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Jason Blevins

The Colorado Sun — jason@coloradosun.com

Colorado ski resorts are in an uphill battle for workers amid the historic labor shortage

Ski areas are reaching out to locals, relying on visa programs and retooling jobs as they search for hundreds of workers in communities enduring critical housing and labor shortages.

Outdoors
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Powdr’s Fast Tracks offers $49+ chance to skip the lift line at Copper Mountain, triggering a skier backlash

Even a U.S. senator is calling on Powdr to kill the program

Outdoors

Property taxes would more than triple for Colorado short-term rental owners under statehouse proposal

State Sen. Chris Hansen, a Denver Democrat, said the change is aimed at ensuring schools and fire departments have enough local funding

Housing

Carpooling is the easiest, quickest way to cut ski traffic on I-70. But are Coloradans ready to share a ride?

Three new carpooling apps, enabled by recent legislation, work to reduce winter congestion between Denver and I-70 ski resorts.

Outdoors

Monarch Pass could serve as a new model for wildfire mitigation in treacherous areas

About 90% of the tall spruce on Monarch Pass have been killed by beetles. If a fire were to spark there, the repercussions would be devastating.

Environment

When people die in Colorado’s outdoors, sometimes friends are the ones to find them

Colorado search and rescue teams don’t condone civilian-led rescue missions, but in the last year, groups of skilled friends have found their fallen comrades in the backcountry.

Outdoors

Telluride’s Original Thinkers festival is aimed at allowing us to “move forward in this confounding world”

Telluride’s four-day ideas festival connects speakers, musicians and artists around documentaries, with a virtual festival running through October.

Culture

Should river towns be forced to build costly parks to get recreational water rights?

American Whitewater wants to adjust Recreational In-Channel Diversion water rights so communities can protect recreational flows without building whitewater parks.

Outdoors

Michael Bennet, Mitt Romney see the effects of climate change during bipartisan float down Colorado River

With a crew that included a tribal leader, Utah state politicians, scientists, water-guardians, ranchers and environmentalists, the two senators donned river sandals and PFDs and joined their wives for a float on the Colorado River

Environment

An end of unfettered growth for short-term rentals in Colorado’s resort communities

Breckenridge and other mountain towns are trying to slow the growth of vacation rentals in an effort to ease housing and labor issues

Housing

Alterra Mountain Co. sues insurance company over $200 million in denied coronavirus losses claims

Ski resort operator says Lexington Insurance paid virus claims in 2015 and 2018 but denied $200 million in 2020 COVID damage "simply because the claim is large."

Business

Colorado’s new board to rename controversial landmarks has its first recommendation: Mestaa’ėhehe Mountain

The Colorado Geographic Naming Advisory Board calls for renaming a Clear Creek County peak after the influential Cheyenne translator known as Owl Woman.

Outdoors

First-ever all-Black American expedition up Mount Everest vying for more than the summit

Climbers versed in both mountaineering and expanding participation in outdoor recreation hope their mission to the top of Mount Everest opens doors for people of color.

Outdoors

How one El Paso County bike crash is changing access to 14ers in rural Colorado

Mount Lindsey in the San Luis Valley is the latest fourteener to shut down in the wake of a court decision that made the Air Force liable for injuries to a cyclist

Outdoors

Colorado Supreme Court declines to hear case challenging ski areas’ use of waivers to avoid lawsuits

Charlotte Redden appealed her argument against the blanket immunity provided to resorts in ubiquitous liability waivers to Colorado’s highest court, which declined to hear her case. “This is a tragedy for ski safety in Colorado,” said one lawyer.

Outdoors

Coal is fading in northwest Colorado. The region is betting its economic future on another natural resource.

As coal mining fades, a diverse coalition of Moffat County residents and leaders is planning for the next chapter with a focus on protecting resources while managing recreation and tourism.

Outdoors

Hanging Lake Trail will take a long time to rebuild, but there’s clear water on the horizon

The Hanging Lake trail was buried in mud, rock and charred timber following intense rain. But the oasis was untouched by debris flows and the Forest Service hopes to rebuild a more sustainable path.

Outdoors

A new strategy in the season ski pass war: medical insurance policies

Telluride ski area’s lift tickets and season passes this season will include Spot insurance policies covering up to $25,000 in medical bills. Are more resorts lining up?

Outdoors

Ethics complaints from mountain counties spur probe of state Division of Property Taxation

Eagle, La Plata and San Miguel counties are asking for an audit or investigation into a cozy relationship between a state tax official and a lawyer representing hotels in litigation with the counties

Business

“Surrounded by toxicity”: As Colorado schools reopen, pandemic-fueled politics overwhelm classrooms

The school year is starting off in turmoil as mask mandates in some districts divide families and educators.

Education
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