Posted inSunLit, SunLit Interviews

SunLit Interview: Scott Graham’s multicultural characters define National Park tales

Scott Graham is the author of the National Park Mystery Series, featuring archaeologist Chuck Bender and Chuck’s wife, paramedic Janelle Ortega. Book seven in the series, “Canyonlands Carnage,” was a finalist for the 2022 Colorado Book Award in the mystery category. Graham also is the author of five nonfiction books, including ”Extreme Kids,” winner of the […]

Posted inBook Excerpts, SunLit

SunLit Excerpt: In “Canyonlands Carnage,” river mishaps raise suspicion

Chuck gaped at the back of Clarence’s helmeted head. “What in God’s name are you saying?” “I mean, consider the odds,” Clarence yelled back at him. “You really think—?”  Clarence nodded, his plastic helmet bobbing. “I do. The power—the force—of this first rapid made me realize I needed to say something.”  Chuck grimaced and rowed […]

Posted inNews, Outdoors, Outsider

Colorado rafting outfitters had record traffic, revenue in 2021. Will it be enough to keep them afloat this summer?

Colorado’s rafting industry hosted a record number of rafters in 2021, posting its largest annual increase in commercial raft trips, up 44% over the pandemic-hobbled 2020 season.  The Colorado River Outfitters Association counted 619,968 commercial river trips on 20 Colorado rivers last summer, a record 189,793-visit increase from the previous summer. “These are just staggering […]

Posted inBusiness, News, Outdoors, Outsider

Colorado’s mountain resorts cut back their summer offerings as labor crisis persists

Vail Resorts announced its summer plans at its major resorts last week and one thing was conspicuously absent. Ziplining and canopy tours, once the foundation of an industry-wide expansion of summer amenities, have been dropped from the resort operator’s offerings at Vail and Breckenridge, apparently a victim of the labor crisis strangling ski areas.  Company […]

Posted inBusiness, Economy, News, Outdoors, Politics and Government

Judge rejects Colorado rafting outfitters’ lawsuit protesting mandatory minimum wage for guides

A federal judge has rejected a lawsuit filed by Colorado rafting companies seeking to block a new rule that raised the minimum wage for federal contractors to $15 an hour.  “We will appeal and continue to press forward,” said Duke Bradford, the owner of Arkansas Valley Adventures who joined the Colorado River Outfitters Association in […]

Posted inNews, Outdoors, Outsider

Colorado rafting company sues federal government over minimum-pay rule for guides

Colorado’s rafting industry, typically pretty sleepy this time of year, sparked to life this week after a longtime outfitter sued President Joe Biden and the Department of Labor over a new rule spiking the minimum wage for federal contractors to $15 an hour. “This is not about minimum wage. We already pay our guides way […]

Posted inClimate, News, Newsletters, Outdoors, Outsider, Politics and Government, Water

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

American Whitewater floated a plan last year to expand protections for recreational river flows in Colorado. Maybe, the nonprofit protector of rivers thought, communities should not need to build whitewater parks to secure rights for recreational flows.  “It definitely, you know, got some ears perked,” said Hattie Johnson, American Whitewater’s southern Rockies stewardship director. Colorado […]

Posted inBusiness, Climate, Economy, Environment, News, Outdoors

Glenwood Springs is still dealing with the effects of a long I-70 closure this summer. Federal aid is a lifeline.

After a year marred by disease and wildfire, Defiance Rafting just east of Glenwood Springs was having a gangbuster whitewater season this summer — so much so that owner Gregory Cowan planned to replace the 26 rafts that came with the business when he bought it three years ago. But the mudslides that closed Interstate […]

Posted inEnvironment, News, Outdoors

Two popular Colorado waterways are shut down amid raging currents, large number of rescues

While the Western Slope faces dangerous drought conditions, the urban stream and river corridors along the Front Range are flowing high and fast, so much so that officials are closing parts of the Poudre River and Clear Creek to limit people on the water.  In Fort Collins, the Poudre Fire Authority has rescued more than […]