Mountain Town News

Whistler village shops are being criticized for leaving doors open during cold weather.

Leaving the door open when its’ cold outside

WHISTLER, B.C.– Can Whistler be serious about carbon reduction goals when so many of its merchants leave their doors wide open in the middle of winter?

That’s a question not just for Whistler, but a lot of towns and cities with lofty climate change goals. In Whistler, the question was asked most recently by Anne Townley in a letter to the mayor and council members.

“Walking through the Village this morning, I was surprised and very disappointed to see at least 90 percent of retail businesses had their doors wide open,” she said. “It was 6 degrees C outside and heat was pouring out the doors.”

Merchants leave their doors open in an effort to be welcoming. “But it seems a ‘Welcome, come in, but please close the door to save energy’ would go over well, too,” she said in a follow-up e-mail to Pique Newsmagazine.

The newspaper did its own brief noon-hour survey, finding 10 doors wide open even as the temperature was -11 C.

Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden said that instead of a regulatory stick, the municipality is “really just trying to convince people about the right thing to do.” It’s not clear, however, what the town is doing to try to persuade people.

The 2016 Community Energy and Climate Action Plan also recommends reducing use of patio heaters and outdoor gas fireplaces that are put on patios for restaurants and bars to create a welcoming atmosphere. Lumped into the same category are heated driveways, heated stairs, and so forth. The plan, however, does not say what efforts should be made to reduce these forms of outdoor heating.

Whistler’s communications department, in an e-mailed response to questions from Mountain Town News, said there are no plans to impose regulations, but there is interest in applying greater attention. That said, British Columbia limits the power of municipalities to directly regulate such energy.


Real estate price sets new record in Aspen

ASPEN, Colo. – An unfinished penthouse in downtown Aspen has sold for $5,427 per square foot, exceeding the previously most expensive residential sale there by more than $1,100 per square foot.

Dancing Bear Aspen never listed the penthouse property for sale, nor has it disclosed the buyer. That buyer acquired all eight fractional-ownership options of the nearly 3,000-square-foot, fourth-floor unit, according to Teddy Farrell, project manager and partner in Dancing Bear Aspen. The outdoor living space comprises another 3,500 square feet in a wraparound deck.

Joshua Saslove, a real estate broker who was not involved with this sale, told the Aspen Daily News that the price, if new to Aspen, is “not unusual in luxury properties in New York and internationally.” He said he and his firm have seen sales of $6,000 to $8,000 per square foot.

Andrew Ernemann of Sotheby’s International, said a demographic shift in recent years is one of the factors contributing to more demand for walkable downtown Aspen properties. Another reason is a more restrictive city land use code that has made residential real estate harder to develop or redevelop.

Woman in Sun Valley area dies at age of 111

KETCHUM, Idaho – Chrystal Leola Harper died earlier this month at the age of 111 in Bellevue, a town located 16 miles down-valley from the slopes of Sun Valley. She was, according to the New England Centenarian Study, the 14th-oldest woman in the United States.

She grew up 15 miles outside Bellevue when most ranch families did not have cars. As a young girl, the Idaho Mountain News says, she traveled to town twice a year, a full day’s journey each way. This was before the first airplane ride at Kitty Hawk.


Uber moves taxi service into Colorado resorts

BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. – Uber, the international ride-sharing service, has launched a new program called Uberski in Colorado.

Riders requesting a driver using the Uber app can expect a vehicle with racks for gear and large trunk space. Uber drivers will be available in the Aspen, Summit County, and Vail areas.
The Summit Daily News reports that Uberski was tested last winter in Salt Lake City and Reno, both cities with airports located a short distance from ski areas. Riders used the service not just for travel directly from the airport to resorts, but also to residential areas
and hotels.

But it hasn’t worked equally well everywhere. At the Eagle County Regional Airport, which serves primarily the Aspen, Vail, and Beaver Creek ski areas, authorities required $1.50 for each seat in the car, both coming and going. That killed Uberski’s interest in providing service to and from the airport.

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