Tips Up 9:09: Race to Open 11:35: Midwest Wins 16:37: West Gets Second; East DNF-y 19:00: Game Overview 28:40: Bracket Picks Other Resources: https://www.midwestskiers.com
Today - we're talking to outdoor reporter Jason Blevins about Colorado communities supporting a lawsuit to block Utah oil trains along the Colorado River, as well as an update on Telluride ski patrollers reaching a contract to thwart a potential strike.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Today - we're visiting with Colorado Sun outdoors reporter Jason Blevins to talk about the risks of remote trail running without proper rescue gear. We also discuss ballot measures that would raise taxes on short-term-rental properties in some mountain communities.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Incumbent governor Jared Polis is polling way up on his Republican challenger Heidi Ganahl, so she's looking to gain traction ahead of next month's election. But was stoking panic about furries in Colorado schools the way to go? Today, host Bree Davies, producer Paul Karolyi, and Westword editor Patty Calhoun dig into the governor's race and the shocking firing of renowned historian Patty Limerick from CU Boulder's Center of the American West, which she co-founded 36 years ago. Plus, stick around for the Official City Cast Denver Maybe for your weekend. We mentioned past City Cast Denver guest Jason Blevins' reporting on the Limerick firing. There are sooooo many cool events happening in Denver this weekend. Find the one for you in today's CCD newsletter: https://denver.citycast.fm/newsletter/ What do you think about #FurryPanic? Let us know on Twitter @citycastdenver Learn more about the sponsor of this episode: How to Buy a Home Podcast Looking to advertise on City Cast Denver? Check out our options for podcast and newsletter ads at citycast.fm/advertise Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
To support independent ski journalism, please consider becoming a free or paid subscriber. This podcast hit paid subscribers' inboxes on Oct. 2. Free subscribers got it on Oct. 5. To receive future pods as soon as they're live, please consider an upgrade to a paid subscription.WhoJason Blevins, ski country (and more) reporter at The Colorado SunRecorded onSeptember 13, 2022Why I interviewed himOver two decades starting in 1997, Jason Blevins built the best local ski beat in America at The Denver Post. That he was anchored in Colorado - one of the fastest-growing states in America and home to expansion monster Vail Resorts, the atrocious I-70, America's greatest ski towns, and the largest number of annual skier visits in the country - also made his coverage the most consequential and relevant to a national audience. By his own account, he loved the Post and his colleagues, and was proud of what he had built there.“I created this beat at The Denver Post,” Blevins told Powder in 2018. “It was something that I carved out myself, just looking at mountain communities. I found that the best stories were in these small towns with small-town characters. Some of the brightest minds.”But in 2010, the paper started a slow decline following its acquisition by New York-based Alden Global Capital. The newsroom shrank from a high of 250 reporters to approximately 70. This still wasn't enough for Alden, as The Washington Post's Margaret Sullivan documented in March 2018:Jesse Aaron Paul could hardly believe his good fortune when he started his internship at the Denver Post in 2014 not long after he graduated from Colorado College.“I felt like I had reached the end of the yellow brick road,” Paul, now 25, said, describing his first day at the paper with its history of Pulitzer Prizes, its beautiful downtown building (“like a beacon”), and its nationally regarded top editor, Greg Moore, who hired him at summer's end and who dubbed him “Super Jesse.”That all came crashing down on Wednesday when newsroom employees were summoned to an all-staff meeting at the paper's headquarters, no longer downtown but at the printing plant in an outlying county.After round after round of cutbacks in recent years at the hands of its hedge-fund owners, the staff thought there might be a small number of buyouts offered. There wasn't much left to cut, after all.Top editor Lee Ann Colacioppo, who has been at the paper for almost 20 years, gave it to them straight — and the news was far worse than expected.The Post, already a shadow of its once-robust self, would be making deep layoffs: another 30 jobs.“Sobs, gasps, expletives,” was how Paul, who covers politics, described the stunned reaction.“The room went silent — we were blindsided by the numbers” said Aaron Ontiveroz, a 33-year-old photographer who has been on that award-winning staff for seven years, watching its ranks drop from 16 photographers to six.Blevins, fed up, resigned shortly, as The Ringer documented:In March , Blevins got back from [the Olympics in] South Korea and settled into his routine. (He also wrote about business and other subjects.) The next few weeks turned out one of the grimmest stretches in The Post's history. On April 6, The Post adorned its “ultimate visitors guide” to Coors Field with a photo of Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia—a mistake so egregious that one Denver radio host joked it was a strapped staff calling for help. The same night, The Post ran an editorial denouncing the paper's owner, Alden Global Capital, the hedge fund that's decimating the Post's newsroom.But what got Blevins was Alden president Heath Freeman's order that The Post lay off 30 more employees. “I couldn't really reconcile the fact that I was working so hard for such a shithead,” Blevins said.Asked whether he'd ever seen Freeman, Blevins said, “No one's ever seen him. There's like one photo of him out there. He's more like a mystery serial killer, just hiding in the shadows and slowly murdering newspapers.”Blevins decided to add himself to the 30-man headcount voluntarily. He sent an email to his editor and a resignation letter to the HR department. He kissed off the paper's “black-souled” owners in a tweet. And with that, The Post lost a good sportswriter, a newsroom character, and 21 years' worth of institutional memory.Here's the tweet:Blevins wasn't the only Post reporter to bounce. Over the spring and summer of 2018, the paper continued to lose talent. Instead of scattering, they formed into a sort of Rocky Mountain Voltron called The Colorado Sun. Per Corey Hutchins,* writing in Columbia Journalism Review:The politics desk at The Denver Post has imploded. Starting in April with voluntary exits that included Brian Eason, a Statehouse reporter, and climaxing this month with a new round of departures, four of the political writers and an editor have gone. John Frank and Jesse Paul, who also covered the Statehouse, resigned in recent weeks, along with other colleagues, in defiance of Alden Global Capital, the New York-based hedge fund that owns the Post and other newsrooms—and has set about shrinking their ranks dramatically. But there is some hope for readers who still want to see the work of these journalists in Colorado: Frank and Paul are headed to The Colorado Sun—a Civil-backed platform staffed entirely, so far, by 10 former Post employees, who will be ready to cover the midterm elections in November. (Eason will also contribute to it.)Larry Ryckman, an editor of the Sun, who left the Post as a senior editor in May, says he's not in a position to recruit anyone, but receives calls “practically every other day from people at the Post who want to come work for me.” The Sun—which raised more than $160,000 in a Kickstarter campaign, doubling its goal—will be ad-free with no paywall, and reader-supported, and will focus on investigative, narrative, and explanatory journalism. Founding staff members own the company, an LLC, which also received enough startup funding from Civil to last at least the next two years.Now the Sun, which hopes to start publishing around Labor Day, is poised to be a kind of post-Post supergroup. Four years in, The Colorado Sun is thriving. Blevins tells me in the podcast that the publication is approaching 20,000 paid subscribers and has 27 reporters. Morale and output are high. Profitability is close. They feed content to every paper in Colorado – for free. How, in this age of media apocalypse, did this bat-team of super-journalists conjure a sustainable and growing newsroom from the ether? Will it work long-term? Is The Sun's template repeatable?Let's hope so. Hurricane Alden's damage is not localized – the fund owns approximately 200 American newspapers and is trying to devour more. The company repeats its cut-and-gut strategy everywhere it lands. It works because locals' decades-old brand allegiance often persists even as the quality of the product declines. This was especially true in Denver, a city that had lost its other daily newspaper – The Rocky Mountain News – in 2009. Where 600 reporters once competed across two daily papers to deliver the most urgent local news to the residents of Greater Denver, somewhere between 10 and 15 percent of that number do the job today.Fortunately for skiing and the high country, one of that number is Blevins. His work has always been important in a hyper-specific way, exploring skiing's impact beyond its traditional branches of stoke-brah Red Bull flippy-doozers and ogling mansion-porn materialism. But in our current mass media extinction event, a Texas kid who spent his formative years living in a Vail laundry room has become an unlikely general in the battle for journalism's soul. His platoon is small and outgunned, but they have more spirit and better ideas. Frankly, they could win this thing.*I highly recommend Hutchins' Substack newsletter, Inside The News in Colorado:What we talked aboutSkiing as a Texas kid; the ‘90s ski bum; Vail 30 years ago; living in a laundry room; getting a chance at The Denver Post with no reporting experience; inventing the Colorado business ski beat; the great Charlie Meyers; the ‘90s heyday and slow implosion of mainstream American newsrooms; the nefarious impact of Alden Global Capital's gutting of local newspapers across America; leaving The Post to found The Colorado Sun; the Sun's journalist-led business model and whether it can be replicated elsewhere; why The Sun doesn't cover sports; the I-70 tipping point; pandemic relocators; Back-in-'92 Bro coming strong; Vail locals as the great liftline generators; the midweek business resort communities always wanted has arrived and no one was ready; the trap of basing long-term policy decisions on the anomaly of Covid; Colorado as short-term-rental laboratory; how ski towns created their own housing crisis; the new Mountain West, “where the locals live in hotels and the visitors stay in houses”; the housing scuffle between Vail Resorts and its namesake town; does an old Telluride lawsuit tell us how this ends?; the sheep defenders; the centuries-old problem of the company town; why developers give up and would rather build mansions than affordable housing; density is not the enemy; the elusive NIMBY; whether Vail's employee pay bump and lift ticket limits will be enough to prevent a repeat of the complaint-laden 2021-22 ski season; why the Epic Pass keeps losing independent partners; the most well-kept secret in skiing; why comparing Vail and Alterra's business models is so difficult; the inevitability of Alterra going public on the stock markets; perhaps the best reaction I've ever heard to Vail and Beaver Creek charging $275 for a one-day lift ticket; and why independent ski areas are thriving in the megapass era. Why I thought that now was a good time for this interviewAny time is a good time to talk to Blevins. He is wired on virtually any story impacting Colorado's ski industry: Vail's financial performance, leadership tumult at the National Ski Patrol, patroller unionization, Keystone's expansion oopsie. Incredibly, skiing is just part of his beat. His Sun author page is an eclectic menu of stories ranging from the drama upending crunchy thinktanks to novel collaborations between ranchers and the Bureau of land management to crises in Colorado trailer parks. But we didn't talk, explicitly, about any of these things. We focused, instead, on adding context to stories I've been covering in The Storm: multi-mountain passes, mountain-town housing, traffic, the evolution of media. We could have had a different conversation the next day, and an entirely different one the day after that. Blevins is the best kind of journalist: observant, curious, prolific, devoted, and unapologetically honest. And also extremely busy. I took more of his time than I deserved, but his candor and insight will be enormously valuable to my listeners.Questions I wish I'd askedYou could ask Blevins about any issue of consequence to hit the Colorado ski scene in the past 20 years and he would have a ready answer, so we could have gone just about anywhere with this interview. Our focus was the evolution of media in the digital age, I-70, housing, the megapass wars, Vail Resorts' operating adjustments ahead of next ski season, and the resilience of independent ski areas in this consolidation era. But I had backup questions prepared on the tumult roiling the National Ski Patrol, the proposed mega-development at tiny Kendall Mountain, the comeback of Cuchara, resort employee unionization, and much more. Next time.Why you should read The Colorado SunThere is a whole subset of journalists who write about journalism. This beat is surprisingly robust. If you want to keep up, I suggest subscribing to Nieman Lab's near-daily newsletter, which aggregates the day's best media coverage of itself.But even if you're not paying attention, you understand that journalism, like everything else, has gotten its ass kicked by the internet over the past 25 years or so. The world I grew up in is not the world we live in now. Newspapers, dropped daily on a doorstep and acting as a subscriber's primary source of information about the local community and outside world, no longer exist principally in that form or serve that function. They are one source of information in a universe of infinite information, most of it bad.Many people, it seems, have a hard time telling the good information from the bad. “The media” is a four-letter word in many circles, cast as an agenda-driven force puppet-mastered by diabolical unseen elites. Besides, why bother reading the work of trained journalists when you can find online groups who validate any kookball idea you have, from the notion that the planet is flat (surely these knuckleheads are trolling us), to the conviction that the government is pumping toxic chemicals into the atmosphere.Certainly there are ideologically driven news organizations. But “the media,” for the most part, is individual journalists – educated middle-class workers – seeking the truth through a methodical process of fact-finding. Unfortunately, as the world migrated online and the information gatekeepers lost power, traditional media business models collapsed, opening an enormous void that was quickly filled by every moron with a keyboard.Big, legacy media was slow to adapt. But it is adapting now. Journalists are finding a way. The Colorado Sun, like the Texas Tribune before it, has established a sustainable template for high-quality, community-supported journalism. They have no central office, no printing costs, minimal advertising. Every dollar they earn goes into reporting. Most of those dollars come from citizens grateful for the truth, who pay a monthly subscription even though The Sun has no paywall.It's an appealing alternative to the minimalist business model of Alden Global Capital and The Denver Post. And I think it will predominate long-term, as journalists migrate from low-morale dens of aggressive cost-cutting run by opaque hedgemasters to spirited corps of locals engaged with and invested in their communities. In 50 years, we may be looking back at The Colorado Sun as a pioneer of digital-age journalism, one that established a new template for what a local news organization could be.Podcast notes* Alden Global Capital's hilariously useless website. * The Texas Tribune is considered the OG of modern public-service journalism, and it comes up throughout the podcast.* In our discussion on the current housing-development dispute between the town of Vail and Vail Resorts, Blevins referred to a recent column he had written comparing this situation to a similar situation in Telluride:When a deep-pocketed investor proposed luxury homes and a village on Telluride's pastoral valley floor in the late 1990s, the town moved to block development, citing damage to the region's rural character. Town voters approved a decision to condemn the 572 acres on the valley floor in 2002. The case eventually landed in the Colorado Supreme Court, which ruled that Telluride had the power to condemn that acreage outside its boundary.The valuation proved spicy. The town offered the developer $26 million. The developer wanted $51 million. He forced a jury trial to move to nearby Delta County where the jury in 2007 ordered Telluride to pay $50 million, which was twice what the town had set aside to protect the parcel. A massive fundraising effort followed and the valley floor remains a bucolic stretch of open space on the edge of downtown Telluride.In Telluride, the value boiled down to the developer arguing the “highest and best use” of the 572 acres, where he envisioned multimillion-dollar homes, shops and restaurants. At Vail, that could come down to whether the parcel could ever be used for high-end homes.“The Vail corporation will argue that the land should be valued for its higher and best use,” said Collins, who penned a legal paper analyzing the Telluride valley floor case. “Assuming the ski corporation wants to fight this, that will absolutely be their argument. Highest and best use. That's just good lawyering.”This, Blevins thinks, is where the Vail dispute is headed. Tens of millions in public money spent and no new housing built. For more insight like this, sign up for The Sun:The Storm publishes year-round, and guarantees 100 articles per year. This is article 104/100 in 2022, and number 350 since launching on Oct. 13, 2019. Want to send feedback? Reply to this email and I will answer (unless you sound insane, or, more likely, I just get busy). You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.The Storm explores the world of lift-served skiing all year round. Join us. Get full access to The Storm Skiing Journal and Podcast at www.stormskiing.com/subscribe
Today - we're talking to The Colorado Sun's outdoor reporter, Jason Blevins, about officials using foam to fill dangerous abandoned mine shafts in the Colorado Rockies. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
To support independent ski journalism, please consider becoming a free or paid subscriber. This podcast hit paid subscribers' inboxes on Sept. 16. Free subscribers got it on Sept. 19. To receive future pods as soon as they're live, please consider an upgrade to a paid subscription.WhoSteve Wright, President and General Manager of Jay Peak, VermontRecorded onSeptember 16, 2022About Jay PeakClick here for a mountain stats overviewOwned by: Pacific Group Resorts (pending court and regulatory approval)Pass affiliations: Indy PassLocated in: Jay, VermontClosest neighboring ski areas: Owl's Head (1/2 hour), Burke (1 hour), Smugglers' Notch (1 hour), Stowe (1 hour) - travel times approximate and will vary by season and, in the case of Owl's Head, be heavily dependent upon international border traffic.Base elevation: 1,815 feetSummit elevation: 3,968 feetVertical drop: 2,153 feetSkiable Acres: 385Average annual snowfall: 359 inchesTrail count: 81 (20% novice, 40% intermediate, 40% advanced)Lift count: 9 lifts (1 tram, 1 high-speed quad, 3 fixed-grip quads, 1 triple, 1 double, 2 carpets – view Lift Blog's inventory of Jay Peak's lift fleet)Why I interviewed himI'm not even sure what else to say here. I've probably written more about Jay Peak than any other ski area in the country since launching The Storm in 2019. Most of it goes something like this bit I wrote last month:If you're unfamiliar with Jay Peak, think of it as Vermont's Wolf Creek or Mt. Baker: big, rowdy, snowy, and affordable. And, for most of us, far away – the resort sits just four miles from the Canadian border. Jay averages more snow than any other ski area east of the Rockies: 359 inches per year. That's a lot of inches. More than Telluride or Vail or Aspen or A-Basin or Park City. Of course, none of those mountains' base areas sits at 1,800 feet, as Jay's does, meaning the whole New England menu of rain, freeze-thaws, and New Yorkers. But it's enough snow that the place is legendary for glades, typically pushes the season into May, and is one of the only places in New England where you can rack shots like this without the assistance of Photoshop:From a pure skiing point of view, Jay is, more days than not, the best ski area in the eastern United States. Getting a good powder day in New England is like finding a good banana: it happens a lot less often than you would think, but damn is it satisfying when you do. Jay delivers more bananas than anywhere else in Vermont, a state rippling with snowy legends like Sugarbush and Mad River Glen and Stowe and Smugglers' Notch. It's special.That's not hyperbole. Jay Peak has led Indy Pass redemptions for the past two seasons not simply because it sits at the top of the nation's most densely populated region, but because it's a kick-ass mountain.But there are a lot of kick-ass mountains in New England that don't get the love that Jay does. At some point in the skier-snowfall-terrain-cost-stoke algorithm, that maximally boring category called management supersedes the actual skiing in determining public perception of a mountain. For the past six years, Jay Peak has somehow done everything right while everything has gone wrong. In short: the former owners scammed foreign investors out of hundreds of millions in one of the largest immigrant visa scams in U.S. history, the resort tussled with the town over valuation, Vail came to town, Alterra followed, Covid hit, the Canadian border closed, and the whole sales process drug on and on and on. And yet, I'm not sure if the resort's reputation has ever been stronger, its general more respected, its status as the king of New England skiing more secure.And while he will be the last one to admit it, that's almost entirely due to the leadership of Steve Wright, who found himself suddenly thrust into the general manager role as former resort president Bill Stenger was escorted out the door by federal authorities.What we talked aboutRelief; community reaction to Pacific Group Resorts' (PGRI) winning bid to purchase Jay Peak; how much it helps that PGRI already owns Ragged, a New England ski area; reflecting back on this long slow road; why that road was so long; what finally pushed the sales process to its conclusion; how the pool of potential buyers reacted when PGRI made their initial $58 million bid public; the frantic period between PGRI's bid on Aug. 1 and the Sept. 7 auction; auction day; what we know about the two bidders who lost out to PGRI; the final legal formalities that PGRI needs to clear to take final ownership of Jay; what Wright means when he says that PGRI shares Jay's “values”; “You look at an outfit like Pacific, and they've lived it”; whether “Jay will stay Jay,” and what that means; how much autonomy PGRI grants its resort managers; turning the resort around with everything working against them; a realm in which modesty rules; Jay's immediate capital needs; an interesting potential chairlift switcheroo; whether Bonaventure could get an upgrade to a detachable lift, and whether that would be a quad or a six-pack; thoughts on the future of the Indy Pass at Jay Peak; whether Jay Peak will continue to offer affordable lift tickets; will Jay continue to stay open into May?; the West Bowl expansion is dead.Why I thought that now was a good time for this interviewWell. I wasn't exactly in need of more work to do. The fall podcast lineup is stacked, with the general managers of Pats Peak, Sun Valley, Brundage, Nub's Nob, Winter Park, Bromley, Monarch, Sundance, and Vail Mountain scheduled through November. I already have an episode recorded with the Colorado Sun's Jason Blevins, the best ski reporter in the country. But last week, Jay's six-year run on the front page of skiing's tabloids appeared near its end, as mini-conglomerate Pacific Group Resorts submitted the winning, $76 million bid in an auction for the ski area.We're not quite done here. PGRI's bid is subject to approval by a U.S. District Court in Florida. But after years of uncertainty, we are clear to start envisioning Jay Peak not as that resort stuck in a crazy limbo, but as a place with a promising future under a proven multi-resort operator. Will Jay stick with Indy? Will Jet continue spinning into May? What will happen with Canada back in the mix? Will Jay continue to offer affordable lift tickets as Stowe nears $200 a day and Killington, Sugarbush, Stratton, Okemo, and Mount Snow sink deeper into the triple digits? I don't think anyone really knows. But the person who's best positioned to shape the answers to these question is Steve Wright, who just guided Jay Peak through one of the most tumultuous periods in modern lift-served skiing.Questions I wish I'd askedWe had a quick window to make this happen, so this podcast episode is much shorter than the typical Storm Skiing Podcast. I wanted to talk about the Canadian border re-opening and what that meant for Jay and for skiers. I also wanted to get Wright's reaction to the fact that Jay is no longer an independent ski area, but part of a larger family of resorts. There are so many ways to go with this story, and I am working on a follow-up to get a better sense of how PRGI will approach Jay and the challenges they face as they evolve the ski area.What I got wrongI incorrectly stated that Jay Peak's top 2021-22 lift ticket price was $86 – it was $96, as Wright notes in the interview. I also said PGRI put their “chips” on the table. Should be “cards” I suppose. But I am not Gambling Bro so I'm vulnerable to malapropisms in that realm.Why you should ski Jay PeakThe Storm was founded in and continues to be anchored in the Northeast. For those readers, I have nothing to say that they don't already know. You ski Jay because it's Jay, because doing so gives you the best odds of pretending like you're in Colorado and not freezing-below-human-understanding New England.For the rest of you: should you deign to ski the East, set your GPS for Northern Vermont. Run up the whole Green Mountain Spine. Start at Sugarbush, maybe Killington if you want to experience true New England zeal and madness, then work your way north: Mad River Glen, Bolton Valley, Stowe, Smugglers' Notch, Jay. That's the best skiing we have. The terrain is varied and wild, stuffed with must-ski lines and pods: Paradise at MRG, the Front Four at Stowe, Castle Rock at Sugarbush, Madonna at Smuggs. All have expansive backcountry options for Uphill Bro. The vertical drops are legit: Killington stands at 3,000 feet; Pico, right next door, at 1,967; Sugarbush is 2,600; MRG, 2,000; Bolton Valley, 1,701; Stowe, 2,360; Smuggs, 2,610; Jay, 2,153. Here, in this zone of snow and cold – each of these resorts averages at least 250 annual inches – is your best chance of open glades and fresh snow, and the lowest chance of rain and surface-killing refreeze.Be quiet Shoosh Emoji Bro. Anyone who's skied any of these mountains knows the secret broke out of jail a long time ago. Besides, my encomiums are unlikely to start a mass eastward migration from SLC. But the Eastern reputation, among much of the ski world, is that of an icy realm of unskiable concrete. That happens. But New England skiing – especially Northern Vermont skiing – is good more often than it's bad. And if you want to bust your own stereotypes wide open, there are worse places to start than this snowy kingdom at the top of America.More Jay PeakAs I said above, I've written a lot about Jay Peak. One of my favorites was this article last November examining why Jay and soul sister Whitefish, Montana keep their lift tickets affordable in an era in which big-mountain peak-day tickets can cost more than a space shuttle launch:Last month, I wrote a long piece examining Pacific Group Resorts and what Jay could look like as part of their portfolio. One interesting question: PGRI offers a “Mission: Affordable” season pass at four of its five existing mountains. It started at $379 for the 2022-23 season (they are currently $529). Will Jay follow its new sister resorts, or will it, like PGRI's Mount Washington Alpine out on Vancouver Island, continue to offer passes in its traditional price range (Jay's early-bird 2022-23 price was $749; the current price is $895 through Oct. 10). I'm working on a follow-up story, but here was my first analysis:This is Wright's second time on The Storm Skiing Podcast. His first appearance also coincided with big news – the resort's signing with the Indy Pass in 2020:Oddly, I had scheduled that interview months in advance – the Indy Pass announcement was a complete, and fortunate, coincidence. Here's the story I wrote around that announcement:And here was my flash reaction to PGRI's winning bid last Thursday, which I wrote in a Pennsylvania Burger King on a roadtrip lunch break:The Storm explores the world of lift-served skiing all year long. Join us.The Storm publishes year-round, and guarantees 100 articles per year. This is article 98*/100 in 2022, and number 344 since launching on Oct. 13, 2019. Want to send feedback? Reply to this email and I will answer (unless you sound insane). You can also email email@example.com.*Don't worry Team, we are not stopping at 100. That is a minimum. We have 16 more podcasts alone scheduled through the end of the year. We're likely to land around 130 articles for 2022. And by the way, this is the 28th podcast of 2022, even with the long break these past two months or so, and we should end with more than 40 for the year. Get full access to The Storm Skiing Journal and Podcast at www.stormskiing.com/subscribe
Today - we're talking with Colorado Sun outdoor reporter and co-founder Jason Blevins about a couple different lawsuits. One is between some private developers and the National Forest Service. Another is between Vail Resorts and the city of Vail.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Today we're visiting with outdoors reporter Jason Blevins about a proposed power project that would flood a western Colorado canyon, including the homes and land of several residents, if constructed.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Drought and irrigation demands will drain two Eastern Plains reservoirs, killing fisheries and the local economy. Colorado Parks and Wildlife has issued emergency fish salvages at Queens and Jumbo reservoirs, which will run dry and lose all fish this summer. Now, local communities are bracing for the loss. Colorado Sun reporter Jason Blevins has the story.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Since Meow Wolf opened the doors to Convergence Station in Denver last year, the Santa Fe-based arts collective-turned-corporation has been the talk of the town. They brought jobs, global clout, and millions of dollars to the often overlooked Sun Valley neighborhood. But the company has also struggled with lawsuits related to gender discrimination in Denver and fair pay issues in its home state. Now, the Meow Wolf Workers Collective says employees here have taken steps to unionize. Today on the show, host Bree Davies and producer Paul Karolyi are joined by Denver Post arts reporter and critic John Wenzel, whose recent piece digs into the unionization efforts at the Denver Meow Wolf outpost. Bree also mentioned this story past guest Jason Blevins wrote for the Colorado Sun this week about the Rainbow Family gathering, which went down last week in Routt National Forest Still don't have plans for the weekend? We've got a rundown of curated picks in today's newsletter https://denver.citycast.fm/newsletter/ Have you been to Convergence Station yet? Let us know what you think on Twitter @citycastdenver Learn more about the sponsors of this episode: Control Group Productions presents THE END Looking to advertise on City Cast Denver? Check out our options for podcast and newsletter ads at citycast.fm/advertise Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Colonel (Retired) Jason Blevins is a proven, combat-tested leader who served for 25 years in the US Army as a Combined Arms Aviation Officer, leading Soldiers, complex military operations, and programmatic initiatives within the Army. Born in Wurzburg, Germany, Jason is the son of a Vietnam era Army officer and UH-1 pilot. He graduated from Victoria High School in Victoria, Texas in 1990, later graduating as a distinguished military graduate of Texas A&M University in 1994. Jason's extensive Army career spanned tactical and operational level positions and combat proven leadership from platoon leader to brigade task force commander in some of the Army's most elite divisional units including the 82ndAirborne Division, the 2nd Infantry Division, the 101st Airborne Division, and the 1st Cavalry Division. Jason's professional military education includes distinguished graduate of both the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base in 2008, and the US Army War College in 2016. Jason deployed to Iraq in 2003-2004, Afghanistan in 2006, 2009, 2013, and 2017, where he led an advise and assist task force in Jalalabad. Jason's command experience includes Alpha Company, 9th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment; 2nd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment; and Task Force Leopard Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division. Jason served as the Director of the US Army Aviation Operational Test Directorate in his final Army assignment. Upon his retirement from the U.S. Army in June 2019, Jason initially worked for Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, and currently DelMar Aerospace Corporation. Most recently, Jason opened an in-home senior care business, Seniors Helping Seniors of Northwest Houston. Jason holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Texas A&M University, and master's degrees in Military Operational Arts and Sciences, and Master of Strategic Studies. His military education includes the Aviation Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, the UH-60 Instructor Pilot Course, the Combined Arms Services Staff School, the U.S. Air Force Command and General Staff College, and the U.S. Army War College. Jason is a Master rated Army Aviator with over 2,700 flight hours, including over 1,000 hours in combat. His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal (3rd Oak Leaf Cluster), the Air Medal for Valor, the Air Medal (with numeral 7), the Meritorious Service Medal (6th Oak Leaf Cluster), the Army Commendation Medal (2nd Oak Leaf Cluster), and the Combat Action, Master Army Aviator, Senior Parachutist, and Air Assault badges. Jason lives in Tomball, TX with his wife, Camille. They have four children: Madison (22), Jake (21), Luke (18), and Dani (9).
Xcel Energy has proposed a plan to build a hydro power plant in the Unaweep Canyon that will help the company reach its renewable energy goals. But the proposal puts homes and Colorado 141 underwater. Unsurprisingly, conversations between Xcel representatives and residents are already getting heated. Sun reporters Jason Blevins and Jesse Aaron Paulhave more on the story… See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Colorado's rafting industry plunged into one of its hardest seasons in 2020 before riding higher than ever in 2021, hosting a record number of rafters. Numbers are still being finalized, but the Colorado River Outfitters Association expects that commercial river trips taken last year total around 625,000. This year, that number is likely to fall, with minimal snowpack and economic pressures affecting water conditions and people's ability to road trip to rafting sites. Outdoors writer Jason Blevins talks to Erica Breunlin about this summer's forecast for the rafting industry and the enormous economic impact that outdoor recreation has on Colorado. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
30,000 expected at Rainbow Gathering's 50th anniversary in Colorado, sparking wildfire concerns The first time the Rainbow Gathering got together was in 1972 and that happened to be in Grand County. The last time they met in Colorado was in 2006, when 10,000 people camped out on public lands in Routt National Forest. This unofficial organization has no official leaders nor an official website. But through word of modern mouth, like Reddit forums, this group of hippy campers appear to be headed to Colorado to celebrate their 50th anniversary this summer. There's cause for concern though about the impact of such a large group on federal lands. But as Jason Blevins reports, one upside so far is the Forest Service knows it's coming. Tamara Chuang talks to Jason in today's podcast. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
It's Friday and we're chatting about stories big and small in Denver this week, starting with Union Station — which can't seem to get a decent headline in its favor these days. Producer Paul Karolyi is joined by host Bree Davies and Patty Calhoun, founder and editor of Westword, to discuss perceptions of crime downtown and the re-opening of a beloved Denver Mexican restaurant. Plus, the pickleball player who's landed himself in a real pickle with the police. Read the latest from Westword on crime statistics at Union Station here: https://www.westword.com/denver/Print?oid=13699478 For more on the pickleball power struggle, Denverite's Desiree Mathurin has been all over this story: Here's the original piece and here's the follow-up. Get the whole backstory on the Outdoor Retailer trade show's move back to Salt Lake City from past City Cast Denver guest and Colorado Sun reporter Jason Blevins: https://coloradosun.com/2022/03/23/outdoor-retailer-leaving-denver-salt-lake-city/ The Denver Post story about the situation downtown and at Union Station that we talked about is here. Paul shouted out his father-in-law and his favorite Longmont brewery, Wibby Brewing. For directions to their taproom and more, click here: https://www.wibbybrewing.com/ Peyton's got a roundup of fun things to do this weekend in our daily newsletter: https://denver.citycast.fm/newsletter/ Chit-chat with us on Twitter: @citycastdenver Looking to advertise on City Cast Denver? Check out our options for podcast and newsletter ads at citycast.fm/advertise Oh, and we're hiring!! https://citycast.fm/audio-producer-city-cast-denver/ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Tek & Prem welcome Jason Blevins of The Painted Lines on the VetLine. Ben Simmons' returning to the Center tomorrow night. He will be on the bench. Joel Embiid and James Harden undefeated thus far. Showdown versus Brooklyn on-deck. Tyrese Maxey on the rise fast. Sixers could be Finals bound. Tons of movement in the NFL of big names and contracts. Will the Eagles get into the action before the draft? Draft discussion and stategy as it looms near. Baseball still locked out, season in jeopardy. Segments include: VetPhact, Enter The Center, VetLine, Prem's NBA Picks.
We talk to Colorado Sun journalist, Jason Blevins, about this ski season & his predictions for next year's, then we're joined by Chris Davenport to talk about the 30th anniversary of the US Extreme Championships in Mt. Crested Butte; the Winter Olympics in Beijing; and more.TOPICS & TIMES:Blevins in Mt. CB (2:33)Starting the Colorado Sun (4:08)Jason's background (11:13)Assessing this season (20:37)Affordable housing in mtn towns (26:17)Return of a reservations system? (31:40)Dav jumps in / history of the Extreme comps (39:26)Ski passes as NFTS (46:35)State of backcountry skiing (57:21)Winter Olympics recap (1:04:17)What We're Reading & Watching (1:23:28)RELATED LINKSSubscribe to our Gear Giveaways & NewsletterBecome a Blister Member / Get our Buyer's GuideOUR OTHER PODCASTSBikes & Big IdeasOff The CouchGEAR:30 See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Killin' Me Smallz podcast welcomes back Dave Early, who covers the Sixers and Nets for Clutch Points App and Liberty Ballers, and The Painted Lines Sixers reporter Jason Blevins to talk about: Simmons The Nets The Sixers Harden and how it all fits together... --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app
For today's podcast we grabbed Jason Blevins from the road to hear more about the hugely ambitious Idaho Springs gondola resort project. Local residents were among those putting in millions of dollars to launch the major attraction at the Argo mine, and now that first money is gone. Michael Booth talks with Jason about where the Argo project money went, whether it's ever coming back, and whether Idaho Springs can move ahead anyway. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Joining us today is Jason Blevins, The Colorado Sun's outdoor industry reporter. He wrote last week about the Peak 7 avalanche at Breckenridge, which killed four young men on Feb. 18, 1987 and changed Colorado's ski industry forever. The deadly slide triggered an extreme-terrain arms race in Colorado as well as a 35-year debate over ski area boundaries, personal responsibility and what constitutes an acceptable risk. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Show Highlights: We're excited to welcome Jason Blevins as we discuss what sparked him to start The Colorado Sun, a member-owned public benefit corporation, and his career covering the outdoor industry on the Western Slope of Colorado. We discuss his recent article about the optimistic outlook for the ski industry based on the demand for ski lift infrastructure in the US. As a result of the pandemic, the outdoor industry was granted its wishes of increased participation and diversity in a matter of months. So far, we haven't seen a drop in engagement. The challenge now for the outdoor industry is how do we sustain that growth and demand? Jason's solution is to welcome and embrace these newcomers - they are the next generation of public lands advocates and the key to long-term growth. Join us as we take a dive into trends and predictions for the outdoor industry in 2022, including the challenges and opportunities outdoor-related businesses are facing. The days of cheap labor are over and to adapt, businesses will need to provide livable wages and affordable housing for employees, especially in the light of soaring housing prices in rural communities.
Vail Resorts isn't just the biggest ski resort operator in Colorado, it's the biggest operator in all of North America. But now, more than 40,000 skiers and snowboarders across the country are fed up with how Vail Resorts does business. A petition circulating in the ski and snowboard world aims to hold the company accountable for things like “mismanagement of the ski area, the failure to treat employees well, or pay them a livable wage, and the failure to deliver the product we all paid for and bought with hard-earned money during a pandemic.” So we called up Jason Blevins in Eagle, CO. When he's not hitting the slopes at Beaver Creek, he's reporting on all things outdoors for The Colorado Sun. He's also a former ski bum, and walked City Cast Denver host Bree Davies through this skier vs. multi-million dollar corporate ski resort conflict. Sign up for our daily newsletter to get an even bigger head start on the news of the day: https://denver.citycast.fm/newsletter/ And we love tweets! Follow us: @citycastdenver Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
A long line of out-of-state interests have fallen in love with Cuchara, the scenic mountain enclave in southern Colorado, over the years. They saw a chance to build a ski getaway and make a score with attached real estate. But unreliable snow and blustery winds doomed them to failure. Decades later, another out-of-state interest arrived with another vision for the area. But a very different kind of vision. The Sun's Jason Blevins joined colleague Kevin Simpson to talk about Cuchara's disappointing past -- and why locals nonetheless have high hopes for success this time around. Learn more at coloradosun.com See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Colorado residents and recent transplants looking for an affordable home may be surprised that for the past year, they've often been bidding against Zillow. The popular home shopping site has gotten into buying homes for itself in a big way, Colorado Sun reporter Jason Blevins tells us. And now they may be getting right back out again after a major failure in strategy. Jason talks with Michael Booth about what went wrong for Zillow and what it means for the rest of us looking for a good roof over our heads. To read more go to coloradosun.com. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The Storm Skiing Podcast is sponsored by Mountain Gazette - Listen to the podcast for discount codes on subscriptions and merch.WhoDan Torsell, President and General Manager of Ski Cooper, ColoradoRecorded onOctober 18, 2021Why I interviewed himWe’ve all seen the signs, westbound on I-70. Ski Cooper this way. Copper Mountain that way. And many of us have probably thought some version of “that’s funny, I wonder how many European tourists mix them up and show up at Ski Cooper with their Ikon Pass? Anyway, which way to the free lots at Copper?” And that’s as much as most of us have probably thought about the place.It’s easy to overlook. Lost between the world-famous monsters of Summit and Eagle counties, Ski Cooper is mostly a locals refuge. Most people reading this have probably skied some combination of Vail, Beaver Creek, Copper Mountain, Breckenridge, Keystone, and Arapahoe Basin, all Epic- or Ikon-aligned mountains, the smallest of them more than three times Cooper’s 500-ish acres. And yet, Cooper persists. It is, according to the NSAA, the fifth oldest ski area in Colorado, founded in 1942 as a training site for the legendary 10th Mountain Division, whose alumni would go on to found at least 64 ski areas throughout the United States. Any place with that kind of history and grit was, I figured, worth learning more about.What we talked aboutPennsylvania ski culture; turning skiing from passion to career; moving from snow-draped Utah to gritty Tussey Pennsylvania to frantic Killington; the dramatic technological advancements and swashbuckling energy of the late ‘80s-to-early-‘90s ski industry; applying the lessons of monster ski areas to community bumps; why Dan left the ski industry and what drew him back in; why small ski areas matter; the intensity of running a night-skiing operation with a short season; the thrill and challenge of running big parts of Sugarbush; working under Win Smith as he revitalized the resort; the story behind Sugarbush’s cabin Cat; first impressions of top-of-the-world Cooper; leaving an East Coast ski career to manage Ski Cooper; transitioning from one of the Northeast’s top dogs to one of Colorado’s underdogs; the enormous terrain expansion opportunities at Cooper; how the Tennessee Creek Basin expansion has transformed the mountain; why the ski area went with a T-bar for that terrain; running Cooper debt-free; snow distribution across the three sides of the ski area; avalanche mitigation; Cooper’s minimalist grooming philosophy; U.S. America’s culture of over-grooming; the scale of Chicago Ridge Cat Skiing and whether it will return this year; whether portions of the Cat-skiing terrain could ever be folded into the lift-served side of Ski Cooper; the potential to increase the ski area’s vertical drop; potential lift additions and upgrades; timelines for improvements; why the frontside double is likely to stay intact even if the mountain adds another lift; the beautiful simplicity of running a ski are with no snowmaking; why Ski Cooper doesn’t play the stay-open-as-late-as-possible game with A-Basin even though they have the coverage to ski until June; Ski Cooper’s bargain season pass and its incredible coalition of coast-to-coast reciprocal partnerships; how the mountain managed to mostly eliminate partner blackouts; how many passes it sells; why reciprocal partnerships are proving resilient even with the advent of the Indy Pass; why Ski Cooper raised its minimum wage to $15.25 per hour; whether the mountain will institute a worker vaccine mandate; and how Ski Cooper will build off its record 2020-21 ski season. Why I thought that now was a good time for this interviewAs anyone who reads this newsletter on a regular basis knows, I’m obsessed with the evolving U.S. season pass landscape. In particular, the evolution of the multi-mountain pass under the giant ski conglomerates, and how independent ski areas are responding to that. Some are joining the Indy Pass. Others are banding together to form reciprocal coalitions for their passholders. Cooper is a master of the latter strategy, building a partner network so vast that the mountain’s season pass is a de facto national megapass. And a cheap one.I first connected with Torsell and the pass’ conductor, Dana Johnson, over the summer. It was supposed to be a quick-hit interview, but I was impressed by the whole operation. Ski Cooper is the definition of composure in the maw of impossible competition. Would you open a ski area next door to Vail? Would you be able to keep one open if it was one-tenth the size and one one-millionth as famous? It takes resilience, patience, and some kind of brilliance to make it as a ski area in ruthless Colorado, ground zero of the modern skiglomerate. With a big expansion behind them and vast potential ahead, I knew Ski Cooper was a story worth following.Questions I wish I’d askedIt occurred to me while I was editing this that I had no idea who owned Ski Cooper. As you’ll see in our conversation, however, the mountain has plenty of big things ahead, and something tells me that Dan will be back on the podcast at some point to talk about those developments, and I’ll save the ownership question for then. In the meantime, this article by The Colorado Sun’s Jason Blevins details the whole ownership structure. I’d also like to have talked a bit more about the mountain’s founding as a training ground for the 10th Mountain Division.Why you should ski CooperBecause why not? When a lift ticket at its six closest neighbors is roughly the price of a new Cadillac, the compromises you make on sheer vertical drop and skiable acreage to hit Cooper seem acceptable. With no crowds and a magnificently affordable season pass, this is an entirely reasonable supplement to Epic and Ikon passholders looking for a weekend and holiday refuge. And while Cooper has traditionally been an intermediates mountain with very little terrain for the freight train skiers, the Tennessee Creek Basin expansion – opened just before the Covid shutdown – adds a rambling pod of full-throttle double-blacks. Yes, the runs are short – the T-bar rises just around 700 feet – but that’s roughly the same vertical drop you get on The Dumps at Aspen, and no one’s filling up the complaint box about those elevator shafts. Add in a minimalist grooming philosophy and all-natural snow, and you have a damn fine ski experience if you go in accepting what the place is, rather than obsessing over what it’s not.About that incredible season passIn July, I wrote an extended analysis of Ski Cooper’s amazing $299 (now $499) season pass, which acts as a de-facto alternate Indy Pass/megapass. I called it “America’s Hidden Mega Ski Pass:Ski Cooper’s sprawling season pass access is also the logical end state of a lift-served skiing universe increasingly defined by the Epic and Ikon passes, with their dazzling collections of poke-through-the-clouds resorts, relentless marketing, and fantastically achievable price points. Small ski areas, sitting alone, have a harder story to tell and far fewer resources to do it. Band together, and the story gets more interesting. And Ski Cooper is telling one of the best stories in skiing.Since I wrote that article, the ski area has added several new partners, including Lookout Pass, which sits on the Idaho-Montana border but does not appear on this map:Additional resourcesLift Blog’s inventory of Ski Cooper liftsHistoric Ski Cooper trailmapsSki Cooper today: Get on the email list at www.stormskiing.com
With the return of snow to the mountains comes the return of another Colorado winter tradition: gridlocked traffic on I-70, as weekend warriors make their way to ski areas in the high country. But how much of that gridlock is composed of people driving solo? Colorado Sun outdoors reporter Jason Blevins found some enterprising Coloradans are hoping to boost the practice of carpooling to the slopes with a slate of new apps. But getting them up and rolling has proved to be a bumpy ride. For more information on all of these stories, visit our website, www.coloradosun.com. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Good Morning, Colorado, you're listening to the Daily Sun-Up with the Colorado Sun. It's Wednesday September 22nd. Today - Given the affordable housing crisis, many resort towns in Colorado are attempting to limit vacation rentals like those offered on Airbnb. But before we begin, let's go back in time with some Colorado history adapted from historian Derek R Everett's book “Colorado Day by Day”: Today, we take you back to September 22nd, 1963 when a ceremony in El Paso County dedicated one of Colorado's most impressive buildings, the Cadet Chapel. The cadet chapel at the United States Air Force Academy was once described by a critic as “seventeen aluminum tetrahedrons set on end to resemble both a small Gothic cathedral and a squadron of fighter planes ready to zoom into the stratosphere.” Now, our feature story. Resort towns across Colorado are taking action to limit vacation rental homes like those offered through Airbnb and Vrbo. Tourists love them for the chance to stay in a house and feel like part of the community. But that luxury comes at the expense of affordable housing. The resulting pinch means that workers can't find a place to live, and businesses can't find workers — making it that much harder to survive. Jason Blevins has been on top of the high country housing crisis from the earliest signs of trouble. He joins us today with the latest. To read more of Jason's reporting on mountain communities, go to coloradosun.com. And Before we go, here are a few stories that you should know about today: Colorado's economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis remains strong, despite troubles from the more contagious delta variant and supply chain and labor shortages. State lawmakers Tuesday found a mostly rosy picture in the state's quarterly economic forecast, which predicted they could have $3.3 billion more to spend next year compared to this year. Gov. Jared Polis called it more evidence that Colorado is “roaring back.” Criminal charges have been dropped in the death of a spiritual leader whose mummified body was found in southeastern Colorado. The body of Amy Carlson, 45, the leader of the Love Has Won group, was found in a makeshift shrine in the small, rural town of Moffat in April. Seven people were charged with tampering with her corpse as well as child abuse, presumably because there were two children living in the home. Charges against six of them were dropped at a court hearing in September. The Saguache County court clerk's office said it has no record of a case against the seventh person, but didn't explain. It's unclear why the charges were dropped. Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon has activated the Wyoming National Guard to help at hospitals after a surge in COVID-19 infections. Ninety-five soldiers and airmen will deploy to facilities in 16 cities. The guard members will assist with cleanup, food service, coronavirus testing and other needs, serving in rotations of 14 to 30 days. The move comes as 190 people are hospitalized with coronavirus infections in Wyoming, down from a recent high of 223 on Sept. 8. Three caregivers have been charged in the death of an 86-year-old woman who investigators say was left outside a Grand Junction assisted living facility in the heat for six hours in June. The caregivers are accused of negligent death of an at-risk person and criminally negligent homicide in the June 14 death of Hazel Place. The Rifle native was a mother of three, grandmother of five and a great-grandmother of 12, an obituary said. The Colorado Attorney General's Office helped investigate. For more information on all of these stories, visit our website, www.coloradosun.com. And don't forget to tune in again tomorrow for a special holiday episode. Now, a quick message from our editor. The Colorado Sun is non-partisan and completely independent. We're always dedicated to telling the in-depth stories we need today more than ever. And The Sun is supported by readers and listeners like you. Right now, you can head to ColoradoSun.com and become a member. Starting at $5 per month for a basic membership and if you bump it up to $20 per month, you'll get access to our exclusive politics and outdoors newsletters. Thanks for starting your morning with us and don't forget to tune in again tomorrow. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Good Morning, Colorado, you're listening to the Daily Sun-Up with the Colorado Sun. It's Wednesday July 14th. Today - Many resort communities across Colorado are short on housing, employees and hospitality. But locals are in a tough spot, since they depend on tourism. As a solution, some towns are considering spending money on the housing crisis instead of marketing. But before we begin, let's go back in time with some Colorado history adapted from historian Derek R Everett's book “Colorado Day by Day”: Today, we take you back to July 14th, 1938 when President Franklin D Roosevelt signed an executive order expanding the Dinosaur National Monument across the boundary in Utah into Colorado. Back in 1869 John W Powell noted that fossils remained in the area. Now, our feature story. As people have flooded mountain towns during the pandemic, many resort communities are feeling overcrowded -- short on housing, employees and hospitality. Locals now are in a tough spot, understanding that they depend on tourism, but knowing that they may also be at capacity. Some towns are thinking about diverting money they usually spend marketing their towns as destinations toward solutions to the housing crisis. As outdoor reporter Jason Blevins tells Erica Breunlin, tourism is quickly evolving in Colorado's mountain communities as they struggle to both preserve their own culture and share the beauty of the high country with outsiders. To read more about how Colorado's resort towns are pursuing more sustainable tourism, visit coloradosun.com. And Before we go, here are a few stories that you should know about today: An Idaho Springs police officer has been charged with third-degree assault for using a Taser on a 75-year-old man without warning less than a minute after he answered his door while holding a serrated sword, but after he had put down the weapon. The arrest warrant for Officer Nicholas Hanning says he was responding to a report that Michael Clark had punched his roommate in the face. A judge on Tuesday ordered the affidavit unsealed and also ordered that body camera footage in the case must be released to the public by July 29 under a new state law signed by Gov. Jared Polis on July 6. Hundreds of aircraft are used to fight wildfires each year. But airport officials facing jet fuel shortages are concerned they'll have to wave off planes and helicopters that drop fire retardants during what could be a ferocious wildfire season. Overall, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said jet fuel inventories in the U.S. are at or above the five-year average, except in the Rocky Mountains, where they are 1% below. Most larger airports, such as those in Denver, Seattle and Boise, are supplied by pipeline. But jet fuel is delivered by truck to many smaller, outlying airports, such as the one in Aspen, and to many of the airports with tanker bases, some of them hundreds of miles away from jet fuel refineries or pipelines. The threat of flash floods shut Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon again Tuesday afternoon for the third time in less than a month. But ecologists working in parts of the Grizzly Creek burn zone high above the canyon have been racing since last winter to get seeds planted in every path of scorched earth that could slump to the highway below. The work is designed to stabilize soil and restore damage in areas of the 32,000-acre burn scar that can still grow plants. One ecologist said she's seen encouraging signs of natural vegetation coming back -- including significant growth of snowberry, chokecherry and fireweed. For more information on all of these stories, visit our website, www.coloradosun.com. And don't forget to tune in again tomorrow for a special holiday episode. Now, a quick message from our editor. The Colorado Sun is non-partisan and completely independent. We're always dedicated to telling the in-depth stories we need today more than ever. And The Sun is supported by readers and listeners like you. Right now, you can head to ColoradoSun.com and become a member. Starting at $5 per month for a basic membership and if you bump it up to $20 per month, you'll get access to our exclusive politics and outdoors newsletters. Thanks for starting your morning with us and don't forget to tune in again tomorrow. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Good Morning, Colorado, you're listening to the Daily Sun-Up with the Colorado Sun. It's Friday July 2nd. Today - A potential solution to Colorado's housing crisis is taking shape in Florence in the form of... shipping containers. But before we begin, let's go back in time with some Colorado history adapted from historian Derek R Everett's book “Colorado Day by Day”: Today, we take you back to July 2nd, 1950 when Denver's decades-old urban rail service clattered to a halt. Why? Buses started to replace trolleys, riders struggled to afford fares during the Great Depression, and Americans fell in love with the automobile after WWII. But Denver purchased the Denver Tramway Company in 1971 and reorganized its bus service as the RTD. Then, when the light rail began it proved that everything old is new again. Now, our feature story. A possible solution to Colorado's housing crisis is taking shape in Florence in the form of: shipping containers. Two entrepreneurs are building the homes out of the Lego-like metal boxes to create the state's very first shipping container hotel. The Sun's reporter Jason Blevins took a tour of the shipping container homes. And the business duo told him they hope their affordable, energy efficient Industrial Hotel will provide affordable options to innovators flocking to the town. Blevins describes the small homes to reporter Olivia Prentzel and explains how they could have a pretty big impact on the state's housing crisis. To read Blevins' full story, go to coloradosun.com. And Before we go, here are a few stories that you should know about today: If you're an Xcel Energy customer, expect a “smart meter” to be installed on your home sometime soon. The new meters read household energy use in real-time and report it back to Xcel. They will give customers a more precise idea of their energy use and allow Xcel to charge more for electricity used during peak demand times. Almost all of its Colorado customers will have smart meters by the end of 2023. The Fort Collins planning commission rejected a proposal by Northern Water on Wednesday to run more than three miles of pipeline through city parks and neighborhoods. The rejection will likely only stall the massive project, though. Under state law, Northern Water's own board can override the decision by a two-thirds vote. While water developers say they need more water to meet the demands of growing cities, residents say the cost to the environment and their wallets is too high. Colorado's attorney general has appointed investigators to look into whistleblower complaints that say dozens of air pollution permits were issued illegally to companies by a unit in the state's health department. At least one whistleblower said they were asked to falsify data to get pollution estimates within permitted limits. Attorney General Phil Weiser said Thursday that his office assigned attorneys at an Atlanta-based firm to do an independent investigation. For more information on all of these stories, visit our website, www.coloradosun.com. And don't forget to tune in again tomorrow for a special holiday episode. Now, a quick message from our editor. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Good Morning, Colorado, you're listening to the Daily Sun-Up with the Colorado Sun. It's Friday June 25th. Today - Although the state has been trying to move away from coal, one Southern Colorado coal mine is doing the unexpected. The New Elk Mine in Trinidad reopening after being closed for decades. But before we begin, let's go back in time with some Colorado history adapted from historian Derek R Everett's book “Colorado Day by Day”: Today, we take you back to June 25th, 1923 when Warren G Harding, who historians consider one of the worst American presidents, drew a crowd in Denver. Escaping a plethora of scandals in Washington DC, Harding and his wife set out on what was called a “Voyage of Understanding”. The journey was intended to connect the president to a less critical public. Now, our feature story. Colorado has been trying to move away from coal, with all but one of its seven remaining coal-fired power plants slated to close in the next few decades. But one Southern Colorado coal mine is bucking the trend, with the New Elk Mine in Trinidad reopening this week after being closed for decades. Colorado Sun reporters Jason Blevins and Thy Vo talk about why the mine fired up last week with plans to ship as much as 2.5 million tons of coal a year to overseas steel plants. To read more of Jason's reporting on the coal industry, go to coloradosun.com. And Before we go, here are a few stories that you should know about today: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has extended the federal eviction ban for another month to July 31. This is good news for thousands of Coloradans still waiting to be approved for -- or receive -- rental assistance. According to a recent household survey by the U.S. Census, 30.4 percent of Colorado households -- or about 77,000 -- are behind on rent or mortgage payments and face “very likely or somewhat likely” foreclosure in the next two months. Thornton's city council is expected to vote next week to use its status as a utility funding and building a critical piece of infrastructure to overturn Weld County's denial of a permit to build a pipeline to bring water to the city from a reservoir near Fort Collins. Weld County's commissioners denied the city's request to run about half of the 75-mile pipeline through an unincorporated part of the county. Thornton believes state statute gives it legal status to overturn that denial. This fight has been going on since 2015 and Thornton would like to have the pipeline complete by 2025. A police officer involved in the shooting left three people dead in Olde Town Arvada on Monday has been put on administrative leave. This suggests the officer shot and killed Johnny Hurley, the good Samaritan credited with preventing more bloodshed, sources say. Officers are typically placed on leave after shooting people until an investigation can determine if the shooting was justified. The investigation is being conducted by a team of area law enforcement agencies led by the Jefferson County district attorney's office. For more information on all of these stories, visit our website, www.coloradosun.com. And don't forget to tune in again tomorrow for a special holiday episode. Now, a quick message from our editor. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Good Morning, Colorado, you're listening to the Daily Sun-Up with the Colorado Sun. It's Thursday June 24th. Today - The housing crisis is worse than ever in many resort towns. In fact, a new survey found that the vast majority of high country residents believe it's become a severe problem. But before we begin, let's go back in time with some Colorado history adapted from historian Derek R Everett's book “Colorado Day by Day”: Today, we take you back to June 24, 1889 when Telluride's San Miguel Valley Bank was robbed. Three armed men had overpowered the employees and confiscated more than $20,000. One newspaper called it “one of the most daring pieces of robbery recorded in criminal history”. Ultimately the bank's shareholders covered the loss. Now, our feature story. Mountain communities in Colorado have long struggled with housing, but the affordability crisis is worse than it's ever been in many resort towns. Workers in Crested Butte have threatened to strike while local leaders in Frisco have talked about declaring a local emergency. And a new survey of 4,700 high country residents found just about everyone believes housing availability and prices are “severe problems” for mountain towns. Advocates say it should be a wake-up call for local officials. Colorado Sun reporters Jason Blevins and Thy Vo talk about what's behind the high country affordable housing crisis. To read more of Jason's reporting on mountain communities, go to coloradosun.com. And Before we go, here are a few stories that you should know about today: The first draft of Colorado's revised congressional district maps dropped Wednesday afternoon and the knives are already out. Because the state's population increased more than 14 percent in the last decade, Colorado gets a new U.S. representative. The new 8th Congressional District is centered in the fast growing north metro Denver suburbs in order to capture a large block of Latino voters. But in southern Colorado, political activists are calling the maps racist because they placed many Latino voters in solidly Republican districts. Arvada police still have not said much about the shooting Monday in Olde Town Square that left three people dead. But a man working in a store across from where the shooting happened says one of his customers ran out of Arvada Army Navy Surplus with his gun and shot the suspect. Police identified the man as John Hurley. Hurley also was killed, but police have not said who fired on him. Police officer Gordon Beesley died in the shooting, as did the suspect, identified as Ronald Troyke. John McAfee, the creator of McAfee antivirus software, was found dead in his jail cell near Barcelona in an apparent suicide Wednesday, hours after a Spanish court approved his extradition to the United States to face tax charges punishable by decades in prison. McAfee built many palatial homes with the fortune he made when he sold his company, including a 280-acre compound/yoga retreat near Woodland Park, that was foreclosed on in 2007. For more information on all of these stories, visit our website, www.coloradosun.com. And don't forget to tune in again tomorrow for a special holiday episode. Now, a quick message from our editor. The Colorado Sun is non-partisan and completely independent. We're always dedicated to telling the in-depth stories we need today more than ever. And The Sun is supported by readers and listeners like you. Right now, you can head to ColoradoSun.com and become a member. Starting at $5 per month for a basic membership and if you bump it up to $20 per month, you'll get access to our exclusive politics and outdoors newsletters. Thanks for starting your morning with us and don't forget to tune in again tomorrow. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Ep. 22 takes a deep-dive on the affordable housing crisis exacerbated by the pandemic-fueled mountain town housing boom. The issue is currently playing out in towns across the west and is on the minds of workers, longtime locals, elected officials, and regional housing authorities. The lack of affordable housing is more acute than ever and has transitioned into a labor crisis. Guests Jason Blevins and Skippy Mesirow offer their deep understanding of the topic coupled with first-hand knowledge. We honed in on the problem and offered potential solutions to this volatile issue that is truly an existential threat to the character that makes our mountain communities so special. Jason Blevins is an award-winning writer at The Colorado Sun, a digital media outlet focused on local journalism directed by readers and owned by journalists. Jason has been covering Colorado business – sports, tourism, mountain culture, and the resort industry – for decades and recently penned several in-depth stories on the affordable mountain town housing crisis currently impacting Colorado. Skippy Mesirow is serving his first term as Aspen's youngest City Councilperson and has served as a political intern, staffer, campaign manager, activist, and organizer at the national, state, and now hyper-local levels. To subsidize his public service habit, he is the general manager of SkyRun Aspen, a vacation rental and property management business. Skippy is an outspoken advocate for affordable housing in Aspen and chairman of the board for the Aspen Pitkin County Housing Authority. ----- This episode is brought to you by Obermeyer Wood Investment Counsel — an independent investment advisory and financial planning firm based in Aspen and Denver with roots dating back to 1982. Their team of experienced investors, thoughtful financial advisors, and focused problem-solvers would like to offer all listeners a complimentary, no-pressure investment portfolio review. To schedule an appointment and learn more about their services, visithttps://obermeyerwood.com/ ( https://obermeyerwood.com/). ---- This episode is brought to you by One Snowmass Residence Club — located in the heart of the new Snowmass Base Village. This limited collection of ski-in/ski-out residences lets you choose any ownership plan that fits your family's lifestyle. With two-, three- and four-bedroom options available, you can select the size that makes sense for you and how much time you want to spend in Snowmass. To learn more, visithttps://onesnowmassresidenceclub.com/ ( https://onesnowmassresidenceclub.com/). ----- This episode is brought to you by Basalt River Park, a new riverfront neighborhood in historic downtown Basalt, Colorado. After an extraordinary community-wide planning effort, Basalt River Park is pleased to offer five brand new Waters Edge residences impeccably designed by CCY Architects. The homes overlook the Roaring Fork River and have easy walkability to downtown Basalt. To stay in the know, call (970) 927-8080 or visit https://www.basaltriverpark.com/. ----- This episode is brought to you by SH Building Group. The experienced team of professionals at SH Built, consists of client, site, accounting, subcontractor, design, and craft building specialists. They integrate the latest construction management technology into every project and offer Home Guardianship Services and Advanced inspections. Start planning your project today, call (970) 438-0925 or visithttp://shbuilt.com/ ( http://shbuilt.com/). ----- Thanks for listening to this episode of Selling The Mountains. You'll never miss an episode if you follow the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your listening platform of choice. Please leave a short review and share it with a friend if you like what you heard. Sign up for the free Selling The Mountains newsletter to get exclusive content, episode recaps, exclusive sponsor offers, and more — visithttps://www.sellingthemountains.com/ (...
Victor welcomes Sixers Beat Writer Jason Blevins to show! Join them as Victor gets his thoughts on the status of Jimmy Butler/Tobias Harris, the impact Matisse Thybulle will have on the team this year as well as what it was like to write for the team during the Process years. Support The Philly Special Podcast today at https://www.patreon.com/VictorAndBrandon for AD FREE episodes, rewards, giveaways and much more for only $1/month! #FlyEaglesFly | #HereTheyCome | #RingTheBell --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/s/866a2e4/podcast/sponsor/acugkf/url/https%3A%2F%2Fanchor.fm%2Fapp (https://anchor.fm/app)
Season 8 is finally here! Episode One is behind us, and the gang here at PFO Culture gave their instant reactions. Shane Sullivan, Dan Morgan, Chris Deibler, and Jason Blevins recapped the episode on this installment. They also give some hot takes regarding some our favorite characters and discuss how they can see this season […] The post A Pod Has No Name: Episode 4 appeared first on The Painted Lines.