By Allen Best

Robust economy produces

hotel proposal in Ketchum

KETCHUM, Idaho — A four-story, 100-room hotel has been proposed for downtown Ketchum. Utah-based PEG Companies has purchased the property, called the Gateway parcel, and hopes to begin construction next spring. It would be part of the Marriott Autograph Collection, reported the Idaho Mountain Express.

The hotel, if it goes forward, would be across the street from the Aspen Skiing Co.’s Limelight Hotel. Ketchum officials approved four or five potential hotels before the real estate recession 11 years ago, but the Limelight — re-created from another hotel plan — has been the only one to go forward so far.

Meanwhile, in the Aspen area, the Aspen Skiing Co. has been working for several years to build more affordable housing in Basalt, which is located 18 miles down-valley from the company’s marquee Aspen and Snowmass ski areas. The current iteration calls for 36 units with 148 bedrooms.

But the Basalt Town Council has deadlocked on whether to approve it. Limited space for parking and rising costs of the project are among the problems holding it back, reported the Aspen Daily News.

From highest airport to lowest in record time

LEADVILLE, Colo. — On June 2, Kent Holsinger broke the record for the fastest flight between the highest airport in the continental United States to the lowest.

The highest is Leadville-Lake County Airport, which lies at an elevation of 9,934 feet in the shadows of Mt. Elbert and Mt. Massive, Colorado’s two highest peaks.

The lowest airport in the United States is 530 miles away in California’s Death Valley. There, the Furnace Creek Airport is 210 feet below sea level.

The flight took Holsinger, an attorney, 3 hours and 13 minutes. He flew at an average speed of 164 mph.

Crusaders mascot likely to be replaced at Alberta school

CANMORE, Alberta — It appears that the Crusaders, as a mascot, will soon be replaced at Canmore Collegiate High School. A student group has settled on Coyotes, Wolverines and Cyclones as candidates for the new mascot.

This was triggered by a letter to students in March from the school principal, Chris Rogers. His letter talked about the need to “ensure an inclusive, safe and caring school for all.”

The name crusaders, like many other words, has several shades. The broader meaning is that of a person who campaigns vigorously for political, social or religious change. A more narrow meaning refers to those who participated in religious wars sanctioned by the Latin church in the medieval period.

One person who had proposed the name Crusaders 40 years ago told the Rocky Mountain Outlook that it was the first, broader meaning that was intended.

What, then, to make of the shield and sword that are part of the mascot? They seem to be a clear allusion to the religious soldiers dispatched to the Middle East.

Ruth Suffield, a teacher who is overseeing the school’s student committee, told the Rocky Mountain Outlook that she was confused by the name herself.

“I just recently spent quite a bit of time studying Islam, understanding that region better, and the tensions that exist between our countries and Islamic countries, so I can’t not notice the historical references of Crusaders to the Christian Crusaders in the past,” Suffield said. “I think it’s true that lots of students and perhaps people in the valley didn’t associate Crusaders as necessarily negative.”

But, she said, it was useful to have the discussions about how the mascot might be perceived by others, such that they might not feel very welcome.

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