National Magazine Lauds Butte

Is Vail Only After the Molybdenum?

(New York) Crested Butte received high praise in this month’s popular Vacant Lot Magazine, a four-color collection of fluff and unabashed promotion of a crippled and dwindling American infrastructure. Calling the town one of the last great locations of white space in north America, the 10-member investigative team of writers and photographers marveled at the number of liquor outlets and real escape offices doing business here.

“Combine these amenities with a functioning ski area and you have a winner in Crested Butte,” harped one reporter eyeballing his thesaurus. “From the crawling four-way stop to the high-speed Silver Queen quad-lift this place can’t be beat. Besides,” said the article, “It may be Vail but never Aspen.”

The ski area, but not the town, was been purchased by Vail sometime last fall although details are sketchy. Happy hour and snow making operations, the lifeblood of leisure time winter sports, will remain a top priority with the new owners.

“No one will ever notice the difference,” said a source from the I-70 Corridor. “Just so long as they get plenty of snow and make plenty of ice cubes.”

Whether Vail will follow through on promises and construct state-of-the-art molybdenum lifts was never clear and continues in that capacity as we approach the Ides of March.

Meanwhile local cynics suggest that Vail is in no way interested in a continued presence in the volatile ski industry. They say the mega-corporation is only interested in the massive molybdenum deposits under the current lifts. Moly, as the mineral is often called, is a steel alloy found (ironically enough) in bicycles, tennis racquets, designer tents and many other outdoor experience products that are a major component of the freewheeling lifestyle common to these Rockies.

“Do you really think a lucrative investment portfolio would be sacrificed in these time of climate change?” asked one long-timer on Elk Avenue. “Skiing is just a front for mining,” said a source at Red Lady Bubble, a sparkling wine outlet on Belleview Avenue. “These fat cats don’t give a tinker’s damn about selling life tickets when they can sell molybdenum to the Chinese.”

The team of Starbucks-in-hand scribes had been scheduled to arrive in town back in August to cover summer festivals but was held up for five months due to road construction on Highway 135. Despite the annoying setbacks Crested Butte was easily named as one of the Forty Great Travel Destinations in Gunnison County and The Top 20 Places in the World To Bring Up a Dog.

– Fred Zepellin

“The bay was shrouded in the grays of coming rain, yet the thinness of the cloud threw a silvery light on the sea, and an unusual depth of blue to the mountains of Connemara.”

-from The Aran Islands by John Millington Synge

Filed Under: Fractured Opinion


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