Posted inNews, Sports

Hold my pickax: In a battle of the miners, men and women compete to see who’s the best, well, miner

OURAY — Before the million-dollar homes, ski hills and film festivals, Colorado’s high mountain towns were home to the first white settlers who came prospecting for gold, silver, and other precious metals. There is a saying, “if it’s not grown, it’s mined,” referring to all the minerals and metals that are used in our daily […]

Posted inEconomy, Environment, News, Outdoors

Rocky Mountain National Park is making a comeback after the one-two 2020 punch of COVID, East Troublesome fire

The same few months of 2020 that Colorado crown jewel Rocky Mountain National Park was suffering its worst losses from COVID closures, the whole place also nearly burned down.  Now, things are looking up in the original Switzerland of the West.   The park’s in-house firefighting crew, which said they’d been prepping for a sparkfest like […]

Posted inBusiness, News

Colorado tourism businesses rebound in 2021, but recovery is uneven between mountains, Front Range

The Colorado tourism industry is bouncing back from the pandemic, but the recovery is not evenly distributed across the state.  Front Range urban destinations have yet to see traffic return to 2019 levels while Western Slope mountain communities are setting all-time records. The Colorado Tourism Office’s survey of 2021 visitors by research groups Longwoods International […]

Posted inBusiness, News

Tourists quickly returned to Colorado’s mountain towns during COVID. But they’re just now getting back to Denver.

The urban workhorse of Colorado’s tourism industry is finally recovering from COVID. Denver and its Front Range neighbors have endured long-haul symptoms from the pandemic, as convention and city tourism struggled to recover from shutdowns and the collapse of both leisure and business tourism. While other more rural communities rebounded quickly — perhaps too quickly […]

Posted inBusiness, News, Outdoors, Outsider

Colorado mountain towns can now use tourism tax revenue to deal with visitor hordes, housing shortage

Voters in mountain towns could soon redirect lodging taxes traditionally collected to lure visitors toward housing and recreational infrastructure.  Gov. Jared Polis signed House Bill 1117, the bipartisan legislation allowing that option, into law Thursday in Edwards. Since 2002, voters in 29 Colorado counties have approved a lodging tax for tourism marketing. The new legislation […]

Posted inBusiness, Coloradans, Culture, News, Outdoors

Colorado Gators started as a natural garbage disposal. Now it’s one of the state’s most unusual tourist attractions.

MOSCA — As Jay Young rolls his pants up and wades into the murky pond, Elvis emits a guttural hissing. It sounds like a pressurized water hose cleaning out a barrel. Young taps the 12-foot-long, 600-pound alligator’s snout and the gnarly armored creature lunges forward, toothy maw wide. “He still wants to eat me after […]

Posted inHousing, News

Aspen suspends new home construction permits as it drops the hammer in the name of affordability

Aspen’s city council this week stopped issuing not just short-term rental permits, but permits for all home construction as the city struggles with a critical lack of affordable housing and the increasing use of homes by vacationers.   A moratorium, passed unanimously by emergency ordinance Wednesday night after two meetings in two days, goes beyond suspending […]

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 […]