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Aspen officials worry global warming will destroy ski industry

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  • mtneuman@juno.com
    Aspen officials worry global warming will destroy ski industry posted by: Dan Werner (Web producer) Created: 3/19/2005 ASPEN, Colo. (AP) - Officials of the
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 21, 2005
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      Aspen officials worry global warming will destroy ski industry
      posted by: Dan Werner (Web producer)
      Created: 3/19/2005

      ASPEN, Colo. (AP) - Officials of the Aspen Skiing Co. fear global warming
      could destroy the industry by the year 2050.
      "Things look bleak," said Auden Schendler, the company's director of
      environmental affairs. He said unless greenhouse emissions are
      controlled, the ski industry could be "Gone in 2050 . . . Maybe -- good
      case scenario -- gone by 2100," he told the Rocky Mountain News.

      Several climate-change studies have predicted declining mountain
      snowpacks as the West warms, as well as a change in the timing of the
      heaviest snowfalls.

      "Most analyses project a decline, if not total demise, of downhill skiing
      by the mid or latter part of the 21st century," proclaims the federally
      funded Rocky Mountain/Great Basin Regional Climate-Change Assessment, a
      240-page study produced by more than 125 researchers.

      "Climate change is a potential risk in our industry. It's on all our
      radar screens," said Bill Jensen, senior vice president and chief
      operating officer for Vail Resorts. "But I'm not as pessimistic as
      Auden," he said. "I think we'll be able to adapt." Jensen can imagine
      scenarios in which the state's ski resorts could benefit from a few
      degrees of warming.

      Possible effects on Colorado's ski industry would include a shorter ski
      season and increased reliance on artificial snowmaking. But if
      temperatures are too high they could impede snowmaking.

      Jensen said the higher elevations of many Colorado ski resorts could act
      as a temporary buffer against the damaging effects of climate warming.
      Lower-lying resorts would lose their snowpacks long before Colorado.

      Warming or not, the Aspen Skiing Co. is moving ahead with plans for a
      $400 million revamping of the Base Village at Snowmass, which suggests
      the resort's owners remain upbeat about the future of Colorado skiing.

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      421a-015c-bca9b15e2935&TEMPLATEID=0c76dce6-ac1f-02d8-0047-c589c01ca7bf
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