Monday, April 12, 2004
Basic premise of the story-Texas billionaire Billy Joe "Red" McCombs, has way too much money and has decided that he needs more. So he wants to build the biggest ski resort village IN COLORADO (10,00 square feet) on some land he owns around the Wolf Creek Ski Area. The owners of the ski area are pissed, because this will destroy the atmosphere they've worked decades to create. There is a petition going around Durango to stop it and I know more efforts will be made to stop it. Will that make a difference? Only if the Forest Service gets some balls, or if there is any other legal way to defeat it. Because you know this McCombs could care less what anyone else thinks. He's focused on money (why would a billionaire need to construct something that will piss countless people off, just to make more money? He is not making himself available for comment, by the way) and cares about little else, obviously.
The developers working with McCombs, and McCombs's people are acting all confused, because the ski area owners supposedly agreed with this idea. Only when it was proposed, it was only supposed to be a couple hundred units, not the proposed 2,000+.
Pitcher says he worries that a politically well-connected McCombs could push his family off the mountain. After all, he says, McCombs acquired Alberta Park in a 1986 land swap with the Forest Service that was denied by local foresters but approved in Washington.
Colorado Wild spokesman Jeff Berman says that override meant pristine acres in the wildest corner of the state were wrongly traded out of public ownership.
It is land between the South San Juan Wilderness, the most unspoiled tract from Wyoming to New Mexico, and the state's biggest wilderness, the Weminuche. It is an important corridor for wildlife, including the Canada lynx, introduced there over the past five years.
Honts (McComb's venture partner) says he and McCombs got there before the lynx.
What a bunch of arrogant self-absorbed, greedy bastards. At least the Forest Service will be no help.
And yes, this makes me mad.