Vail Daily Vail, Beaver Creek and Eagle Valley, Colorado News Mon, 15 Apr 2024 22:41:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Vail Daily 32 32 Trump’s historic hush-money trial gets underway; 1st day ends without any jurors being picked /news/nation-world/trumps-historic-hush-money-trial-gets-underway-1st-day-ends-without-any-jurors-being-picked/ Mon, 15 Apr 2024 22:41:48 +0000 /?p=557459 NEW YORK — The historic  trial of  got underway Monday with the arduous process of selecting a jury to hear the case charging the former president with falsifying business records in order to stifle stories about his sex life.

The day ended without any jurors being chosen. The selection process was scheduled to resume Tuesday.

The first criminal trial of any former U.S. president began as Trump vies to reclaim the White House, creating a remarkable split-screen spectacle of the  spending his days as a criminal defendant while simultaneously campaigning for office. He’s blended those roles over the last year by presenting himself to supporters, on the campaign trail and on social media, as a target of .

“It’s a scam. It’s a political witch hunt. It continues, and it continues forever,” Trump said after exiting the courtroom, where he sat at the defense table with his lawyers.

After a norm-shattering presidency shadowed by years of investigations, the trial amounts to a reckoning for Trump, who faces four indictments charging him with crimes ranging from  to . Yet the political stakes are less clear because a conviction would not preclude him from becoming president and because the allegations in this case date back years and are seen as less grievous than the conduct behind the three other indictments.

The day began with pretrial arguments — including over a potential fine for Trump — before moving in the afternoon into jury selection, where the parties will decide who among them might be picked to determine the legal fate of the former, and potentially future, American president.

After the first members of the jury pool, 96 in all, were summoned into the courtroom, Trump craned his neck to look back at them, whispering to his lawyer as they entered the jury box.

“You are about to participate in a trial by jury. The system of trial by jury is one of the cornerstones of our judicial system,” . “The name of this case is the People of the State of New York vs. Donald Trump.”

Trump’s notoriety would make the process of picking 12 jurors and six alternates a near-herculean task in any year, but it’s likely to be especially challenging now, unfolding in a closely contested presidential election in the heavily Democratic city where Trump grew up and catapulted to celebrity status decades before winning the White House.

Underscoring the difficulty, only about a third of the 96 people in the first panel of potential jurors remained after the judge excused some members. More than half the group was excused after telling the judge they could not be fair and impartial. At least nine more were excused after raising their hands when Merchan asked if they could not serve for any other reason.

A female juror was excused after saying she had strong opinions about Trump. Earlier in the questionnaire, the woman, a Harlem resident, indicated she could be neutral in deciding the case. But when asked whether she had strong opinions about the former president, the woman answered matter-of-factly: “Yes.”

When Merchan asked her to repeat the response, she replied: “Yeah, I said yes.” She was dismissed.

Merchan has written that the key is “whether the prospective juror can assure us that they will set aside any personal feelings or biases and render a decision that is based on the evidence and the law.”

No matter the outcome, Trump is determined to benefit from the proceedings, casting the case, and his indictments elsewhere, as a broad “weaponization of law enforcement” by Democratic prosecutors and officials. He maintains they are orchestrating sham charges in hopes of impeding his presidential run.

He’s lambasted judges and prosecutors for years, a pattern of attacks that continued Monday as he entered court Monday after calling the case an “assault on America.”

“This is political persecution. This is a persecution like never before,” he said.

Earlier Monday, the judge denied a defense request to recuse himself from the case after Trump’s lawyers claimed he had a conflict of interest. He also said prosecutors could not play for the jury the  in which Trump was captured discussing grabbing women sexually without their permission. However, prosecutors will be allowed to question witnesses about the recording, which became public in the final weeks of the 2016 campaign.

Prosecutors with the Manhattan district attorney’s office also asked for Merchan to fine Trump $3,000 over social media posts they said violated the judge’s gag order barring him from attacking witnesses. Last week, he used his Truth Social platform to call his  and the  “two sleaze bags who have, with their lies and misrepresentations, cost our Country dearly!”

Trump lawyer Todd Blanche maintained Trump was simply responding to the witnesses’ statements.

“It’s not as if President Trump is going out and targeting individuals. He is responding to salacious, repeated vehement attacks by these witnesses,” Blanche said.

Merchan setting a hearing for next week on the request.

 of falsifying business records. Prosecutors say the alleged fraud was part of an effort to keep salacious — and, Trump says, bogus — stories about his sex life from emerging during his 2016 campaign.

The charges center on $130,000 in payments that Trump’s company made to Cohen. He paid that sum on Trump’s behalf to keep Daniels from going public, a month before the election, with her claims of a sexual encounter with the married mogul a decade earlier.

Prosecutors say the payments to Cohen were falsely logged as legal fees in order to cloak their actual purpose. Trump’s lawyers say the disbursements indeed were legal expenses, not a cover-up.

After decades of fielding and initiating lawsuits, the businessman-turned-politician now faces a trial that could result in up to four years in prison if he’s convicted, though a no-jail sentence also would be possible.

Trump’s attorneys lost a bid to get the hush-money case dismissed and have since repeatedly sought to delay it, prompting a  last week.

Among other things, Trump’s lawyers maintain that the jury pool in overwhelmingly Democratic Manhattan has been tainted by negative publicity about Trump and that the case should be moved elsewhere.

An appeals judge  to delay the trial while the change-of-venue request goes to a group of appellate judges, who are set to consider it in the coming weeks.

Manhattan prosecutors have countered that a lot of the publicity stems from Trump’s own comments and that questioning will tease out whether prospective jurors can put aside any preconceptions they may have. There’s no reason, prosecutors said, to think that 12 fair and impartial people can’t be found amid Manhattan’s roughly 1.4 million adult residents.

The prospective jurors will be known only by number, as the judge has  from everyone except prosecutors, Trump and their legal teams. The 42 preapproved, sometimes multi-pronged queries include background basics but also reflect the uniqueness of the case.

They’re being asked, among other questions, about hobbies and news habits, whether they hold strong beliefs about Trump that would prevent them being impartial and about attendance at Trump or anti-Trump rallies.

Based on the answers, the attorneys can ask a judge to eliminate people “for cause” if they meet certain criteria for being unable to serve or can’t be unbiased. The lawyers also can use “peremptory challenges” to nix 10 potential jurors and two prospective alternates without giving a reason.

Vail to discuss changes to summer parking operations /news/vail-parking-changes-summer/ Mon, 15 Apr 2024 21:37:00 +0000 /?p=557442 As Vail prepares for the winter season to wrap up on Sunday, April 21 with the closure of Vail Mountain, the town is starting to look ahead to summer.

On Tuesday, April 16, the Vail Town Council will receive recommendations from its Parking and Mobility Task Force for its parking operations this summer.

The bulk of the changes recommended by the task force are around enhancing safety as well as encouraging guests and residents to ditch single-occupancy vehicles in favor of alternative modes of transportation, like buses and bikes. The recommendations include no changes to the town’s summer parking fees and seasons.

The task force will be asking for council direction on the proposed program and changes during the Vail Town Council evening meeting.

What the task force would like to continue

Among the recommendations in the Tuesday Town Council , there are a few things the task force is recommending continue from last summer.

This includes the operation dates, which it is recommending start on May 24 and run through Sept. 29. This follows a similar season of operation as 2023 when the town extended the season. Previously, Vail had started its summer parking season in July.

The winter 2023-24 parking program ends with Vail Mountain’s closure on Sunday, April 21.

Last year, the town increased its parking fees, which in the summer it only charges for overnight parking as well as a handful of event parking dates at Ford Park and the Soccer lot. This year, it is recommended that these fees remain the same as in 2023.

 As proposed, this would mean the following fees would be applied in the summer:

  • A $35 fee for cars parked overnight (from 4 a.m. to 5 a.m.) in the Vail Village and Lionshead parking structures as well as in the town’s West Vail oversized parking area (located near the West Vail Fire Station No. 3)
  • A $15 fee for cars parked overnight (from 4 a.m. to 5 a.m.) in the Red Sandstone Garage with a max stay of 14 days
  • A $15 parking fee for event parking at Ford Park and the Soccer lot, with 50 days of parking events

Like the previous few years, the town will continue offering free overnight employee passes to “qualified overnight employees,” the memo reads.

Additionally, the town offers a “Condo Pass” for qualifying property owners in the village core to allow free parking in the town’s parking structures during summer. Like last year, the town will sell this pass at $475.

While the task force is recommending these fees and passes remain consistent with summer 2023, the Town Council will be asked to set the final fees and pass options.

Recommended changes

In 2023, one of the Parking and Mobility Task Force’s main priorities was to focus on “messaging parking and transportation options to the community,” reads the Tuesday memo. This included promoting the use of transit and other non-single-occupancy-vehicle options.

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This summer, the group is recommending the same priorities as well as ways to double down and enhance its efforts from the previous year.

For example, in 2023, Vail trialed a carpool program during two of the Hot Summer Nights concerts. During the trial, vehicles with three or more passengers could park for free at Ford Park or the soccer lots (rather than pay the $15 fee). As this saw success, the task force — with support from the Ford Park User Group — is recommending it create a carpool program for the 50 paid parking events at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheatre.

It is proposed as a “FOUR+ FOR FREE” carpool program in which vehicles with more than four passengers receive free parking for those events. It also proposed creating incentives for people to bike to these events.

With a similar goal of encouraging alternative means of travel, the task force is recommending the town allocate $25,000 to create an incentive program.

This goal of the program would be to “promote bus ridership on ECO and Vail Transit when commuting to or in Vail, less the in-town bus,” with “strategic activation on days/peak travel times that historically have been overflow summer parking days.”

Reducing overflow parking days — from when the parking structures fill and parking is allowed on the frontage roads — has long been a priority of the town, regardless of the season. This is not only because it has a limited allowance based on the terms of its lease with the Colorado Department of Transportation, but also due to safety concerns.

This is another priority the task force is recommending the town dig deeper into this summer.

Per the lease, Vail can only use these frontage road spots for 60 days per calendar year.

While the frontage road parking is largely a winter use, Vail does have some high-traffic days in the summer that cause the same spillage onto the frontage roads. This primarily occurs during the town’s busier weekends like the GoPro Mountain Games and Fourth of July weekend.

In 2022, the town utilized this parking for 10 days during the summer. In 2023, the town had , with an average of 210 cars parking on the road those days. This included two days during the 2023 GoPro Mountain Games in June, two days over the Fourth of July weekend and a Saturday in September.

For summer 2024, the task force is recommending that the town pilot eliminating parking on the South Frontage Road between the Main Vail Roundabout and Vail Valley Drive (the stretch outside of the Vail Village Parking structure).

“Eliminating the use of this section would provide a safer experience for drivers and pedestrians during overflow days, as well as a clear shoulder for bike traffic,” reads the memo.

Should the pilot prove successful, the group is also recommending the town continue the trial into the 2024-25 winter season.

This recommendation comes with an estimated one-time budget of $12,500. These funds would be used to purchase signage and cones to delineate and communicate the proposed change.

The Vail Town Council will hear these recommendations — and give its direction — at the Tuesday, April 16 evening meeting. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. It takes place both in person at the Vail Town Hall (75 South Frontage Road) and virtually via Zoom. The meeting is also streamed live on the town’s and . To learn more or provide comment, visit .

Eagle through April 19 will see prescribed burns around town, weather conditions permitting /news/eagle-through-april-19-will-see-prescribed-burns-around-town-weather-conditions-permitting/ Mon, 15 Apr 2024 21:34:14 +0000 /?p=557450 Eagle Valley Wildland, in partnership with town of Eagle Open Space, the Eagle River Fire Protection District and Colorado Parks and Wildlife, will continue prescribed fire operations in Eagle through April 19. 

Weather permitting, these burns will target areas with tall grass and accumulated wildfire fuel. Residents are advised the smoke is from controlled burning. Don’t call 911 unless there is an emergency. 

Prescribed burns are a crucial land management tool for wildfire prevention. They help reduce wildfire risk while having some benefits for ecosystem management.

For more information, contact Hugh Fairfield-Smith of Eagle Valley Wildland, 970-471-0223 or go to .

Vail Health, The Steadman Clinic to offer free physicals for high school athletes /news/vail-health-the-steadman-clinic-to-offer-free-physicals-for-high-school-athletes/ Mon, 15 Apr 2024 21:29:33 +0000 /?p=557430 In May, Vail Health and The Steadman Clinic will provide its annual free high school pre-participation physicals to Eagle þȾƷƵapp student-athletes. The two entities have been providing this service for almost 30 years, with around 250 high school athletes taking advantage of this free offering annually.

Physicals will be offered in both English and Spanish on Friday, May 17 at Battle Mountain High School, and on Friday, May 24 at Eagle Valley High School.

“The goal of offering this pre-participation physical screening at no cost is to make athletics possible for all our high school student-athletes, but the true mission is to keep these young athletes healthy and safe,” said Brandie Martin, director of athletic training for The Steadman Clinic.

The purpose of these high school physicals is to identify any pre-existing health-related issues that can be dangerous to sports participation. They can also determine if a child is healthy enough to participate in sports.

A thorough physical examination before sports participation can prevent injuries and save lives. The state of Colorado’s high school athletic associations require an annual pre-participation physical for participation in school-based sports. While athletics support an active and healthy lifestyle, there are inherent risks of injury, and pre-participation physicals promote the health and safety of young athletes participating in training and competition and identify those who may need additional evaluation before participation.

If injuries, illness or medical conditions are found, students are given referrals, advice, education and resources to ensure safe sport participation.

Physical details:

  • Pre-participation screenings are provided in English and Spanish by physicians and staff from Vail Health and The Steadman Clinic.
  • Athletes under age 18 must be accompanied by a guardian.
  • Physical forms (available in English and Spanish) must be signed and filled out by a guardian.
  • The mandatory forms and additional information are available at .
  • Please wear shorts and a T-shirt.
If you go…

When: Friday, May 17, 2024 from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Where: Battle Mountain High School (0151 Miller Ranch Road, Edwards)

When: Friday, May 24, 2024 from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Where: Eagle Valley High School (641 Valley Road, Gypsum)

Writers on the Range: In Wyoming, tormenting a wolf is not a big deal /opinion/writers-on-the-range-in-wyoming-tormenting-a-wolf-is-not-a-big-deal/ Writers on the Range]]> Mon, 15 Apr 2024 20:32:52 +0000 /?p=557452 It’s legal in Wyoming to chase coyotes and run over them with snowmobiles, but recently, a man used his snowmobile to run down a wolf until it was disabled. Then he taped the wolf’s mouth shut and paraded the animal around a local bar, to commemorate the event. Finally, he killed the wolf.

According to news reports, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department fined the man $250. His only crime: possession of a live wild animal. The more we learn, the worse this disturbing story gets. Most recently, one news outlet released from the state game department showing the muzzled wolf splayed out on the bar floor.

Wendy Keefover
Courtesy photo

The single upside to this incident is that it has brought scrutiny to the state of Wyoming’s bureaucratic indifference to wolves and other wildlife.

We now know that the responsible management agency can’t effectively punish one of the worst acts of cruelty ever exposed in the state. But is that any wonder when we consider that the state funds ineffectual predator-control programs that kill wolves and other wild animals indiscriminately?

This failure stands out starkly when compared to neighboring Colorado, now hosting reintroduced wolves. Although Colorado Parks and Wildlife reported recent wildlife-rancher conflicts, two state agencies, which held many meetings with the public before wolves came back to the state, are already working with those ranchers to prevent and mitigate losses and to provide generous compensation funds. 

The new Born to be Wild specialty license plate has already generated more than $60,000 toward Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s nonlethal-conflict prevention fund for wolves. If a wolf, bear or mountain lion causes a livestock loss, the producer is eligible for compensation, as in a case in early April, where wildlife staffers reported that

Most states have limits on “manner of take,” defined as what methods are permitted to kill wildlife. But in what Wyoming calls its “” that’s a whopping 85% of the state where wolves, coyotes, red foxes, raccoons, porcupines, jackrabbits and stray cats can be killed using any method.

Methods include hounding, baiting, neck snares, leg-hold traps, shooting wildlife from aircraft and M-44 “cyanide bombs,” courtesy of the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services.

This is all usually undertaken to protect sheep and cattle and grow mule-deer herds for hunters. But conservation biologists find otherwise.

We know that livestock losses attributable to wolves and other native carnivores are rare. Using government data, the Humane Society of the United States found that losses to cattle and sheep caused by , and amounted to of those domestic animal inventories in every state containing those wildlife species.

Recent reports have indicated that the Sublette þȾƷƵapp Sheriff’s office has opened an investigation into the killing of the wolf, and we hope officials will move forward with new charges.

Meanwhile, “wildlife advocates in Wyoming, energized by the wolf torture allegations, plan to push for policy reform,” reports the news outlet Wyofile. In Wyoming now, it is legal and routine to pursue coyotes by running them down with snowmobiles. The “sport” even has a name: “Chasin’ fur.”

The plight of wolves in Wyoming, along with those in neighboring states Montana and Idaho where similar practices are allowed, highlights the need for increased protections for these animals. On April 8, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was sued by several wildlife organizations to restore protections for wolves in the Northern Rockies.

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In the meantime, a case as shocking as this must never recur. At the least, Wyoming lawmakers need to eliminate its predator zone and strengthen animal cruelty laws. In Colorado, wild animal or not, such an incident would be classified as “aggravated cruelty to animals.”

That is a decent thing to do for animals, and when we take into account the links between cruelty to animals and interpersonal violence, we should see it as essential for a civil society as well.

Wendy Keefover is a contributor to , an independent nonprofit dedicated to spurring conversation about Western issues. She works for the Humane Society of the United States as a senior strategist for native carnivore protection.

Wild & Scenic Film Festival returns to support watershed education on April 18 /news/wild-scenic-film-festival-returns-to-support-watershed-education-on-april-18/ Mon, 15 Apr 2024 20:03:14 +0000 /?p=557448 The Eagle River Coalition will host the , presented by TPG, at the Riverwalk Theater in Edwards on Thursday, April 18, 2024. The nonprofit fundraiser includes door prizes, a virtual silent auction and the chance to participate in the fifth annual .

The event brings inspiring films to the Eagle þȾƷƵapp community, fostering environmental stewardship and activism, in addition to raising funds to support the Eagle River Coalition’s slate of watershed education programs.

Doors open at 5 p.m. at the Riverwalk Theater with showings at 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. To get tickets, please visit . A virtual, on-demand option is also available for folks who are not able to attend the live event.

The silent auction offerings, which will be available for bidding starting at 8 a.m. on April 17 on the platform 32 Auctions, range from local products to incredible outdoor excursions. Products and experiences include local golfing packages, exclusive access to the Polar Star hut, guided fishing trips from Vail Valley Anglers and Vail Rod & Gun Club, and so much more.

The ‘s presenting sponsor is TPG. Wild sponsors include 1st & Main Investments and The Village Market. Rocky Mountain Custom Landscapes and Riverwalk Wine & Spirits are this year’s Scenic-level sponsors.

This year’s is a fundraiser for the Eagle River Coalition’s mission to protect local waterways through monitoring, restoration, education and advocacy. River enthusiasts everywhere are encouraged to participate in the contest, which runs through April 22, 2024.

The contest provides participants the chance to guess the day and time of the Eagle River at the Gypsum gauging station. The flow in cubic feet per second serves as the tie-breaker, and prizes will be awarded to participants with the guesses closest to the actual peak flow.

Contest participants will be eligible to win prizes donated by nationally-known recreation brands, including Fishpond, Rancho del Rio, Yeti, and Vail Resorts.

To participate in the contest, visit and purchase your ticket before 11:30 p.m. on April 22, 2024. Winners will be notified after the threat of a false peak has passed. Please contact Melanie Smith, development director, at

For more information on the Wild & Scenic Film Festival, email Rose Sandell at

Colorado ranch helps forge a whiskey made from wildfire /news/colorado-ranch-helps-forge-a-whiskey-made-from-wildfire/ Mon, 15 Apr 2024 19:00:12 +0000 /?p=557444 Many trees on C Lazy U Ranch in Granby are still charred and bare from the 2020 East Troublesome Fire, although the land is recovering.

These trees seem lifeless, but Owen Locke of  saw a unique purpose for the scorched bark and trunks. He traveled to the ranch nestled next to Willow Creek Reservoir to explore the burn scars. Along with C Lazy U staff, he chose trees that would be cut down and repurposed — for a new whiskey. 

“In 2020, when that fire came through, it was pretty devastating,” Locke said in an interview with Sky-Hi News. “So how could we turn a negative into a positive, and give back to the community?”

Together, Locke and Brady Johnson, director of sales and marketing at C Lazy U, came up with the idea of using charred aspen tree discs in the process of aging of the distillery’s whiskey.

Locke + Co. then released its creation — the limited edition C Lazy U Ranch East Troublesome Fire Aspen Aged Rye Whiskey.

Giving back to Grand Fire

Not only has the whiskey given new life to the charred aspens, there is an added benefit to the bottles — giving back to firefighters. For each bottle sold, $15 is given back to the Grand Fire Protection District No. 1.

When the East Troublesome whiskey was finished after a three-year process, Locke recommended that a portion of each bottle’s proceeds be donated the charity. Johnson and the C Lazy U team chose Grand Fire to receive the charitable donation.

When the  wildfire headed toward the ranch, the Grand Fire Protection District, along with members of Adams þȾƷƵapp wildland firefighters, stepped in and saved the ranch’s structures. As the flames approached, the first responders created fuel breaks around the main lodge and other structures. These men and women put themselves in the unpredictable fire’s path. Strong winds, which sometimes got up to 90 mph because of the fire’s power, meant the fire moved at an unimaginable speed.  

After the fire burned through the area Oct. 21, 2020, first responders assessed the damage. The horse barn, one guest cabin and eight of 27 member homes were lost. C Lazy U also lost its off-site employee housing building located along Colorado Highway 125.

But C Lazy U staff were surprised and overjoyed to learn that many of the structures were still standing after the fire went through. Thanks to the firefighters’ work, the main lodge, dining area, patio house and nearly all the cabins were saved, as well as the on-site employee housing and administrative buildings.

In 2020, the East Troublesome Fire destroyed parts of C Lazy U Ranch, but firefighters with Grand Fire Protection District No. 1. helped prevent the ranch from being completely destroyed. C Lazy U thanked these first responders in October 2023, offering a donation from bottle sales of a limited-edition whiskey.
C Lazy U Ranch/Courtesy Photo

On the anniversary of the East Troublesome Fire in October 2023, the ranch also invited members of Grand Fire for a tribute lunch. There, ranch staff unveiled the new whiskey that is available to the C Lazy U guests.

“We thanked them for their service and protecting and saving the ranch,” Johnson said.

The Grand Fire team had heroically worked to fight the  wildfire in Colorado’s history. Although Grand Fire has resident firefighters, many of its staff are volunteers. Johnson added that the team has helped the ranch in lots of ways, including their efforts to fight the East Troublesome Fire.

“They’ve been great — they always consult us and help us in doing proper fire mitigation and safety,” he said. “Helping (the homeowners) protect their homes, helping the ranch protect its buildings.”

Burned wood given new life in the whiskey-making process

In the four years since the fire, C Lazy U has been busy rebuilding and healing the scorched landscape. Removing the burned aspens allows for new growth to flourish — but instead of just getting rid of the trees, they are now sustainably used in Locke’s whiskey.

“We use aspen wood in our products, that’s kind of how we started our company,” Locke explained. “So we decided to use some of these naturally burned, naturally charred aspens on the property.”

He added that traditionally, whiskey is aged in charred barrels. This practice of using charred barrels goes back centuries — by toasting the wood, certain flavors and colors are brought out in the spirit, while neutralizing other flavors. This practice was also thought to sanitize the wood. 

The limited-edition whiskey was aged for two years in oak barrels, then four months with the charred aspen discs, and finished in a wine port barrel.

“I came up to the ranch in February (2023) and we picked out the trees that had been charred, but were still in good condition for the whiskey,” Locke said.

After the team carefully hand selected the best trees, the distillery cured the wood, which still had some residual moisture from the winter snow. Then the wood was added to the blend of rye whiskey.

“That rye whiskey has a spicy, earthy tone to it, and the aspen wood from C Lazy U adds a little light brown sugar, some cinnamon, some toffee notes to the whiskey — so some sweetness in there,” Locke explained while describing the whiskey’s flavor.

They finished the whiskey with the aspen wood in a port wine barrel as well, which added a red hue to the whiskey.

“It’s a very special, unique blend with the different woods,” he said. “First in an oak barrel, the port barrel, and of course the East Troublesome Fire aspen wood.”

The speciality East Troublesome Fire Whiskey isn’t the first time that Locke + Co. and C Lazy U have partnered together.

“Part of our mission and goals of the ranch, is to do collaborative things with the community, and collaborative is what we’ve done with Locke + Co.,” Johnson said. “We’ve worked together for many years.”   

Johnson added that the ranch is proud to work with a Colorado-based company that offers its spirits in stores throughout Grand þȾƷƵapp. The distillery makes all of its whiskeys from locally sourced aspens.

In addition to selling the whiskey at C Lazy U, Locke + Co. made it available at Grand Lake Wine & Spirits for a time, also with a portion of the proceeds going to Grand Fire.

“It’s really come full circle, from the trees burning down, to harvesting that charred aspen, to aged whiskey, to thanking our firefighters and actually cutting them a check from the sale of each bottle,” Johnson said.

Locke has plans for his next batch of East Troublesome Fire aged aspen whiskey, allowing for the sustainable removal of trees on the property to continue. Since C Lazy U is 8,500 acres, there are lots of trees to select from.  

“There’s another section on the ranch where the fire impacted the trees, so there’s more to come seasonally for different whiskey batches,” he said. “So we can keep that cycle going, and raise more money for nonprofits.”

Locke explained that he is a sixth-generation Coloradan, and is always looking for ways to benefit the surrounding community through his business. As wildfires like East Troublesome become more prevalent in Colorado, every donation to local firefighters counts.  

“Anything we can do to help Colorado, and in line with C Lazy U — the benefits of this collaboration just seemed to make a lot of sense,” Locke said.

This story is from

Carnes: Mobius strip of insanity /opinion/carnes-mobius-strip-of-insanity/ Mon, 15 Apr 2024 18:17:14 +0000 /?p=557435 There I was, quietly crafting a column about abortion and Arizona’s MAGA attempt to — while refusing to change its clocks back for daylight savings time — to before Wyatt Earp’s made headlines.

You know, typical light family fare to write about in a ski resort daily paper.

When suddenly, around 2 p.m., Mr. TV, always sitting at low volume behind my desk, announced Iran had just sent over 100 attack drones due west toward Israel.

So much for the American Taliban retaining top billing.

All four major networks were on the screen (CNN, Fox, MSNBC and BBC) basically showing and saying the same thing (I switch around constantly), and it was expected that almost all drones would be shot down before reaching their targets, but only time would tell.

Arizona snowflakes would have to wait.

At about 4 p.m., it was announced that Iran had just sent a second wave with cruise and ballistic missiles, in theory, to make it to their targets around the same time as the much slower drones.


Twenty minutes later it was revealed that the United States and UK fighters had already intercepted a number of the drones over Iraq, Syria and even Jordan, but no word yet on the missiles.

Our 33-year-old son texted me, “Are we seeing the beginning of WWIII?”

I replied to pay attention and I didn’t think so, but promised him that by the end of the weekend, Trump would declare, “This would not have happened if I was your president.” 

It didn’t even take that long, as .

Back in reality, speculation was rampant about potential damage on Israeli soil, and whether or not the third wave of attacks would include a nuclear weapon.

Yet after five short hours (probably didn’t feel too short over there) and over 300 drones and missiles later, , with Iranian leaders saying, “Take that, you stupid Jews! If you respond in kind we’ll respond in kind again, so there!”

In response Israel wisely chose to ignore the taunts, and I sincerely hope it continues to do so.

This is no longer a religious conflict or a clash of civilizations, but a war against using religion to justify killing fellow human beings and a clash between civilization and savagery.

The and rest of the “Jihadist Starting Lineup” has been eclipsed by the guiding light of Iran — surprising no one — with its expanding nuclear weapons program being the single greatest danger to international security.

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We are watching an endless cycle of insanity as this war, just like most others, goes on and on because more and more blood must be spilled to prove the value of the lives already lost.

America does not control the outcome, yet we do play a significant role whether we want to or not, so in the meantime we’ll continue to deal with women’s rights, , prosecuting Trump, and wishing for late season dumps — reminding us that things can always be worse.

Richard Carnes, of Avon, writes weekly. He can be reached at

Remembering Al Colby, builder of ski lifts and friendships /news/remembering-al-colby-builder-of-ski-lifts-and-friendships/ Special to the Daily]]> Mon, 15 Apr 2024 17:54:34 +0000 /?p=557403 If you’ve ever ridden a ski lift at Vail or Beaver Creek, Al Colby touched your life. If you’ve ever fished a stream in this valley, snowmobiled across the Flat Tops, or four-wheeled over the backroads, Colby was likely there before you.

Lifelong Eagle resident Alfred B. “Al” Colby, 72, died March 26 at his home on Brush Creek when his big, kind heart suddenly stopped working. Tall, quiet, and capable, Colby was a natural mechanic who started his career with Vail Associates in 1971 as a parking lot attendant and retired 43 years later as lift maintenance supervisor. He was an outdoorsman who loved fishing and hunting and a family man devoted to his wife, children and grandkids.

Friends, family, and coworkers cannot remember ever seeing the hard-working Colby get upset.

“He was an all-right guy,” said Hoot Gibson, a former ski lift mechanic who is among the many who consider Al Colby a best friend … and a fishing buddy.

Al Colby particularly loved big game hunting.
Colby family/Courtesy photo

Eagle native

Born Aug. 16, 1951, at a military hospital in Glenwood Springs (now the Hot Springs Lodge and Pool), Colby was something of a miracle baby. His father, Fred Colby, was the town marshall in Eagle, which involved not only law enforcement, but also park maintenance, trash collection, and anything else the Town Board deemed necessary. His mother, Chloe, was a school cook. The Colbys had been married for 18 years with no children until Al came along.

Eagle was a very small town in those days, and Colby, an only child, grew up with tolerant older parents and a pack of friends who remain close to this day. There was enough mischief, including a not-well-thought-out “skunk patrol,” to earn tall, blonde Al the local nickname “Dennis the Menace.” Colby’s strong work ethic likely started when his dad put him to work mowing the town park lawn.

Childhood friend Rich Parker remembers riding bikes up Brush Creek with Colby and Rich McCain, then fishing their way back down to town, not necessarily seeking permission from property owners. They all grew up to love hunting and fishing. When interviewed for the Vail Resorts company newsletter on his 35th year with the company, Colby listed “growing up in Eagle” as his fondest memory.

He graduated from Eagle Valley High School in 1969 and worked briefly as a butcher at the local grocery store before starting with Vail Associates, which became Vail Resorts after going public in 1997. In 1974, Colby married Eagle local Anna Marie (Annie) Hoza, whose parents owned the pharmacy and had 11 kids. He was happily absorbed into a huge family. Daughter, Stacia, and son, Shawn, soon joined the Colby family.

Working on the mountain

Gibson met Colby on his first day in Vail and then worked alongside him for 26 years.

“Al was exceptionally talented,” Gibson said. “He was a heck of a carpenter and a heck of a mechanic.”  

In the year-and-a-half before Beaver Creek opened, Colby and his crew installed nine lifts. They poured tons of concrete for the lift bases and stamped the concrete with the Vail Associates logo. Colby was particularly skilled with rigging and splicing ropes. One summer, his crew moved a lift from Beaver Creek to Vail (No. 5).

Gibson says Colby became such an expert in installing Dopplemayer ski lifts that the company sometimes borrowed him for installations at other resorts. One memorable summer, Colby and his crew were sent to Beartooth Pass near Red Lodge, Montana, to build a lift on rugged terrain for year-round training use by Olympic athletes. The crew dug holes by hand and poured concrete bases as helicopters placed the towers. The modest Colby probably never considered that he was drafted for that task because he was one of the foremost lift builders in the country.

Vail Resorts sent Colby to Switzerland to pick out the gondola that now carries skiers at Lionshead.

He preferred working with his crew to moving up into higher-level administrative jobs. Vail Resorts had an intern program, recruiting kids just out of high school, putting them to work, and paying for their education. Those youngsters often landed on Colby’s crew.

“He mentored people. He was very patient,” said Ted Carvill, another former ski company employee who worked with Colby.

“I’m sure they learned a lot from him. Heck, I learned a lot from him about the mechanics of lifts,” said Gibson.

Al Colby
Colby family/Courtesy photo

Family and home

Colby developed into a competent carpenter, building several houses for his family, including the most recent one, a handsome log home on his beloved Brush Creek. He was a perfectionist, recalls son Shawn, who would go up and down a ladder 10 times and ruin a half-dozen boards until he got a project just right.

“He was just a master of whatever he wanted to do,” said Parker, Colby’s childhood friend. Colby helped Parker paint a pickup. Together they rebuilt motors, restored cars, and constructed incredible dog houses. Colby noticed that something at a friend’s house was a little out of whack.

“He never criticized anything. He’d just show up with his tools and say, ‘That trim has been bugging me,’ and he would fix it,” Parker said.

Colby did his share of skiing while working on the mountain, but he particularly loved roaming the local mountains, fishing, big game hunting, and later in his life, bird hunting. His coworkers, childhood friends, and family were his hunting and fishing buddies, and he always handled the worms for his daughter, Stacia.

Family was Al Colby’s top priority. He was also a patient mentor to countless Vail Resorts employees.
Colby family/Courtesy photo

“He loved sharing the things he loved. He never fished alone,” said Shawn. Colby and his friends pioneered many backcountry roads with their four-wheel drive vehicles. Shawn notes that his dad was a gearhead, who at one time raced ice jeeps professionally, and was quite competent on a snowmobile.

Family was Colby’s top priority. He always fetched Annie’s car out of the garage and left it warming at the door when she was headed out. Al and Annie attended all of their children’s and grandchildren’s school sports and academic events. The tightly-knit family all live in Eagle, and Al and Annie always went out on their front porch to wave as the grandkids were headed down the creek to school.

 “His dedication to his family was unprecedented,” said daughter Stacia. 

“He was just a nice, gentle giant of a man. If more people were like Al Colby, this would be a much better place to live,” said Parker.

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Al Colby is survived by his wife, Annie, daughter Stacia (Chad) Brasington and son Shawn (Marci) Colby; and grandchildren Kylan, Colby and Tenley Brasington and Wyatt and Chole Colby. A celebration of life will take place on May 18 at Double O Ranch on Bruce Creek Road in Eagle. The gathering will begin at 1 p.m. and celebration and sharing are slated for 2 p.m. Lunch will be provided and bib overall attire is encouraged. The family suggests that memorial donations be directed to the Rocky Mountain Oyster Feed (scholarships for 4-H members), P.O. Box 606, Eagle, Co. 81631; or the Eagle þȾƷƵapp Historical Society, P.O. Box 192, Eagle, Co. 81631.

Anglers bring in massive northern pike with ice-fishing buzzer-beater at Northwest Colorado reservoir /news/anglers-bring-in-massive-northern-pike-with-ice-fishing-buzzer-beater-at-northwest-colorado-reservoir/ Steamboat Pilot & Today]]> Mon, 15 Apr 2024 17:31:59 +0000 /?p=557440 Brady Wettlaufer and Justin Mujwid were chowing on some barbecue and enjoying late-season ice fishing for a couple hours April 2 at Elkhead Reservoir when the flag on one of their tip-ups came snapping up.

Knowing there could be a trophy fish on the other end, but not wanting to get out of their chairs to cross the thinning ice to get to their line 20 yards away, the two looked at each other in hesitation. Then they tiptoed across the ice and began working what turned out to be a massive female northern pike. 

“A tip-up is a great way to kick back with your buddy, have a nice conversation while you stare at your flag, and boom when that flag goes up, it’s like Christmas morning or sliding into home plate,” Wettlaufer said. “You go running over there, grab your tip-up and handline it.”

As Wettlaufer explained, you have to pull the fish up by guiding it with your hands. If you squeeze the line too hard, the fish could snap it. It’s all about working with what the fish gives you. 

“It’s a really sensitive process. You’d think you have to pull hard, but it’s really not a lot of force and more of a gentle motion,” Wettlaufer said. “You’re just taking up line as she gives it to you, and as it runs a little bit, you are the drag, per se. You have to finesse it; there’s an art to it. As she takes line, you give it to her, and then as she lets up a little bit, you pull back. It’s intimidating, to say the least, when you have a 10-inch jaw coming up a 10-inch hole.” 

Neither angler had a measuring device handy, so Wettlaufer is unsure of the length of the pike. However, he estimates the fish came out to about 22 pounds.

To get the fish out of the water, the anglers made sure to put their fingers just under the fish’s gill plate, not in the gills, before gently pulling her out. Wettlaufer said he got the hook off the fish, took a quick picture and then released her back into the reservoir. 

But what did he have on the other end of the line?

“It’s a long-protected secret,” Wettlaufer said. “I could tell you, but Justin would kill me.” 

Wettlaufer is the owner of Steamboat Fishing Adventures, but he is moving to Granby to start a new business this summer. He says Elkhead is a great place to catch fish and recommends it to all anglers in the area, especially during the winter.

“It was a total of four hours I ice-fished this year, and to do it in unfamiliar territory on unfamiliar water was really cool,” Wettlaufer said. “There are good fish to be caught in Elkhead; it is a great place to fish. It gets murky at times and folks stay clear of it, but wintertime is a great time to fish it because it has clear water and the game fish that are in there gives them better visibility and anglers a better chance to catch these beautiful fish.”

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Haim: A personal choice between assisted living and in-home care /opinion/haim-a-personal-choice-between-assisted-living-and-in-home-care/ Mon, 15 Apr 2024 16:46:15 +0000 /?p=557433 Regardless if you or your loved one lives in a metropolitan or rural area, the process for evaluating the best place to age can be complicated. However, for those living in rural mountain communities, the choice between living independently at home (aging in place) or at an assisted living facility may be a bit more challenging.

Both aging in place or at an assisted living facility have their pros and cons. It can be challenging to determine which is right for your needs and situation.

Conceivably, the greatest barrier to age in place is the lack of caregiver support. Even for those who have a spouse that can assist, often a spouse can only do so much. At some point, the task of providing an appropriate level of care may become overwhelming or the need for medical care may exceed that of what a spouse can provide. Even for those with family or adult children nearby, the same may apply.

To support a safe and productive quality of life at home, a robust infrastructure is needed. While transportation and access to medical care may be at the forefront, finances, home safety, home maintenance, access to nutritious food, socialization and physical activity need to be addressed.

Benefits of in-home care

Some of the benefits of aging in place include the ability to retain one’s level of independence and autonomy to continue their social life, hobbies and daily activities. There’s also the benefit of keeping beloved pets. Further, personalized in-home care is flexible and provides care on a one-to-one basis either by family, friends or a caregiver. Aging in place also promotes care that is tailored to one’s specific needs and preferences — it fosters the ability to maintain a connection to the community and friends that may be lost should they relocate.

For many people, aging-in-place allows people to retain control over their lives as they continue to live in a familiar space where they may have the ability to have a spouse nearby, have the autonomy to purchase groceries and prepare meals of their choosing, and go on outings at their discretion.

Downsides of in-home care

While in-home care has many upsides, it may also not be appropriate for all. For those with chronic ailments, it may tax family and loved ones with a level of responsibility that may be overwhelming as medical needs may be more than what a care provider may be comfortable giving. Aging in place can also strain family/friend relationships and may lead to care providers having to weigh their personal responsibilities and time constraints. It may also create a risk of social isolation as medical needs could impede one’s ability to get out of the home and take part in activities with others.

Financially, in-home care may be more expensive than that of assisted living/nursing care. Here in our mountain communities, in-home care may cost up to a third more than that of assisted living/nursing care — especially when the need for care exceeds 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Benefits of assisted living/nursing care

Depending upon one’s need for medical assistance, assisted living/nursing care facilities provide around-the-clock care for those with higher acuity needs. As well, they may provide social interaction and activities with others within the facility that may not be feasible within one’s home.

Further, assisted living/nursing care facilities may take away the concerns and worry of managing a home. Managing home maintenance, mowing the lawn, shopping for meals, preparing meals and cleaning the home are taken off the table.

Assisted living/nursing care facilities often provide on-site access to medical care and access to hospitals and other medical needs. They also provide ease of access to fitness and rehabilitation programs where daily exercise is promoted.

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When choosing between aging in place and assisted living/nursing care facilities, it is important to consider one’s level of personal and medical needs. In-home care may be a better choice for those who only need moderate assistance with daily activities and who are resolute on staying in their own home. Assisted living/nursing care facilities may be best suited for people who need greater assistance with medical and activities of daily living.

It’s a good idea to be proactive and research your options.

Judson Haims is the owner of Visiting Angels Home Care in Eagle þȾƷƵapp. He is an advocate for our elderly and is available to answer questions. For more information, go to .

Summit þȾƷƵapp photographer to be featured on upcoming Netflix show /news/summit-county-photographer-to-be-featured-on-upcoming-netflix-show/ Summit Daily News]]> Mon, 15 Apr 2024 13:08:23 +0000 /?p=557422 Summit þȾƷƵapp resident Joseph Large’s love for photography began when he would make off with his father’s Polaroid camera as a kid, set up his G.I. Joe toy soldiers in the tall grass and click off picturesque jungle photos.

Since taking his first backyard photographs, Large has steadily built up his body of work, traveling internationally and completing projects for Discovery Channel, National Geographic and BBC Earth.

Most recently, Large worked on the Netflix project “Our Living World,” which is set to be released on Wednesday, April 17, five days before Earth Day.

Large’s path to becoming an accomplished photographer was not without twists and turns, though. Instead of pursuing his deep passion for photography as a full-time profession out of college, Large said he gave in to the naysayers and entered the workforce with a corporate IT job.

While feeling stuck in the typical nine-to-five rat race, Large’s mother was diagnosed with a recurrence of breast cancer after being in remission for 10 years. With his mother’s health declining, Large moved back home to Philadelphia to help his mom while she was in hospice care. 

Close to 10 days after returning home, Large’s mother passed away. Like any death of a loved one, Large took it hard, but he quickly came to realize that life is too short to not fully pursue your passions.

“Life is short, and you better love what you do,” Large said. “I was just hanging out with my dad for almost a year, just to keep him company and help him with the house and everything. He wasn’t charging me rent, so I was able to save up some money, and I bought my first digital SLR.”

With a new camera in his hand, Large quickly began expanding his already-established skillset in photography when his father told him that he needed to move back to the mountains to dive into his passion wholeheartedly. 

“He told me to go back to Colorado and that I wasn’t going to be a photographer and filmmaker here in Philly,” Large said. “I told him that I was going to hang out and buy a house, live in the same neighborhood, hang out all the time, and he said, ‘Get out of here.'”

Large took the firm push from his father and returned to Summit þȾƷƵapp, where he balanced several jobs alongside his photography and filmmaking business in order to make ends meet. 

Large’s hard work and persistence started to pay off with him being noticed by a couple of magazines, before he faced another bump in the road with the unexpected death of his dad.

Joseph Large works to set up his photography and filmmaking equipment while out in the backcountry.
Ian Zinner/Courtesy photo

“With her, I was able to say goodbye, but my dad just died in his sleep of a heart attack we think,” Large said. “We didn’t actually know the cause of death. That was the second kick in the ass where I was like, ‘I really have to do this. Life is super short.'”

From that moment on, Large went all in on his photography and filmmaking, forming connections with winter sport athletes and getting the opportunity to travel to X Games.

Slowly but surely, Large’s photos and videos started to get noticed by more people and organizations, resulting in some of the biggest gigs in his career. Through a mutual connection, Large got his first big break by getting the opportunity to fly drones for a 2019 National Geographic project named .”

While perched high atop Summit þȾƷƵapp on Quandary Peak, Large did not take the assignment for granted, dedicating himself to his work and striving to get the best shots.

“When I was working for them, shooting that (project), we filmed up on Quandary for like five, six days,” Large said. “The whole time I was like work, work, work, work. I remember the last day when we wrapped the shoot, I pulled out of the parking lot and was like, ‘I just shot for Nat Geo.’ That was mind-blowing to me.” 

The job with National Geographic ultimately set Large up for future jobs with the Discovery Channel and BBC Earth before signing on to work on “Our Living World” for Netflix. Contributing to the multifaceted project, Large captured drone footage from eight to nine locations scattered across the San Juan Mountains during different seasons.

On one film day in Silverton, Large’s drone was dive-bombed by a territorial golden eagle while near the Silverton Visitor Center on the Animas River. 

“This bird with a 6, 7-foot wingspan was dive-bombing the drone,” Large said. “This is like a $20,000 drone, and if we lose it, we don’t have a backup. It was super freaking stressful, but it ended up working out. It was wild. It was terrifying, honestly.”

After years of waiting for the documentary to be released to the public, Large is excited for viewers around the globe to take in his handiwork, which will be featured alongside narration from Australian actress .

Although neither his mom nor dad got to see the full breadth of his artistic vision, Large takes comfort in knowing that he is working hard to make them proud with every click of the camera.

“Everything I do is to try to make them proud,” Large said. “After my mom passed, my dad was still around for three years, and whenever I got a big gig, I would call him. I can’t do that anymore, and it’s rough, so I call my sister. I still try to make them proud, and everything I do, I know they are watching.”

With so many creative and inspiring people with intense passions living in Summit þȾƷƵapp, Large encourages others to fully pursue what they love despite what society may say.

“Whether they are creating art or making jewelry, or whatever it is, don’t listen to the naysayers,” Large said.

To learn more about Large and his work, visit . “Our Living World” is a four-part miniseries and will premiere Wednesday, April 17, on Netflix.

Slushy snow, sunny skies greet Closing Day skiers at Beaver Creek /news/slushy-snow-sunny-skies-greet-closing-day-skiers-at-beaver-creek/ Mon, 15 Apr 2024 01:56:00 +0000 /?p=557414 Beaver Creek shut down its lifts for the spring on Sunday amid 70-degree temperatures at the base village, where party-goers put a cap on the resort’s 44th season.

Good snow conditions greeted skiers on the mountain; Beaver Creek boasted a 61-inch base on Closing Day following 287 inches of cumulative snow this season.

Local Larry Castruita said he got out in the morning and found firm snow on top of the mountain.

“I was extremely impressed with the conditions,” he said. “Everything that was man-made and had been groomed, which is almost all of Centennial top to bottom was just phenomenal.”

Later in the afternoon, as temperatures got warmer and the snow got softer, locals said they enjoyed the slushy conditions.

Local Parker Herring donned ski blades and a Ricky Bobby Wonder Bread one-piece for Closing Day on Sunday.
John LaConte/Vail Daily

Edwards resident Parker Herring said he’s been skiing Beaver Creek his whole life and found this year to be a proper Closing Day.

“I’ve had so many Closing Days where there’s been a foot of fresh snow and I’m like ‘this just isn’t right,'” he said. “It’s been a weird season. We’re at above-average snowpack, it’s just that the weather has been so warm.”

Beaver Creek claims an average annual snowfall of 323 inches, and while the mountain saw less than 90% of that average this year, several late-season storms have pushed the current snowpack to 122% of the 30-year average, as recorded by the USGS snow water equivalent site at Beaver Creek Village.

Will Winterberg, visiting from the Front Range, said it was only his second-ever ski day at Beaver Creek, and he encountered two completely different experiences each time.

“Last time we came it was icy, so this was a vastly different scenario,” he said.

Winterberg and Herring were among many costumed guests enjoying Beaver Creek’s final day of operation. Herring wore a Ricky Bobby Wonder Bread one-piece ski suit, and Winterberg strapped a printed cloth resembling monarch butterfly wings to the back and sleeves of his jacket, which created a cape that flapped in the breeze as he zoomed down the mountain.

Winterberg was joined by friends Yunseo Lee, Penguin Lin, Cody McLemore and Katelyn Wojan, also visiting from the Denver area. Wojan and Lee wore pink tutus over their ski pants.

The DJ duo known as Nanotech mixes tunes at the base of Beaver Creek mountain on Sunday.
John LaConte/Vail Daily

While many were there to show off costumes and party, for others, it was a last chance to get some valuable time on snow. Jessan Loera, who works with SOS Outreach, said he has been trying to get his cousins to become more adept snowboarders, and didn’t want to miss his last opportunity on Sunday.

SOS Outreach is a nonprofit that provides outdoor exploration opportunities to people who otherwise might not have had the chance to enjoy experiences like snowboarding.

Loera’s cousin Angel Ramirez said he had been to Sunlight in Glenwood before, but it was his first time to Beaver Creek.

“The slush makes it easier to fall on,” Loera said. “But you can also catch an edge easier.”

Ross Servan said he and his children Ava, 11, and Owen, 9, got about 30 days on snow this year. They said they did not want to miss Closing Day at Beaver Creek.

“This is our main mountain,” Servan said.

At the base of the mountain, the two-person DJ crew known as Nanotech mixed music while guests enjoyed their last chance to eat or drink at some of their favorite restaurants.

Hooked restaurant says it will do something a little different this year and reopen on May 10, much earlier than usual, offering 44% off the whole menu in honor of Beaver Creek’s 44th season. The special will run from May 10 to May 23.

Workers from the Patagonia store in Beaver Creek set up a pop-up shop in the village on Sunday to fix gear for those who brought it by.
John LaConte/Vail Daily

Beaver Creek’s Patagonia shop had a pop-up tent set up where they were fixing guests’ clothing on the spot.

While Patagonia offers a lifetime warranty on its gear, in the spirit of reuse and getting a long life out of your gear, the repair experts at Patagonia were fixing garments from any brand of clothing, not just Patagonia on Sunday.

After noticing that people were fixing up gear in the pop-up booth in the morning, Castruita went home and got a few items and brought them back to get them mended later in the day.

“I’m a Patagonia loyalist, I’ve got stuff that’s ancient, and they’ll put a new zipper in or whatever and I’ll keep using it,” he said. “I’m gonna wear it until it falls apart.”

Israel is quiet on next steps against Iran /news/nation-world/israel-is-quiet-on-next-steps-against-iran/ Sun, 14 Apr 2024 22:48:23 +0000 /?p=557411 TEL AVIV, Israel — Israeli leaders on Sunday credited an international military coalition with helping thwart a  involving hundreds of drones and missiles, calling the coordinated response a starting point for a “strategic alliance” of regional opposition to Tehran.

But Israel’s War Cabinet met without making a decision on next steps, an official said, as a nervous world waited for any sign of  of the former shadow war.

The , led by the United States, Britain and France and appearing to include a number of Middle Eastern countries, gave Israel support at a time when it finds itself isolated over its . The coalition also could serve as a model for regional relations when that war ends.

“This was the first time that such a coalition worked together against the threat of Iran and its proxies in the Middle East,” said the Israeli military spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari.

One unknown is which of Israel’s neighbors participated in the shooting down of the vast majority of about 350 drones and missiles Iran launched. Israeli military officials and a key War Cabinet member noted additional “partners” without naming them. When pressed, White House national security spokesman John Kirby would not name them either.

But one appeared to be Jordan, which described its action as self-defense.

“There was an assessment that there was a real danger of Iranian marches and missiles falling on Jordan, and the armed forces dealt with this danger. And if this danger came from Israel, Jordan would take the same action,” Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman al-Safadi said in an interview on Al-Mamlaka state television. U.S. President Joe Biden spoke with Jordan’s King Abdullah on Sunday.

The U.S. has long tried to forge a regionwide alliance against Iran as a way of integrating Israel and boosting ties with the Arab world. The effort has included the 2020 Abraham Accords, which established diplomatic relations between Israel and four Arab countries, and having Israel in the U.S. military’s Central Command, which oversees operations in the Middle East and works closely with the armies of moderate Arab states.

The U.S. had been working to establish full relations between Israel and regional heavyweight Saudi Arabia before the Oct. 7 Hamas attack sparked Israel’s war in Gaza. The war, which has claimed over 33,700 Palestinian lives, has frozen those efforts due to widespread outrage across the Arab world. But it appears that some behind-the-scenes cooperation has continued, and the White House has held out hopes of forging Israel-Saudi ties as part of a postwar plan.

Just ahead of Iran’s attack, the commander of CENTCOM, Gen. Erik Kurilla, visited Israel to map out a strategy.

Israel’s military chief, Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, on Sunday thanked CENTCOM for the joint defensive effort. Both Jordan and Saudi Arabia are under the CENTCOM umbrella. While neither acknowledged involvement in intercepting Iran’s launches, the Israeli military released a map showing missiles traveling through the airspace of both nations.

“Arab countries came to the aid of Israel in stopping the attack because they understand that regional organizing is required against Iran, otherwise they will be next in line,” Amos Yadlin, a former head of Israel’s military intelligence, wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Israel’s defense minister, Yoav Gallant, said he had spoken with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and that the cooperation “highlighted the opportunity to establish an international coalition and strategic alliance to counter the threat posed by Iran.”

The White House signaled that it hopes to build on the partnerships and urged Israel to think twice before striking Iran. U.S. officials said Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Washington would not participate in any offensive action against Iran.

Israel’s War Cabinet met late Sunday to discuss a possible response, but an Israeli official familiar with the talks said no decisions had been made. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was discussing confidential deliberations.

Asked about plans for retaliation, Hagari declined to comment directly. “We are at high readiness in all fronts,” he said.

“We will build a regional coalition and collect the price from Iran, in the way and at the time that suits us,” said a key War Cabinet member, Benny Gantz.

Iran launched the attack in response to  that hit an Iranian consular building in Syria this month and killed two Iranian generals.

By Sunday morning, Iran said the , and Israel reopened its airspace. Iran’s president, Ebrahim Raisi, claimed Iran had taught Israel a lesson and warned that “any new adventures against the interests of the Iranian nation would be met with a heavier and regretful response from the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

The foes have been engaged in a shadow war for years, but Sunday’s assault was the first time Iran launched a direct military assault on Israel, despite decades of enmity dating back to the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Iran said it targeted Israeli facilities involved in the Damascus strike, and that it told the White House early Sunday that the operation would be “minimalistic.”

But U.S. officials said Iran’s intent was to “destroy and cause casualties” and that if successful, the strikes would have caused an “uncontrollable” escalation. At one point, at least 100 ballistic missiles were in the air with just minutes of flight time to Israel, the officials said.

Israel said more than 99% of what Iran fired was intercepted, with just a few missiles getting through. An Israeli airbase sustained minor damage.

Israel has over the years established — often with the help of the U.S. — a  that includes systems capable of intercepting a variety of threats, including long-range missiles, cruise missiles, drones and short-range rockets.

That system, along with collaboration with the U.S. and others, helped thwart what could have been a far more devastating assault at a time when Israel is already deeply engaged in Gaza as well as low-level fighting on its northern border with Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia. Both Hamas and Hezbollah are backed by Iran.

While thwarting the Iranian onslaught could help restore Israel’s image after the Hamas attack in October, what the Middle East’s best-equipped army does next will be closely watched in the region and in Western capitals — especially as Israel seeks to develop the coalition it praised Sunday.

In Washington, Biden pledged to convene allies to develop a unified response. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. would hold talks with allies. After an urgent meeting, the Group of Seven countries  and said they stood ready to take “further measures.”

Israel and Iran have been on a collision course throughout Israel’s war in Gaza. In the Oct. 7 attack, militants from Hamas and Islamic Jihad, also backed by Iran, killed 1,200 people in Israel and kidnapped 250 others. Israel’s offensive in Gaza has killed over 33,000 people, according to local health officials.

Hamas welcomed Iran’s attack, saying it was “a natural right and a deserved response” to the strike in Syria. It urged the Iran-backed groups in the region to continue to support Hamas in the war.

Hezbollah also welcomed the attack. Almost immediately after the war in Gaza erupted, . The two sides have been involved in daily exchanges of fire, while Iranian-backed groups in Iraq, Syria and Yemen have launched rockets and missiles toward Israel.

Ryan Murray remembered for his zest for life, love of community and Eagle’s Red Canyon Cafe /news/ryan-murray-remembered-for-his-zest-for-life-love-of-community-and-eagles-red-canyon-cafe/ Sun, 14 Apr 2024 22:08:00 +0000 /?p=557302 The Red Canyon Café was created on a whim, sort of. But hard work and dedication to community and family turned it into an Eagle institution.

Ryan Murray, who founded the café, died recently at the too-young age of 48. He’s survived by his wife Sarah and their three teenage sons — Alec, 18, Owen, 17, and Isaac, 15. A memorial is planned later this spring.

In a recent telephone conversation, Sarah talked about the couple’s years together as business and life partners.

The two met in 1999 while working at Quattro’s, an Edwards coffee shop. Ryan, was working there in the off-season after working a ski season at Beaver Creek’s Splendido restaurant — “when there was an off-season in the valley,” Sarah recalled.

Whatever part of life Ryan Murray took on, he dived into it with enthusiasm.
Courtesy photo

The two decided to spend some time together outside of work, and were married in 2003. They soon moved to a home on Eagle Street in Gypsum, a town they’d never been to before moving there.

The couple had talked about buying a restaurant, and one Sunday were driving down Broadway in Eagle. Ryan thought a little place in the 100 block looked interesting, and left a note on the door, asking if the owner might be interested in selling. The owner called soon after, and dominoes began to fall, with the Red Canyon Café opening in 2005.

“It just all happened by the grace of God,” Sarah said. But, she added, “That’s so classic my husband,” Sarah said. “We didn’t know what we were doing.”

So the Murrays developed a menu, leaning on their own creativity and suggestions from friends and customers. Menu items got names both basic and fanciful, from the Ham & Swiss to the Italian Stallion and Super Mario Melt.

Developing a following

The fledgling business soon started to develop a following, for both the food and the attention to local artists and youth.

Sarah and Ryan worked together at the restaurant the first couple of years before Sarah took a teaching job — one she still holds, working with gifted and talented students. “Someone needed a salary and insurance,” she said.

The restaurant business is always a hard dollar. It’s particularly hard when economic times are tough.

The Great Recession that really took hold in the valley in 2009 was a particularly tough time, Sarah recalled. “We were just willing to hold on longer, with less, than anybody else,” Sarah said. It also helped that Red Canyon is a breakfast and lunch place, she noted. Dinner is a luxury. Breakfast and lunch catch people when they’re working.

But even with all the work, the family grew, and Ryan spent what time he could helping raise the couple’s sons, working to restore International Scout trucks and other hobbies.

“Ryan was a force of nature,” Sarah recalled. “He was so tenacious, he was going to make it work, and that’s what it takes.”

But Ryan had been sick for a few years with cancer. In January 2023, the doctors at the Shaw Cancer Center told him there was little more they could do. Even his tenacious spirit couldn’t overcome the disease that eventually took his life.

A community steward

The Murrays in August of last year sold the business to longtime employee and friend Kent Kingrey, who’s working to maintain the spirit of the place.

Kingrey started coming to the Red Canyon as a customer, when he was working just up the street at Yeti’s Grind coffee shop. He eventually started working at Red Canyon, where he and Ryan worked together for several years.

The café remained open all through the COVID-19 pandemic, and for much of that time, it was just Ryan and Kingrey up front and two people in the kitchen. Those quiet times were filled with board games and talk about family.

Ryan was always looking for ways to keep his boys busy, Kingrey recalled.

The Murray boys refinished all the restaurant’s tables.

Ryan also looked out for his employees and friends.

“He was always a steward of the community,” Kingrey recalled.

If an employee’s car broke down, Ryan would often give that person a lift. He’d also help out if an employee needed tires to keep a car on the road. When Ryan and Kingrey were working on a deal for the sale of the café, Ryan eventually agreed to help finance the deal.

“He always had a desire to help people do better,” Kingrey said.

The past few weeks have been tough ones for Ryan’s friends and family. Sarah said her time with her husband was far too short. But, she added, “We got to do a lot of amazing things in the time we had. We had a lot of amazing adventures … we had a lot of fun together.”

Vail Mountain School puts on masterful performance of Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ /news/vail-mountain-school-puts-on-masterful-performance-of-disneys-beauty-and-the-beast/ Sun, 14 Apr 2024 21:02:00 +0000 /?p=557345 Vail Mountain School wrapped up a weekend of performances of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” on Saturday, putting on impressive performances that played to sold-out crowds.

All elements of the popular Broadway musical were preserved for the Vail Mountain School audience, from the intricate sets and costumes to the complicated songs and performances.

Head of School Steve Bileca said he was impressed with how much time the students dedicated to readying the show, from the set design to the performances.

Bileca said while some of those students have been participating in theater for a while, “I am equally proud, and frankly astounded by the number of kids you’re going to see who just recently decided ‘I’m going to give this a shot — I’ve never acted before, I’ve never been on the stage, and I’m going to be a senior or a junior and I’m going to give this a try.'”

Vail Mountain School Theater Director Christi Howell said it was the first performance she has been a part of that involved students of all ages, small children included.

“There has been a lot of laughter, and a few tears,” she said.

Maeve Vollmer and Riley Tile played the namesake roles in Vail Mountain School production of “Beauty and the Beast.”
John LaConte/Vail Daily

Maeve Vollmer and Riley Tile played the namesake roles. Vollmer’s Belle embodied the role to the point where, in the song “A Change In Me,” viewers could see a real change in the character as she found her voice, which captivated the audience.

Tile’s Beast showed the character’s full spectrum of emotion, from angry and quick-tempered to warm and loving, and the affection between Belle and the Beast showcased the actors’ range of talent.

Cyrus Creasy played a hilarious Gaston, with his flowing hair becoming a prop in itself while his sidekick LeFou, played by Alexi Sege, complimented him perfectly, resulting in several laugh-out-loud moments for the audience.

Eli Grimsley was able to perfect the over-the-top French accent for Lumiere, while his love interest Babette, played by Samara Nordstrand, showcased all the character’s passion and jealousy.

Sage Evans was hilarious as Cogsworth, as well, with perfect comedic timing on the many jokes that kept the musical moving, and Diane Gaffner performed the play’s titular song flawlessly as Mrs. Potts.

Howell said she was continuously impressed by the talent shown by all those involved.

“It has been a joy to have them part of this, and to see what the future can hold for them on the stage,” she said.

Prep notebook: Battle Mountain boys lacrosse team completes season sweep over Eagle Valley /sports/prep-notebook-battle-mountain-boys-lacrosse-team-completes-season-sweep-over-eagle-valley/ Sun, 14 Apr 2024 20:10:39 +0000 /?p=557386 The Battle Mountain boys lacrosse team defeated Eagle Valley 13-1 to complete the season sweep of its I-70 rivals. The Huskies raced out to an 8-1 first-half lead in their second meeting with the Devils, whom they beat 20-4 on March 30.

Battle Mountain senior Jack Kovacik races downfield during Saturday’s game against Eagle Valley.
Rex Keep/Courtesy photo

With the win, Battle Mountain improved to 9-0 overall and 7-0 in the 4A Western Slope. The No. 2 Huskies are one of three undefeated teams left in 4A. Three-time defending state champion Cheyenne Mountain is 7-0 and No. 6 Telluride is 8-0. The Devils dropped to 4-7 overall and 3-6 in league play.

Battle Mountain’s Sam Higbie fires a shot, which is saved by Eagle Valley goalie Kyle Woodworth during Saturday’s game in Edwards.
Rex Keep/Courtesy photo

Battle Mountain travels to No. 7 Vail Mountain School (7-2) on Monday. The Gore Rangers are coming off a 10-3 loss to Steamboat Springs last Wednesday. Battle Mountain defeated Vail Mountain School 16-4 in the season opener.

Eagle Valley’s Peter Boyd fires a shot on goal during the Huskies 13-1 win Saturday in Edwards.
Rex Keep/Courtesy photo

Eagle Valley will look to get back on track on Tuesday at home against Aspen.

Eagle Valley’s Daniel Farrell defends Battle Mountain’s Thomas Dekanich during Saturday’s rivalry rematch in Edwards.
Rex Keep/Courtesy photo

The Battle Mountain girls held off No. 5 Green Mountain to preserve its undefeated record on Friday.

The Rams outscored the Huskies 7-5 in the second-half, but Battle Mountain came out with a 12-11 road victory to improve to 9-0 on the season.

Molly Kessenich led the Huskies with four goals and an assist. Palmer Ulvestad added three, and Izzy and Kate Kovacik each had two scores in the win. Kara Harris led Green Mountain with six goals and an assist.

Battle Mountain moved up to No. 2 in the 4A rankings with the victory. The Huskies are one of three undefeated squads left in 4A along with defending state champion No. 1 Mead (9-0) and No. 3 Heritage (8-0). The Huskies host Roaring Fork at 5:30 p.m. on Monday.

A pair of Vail Christian boys volleyball players go up for a block during the Saints 3-0 win over Denver Waldorf on Friday.
Heidi Cofelice/Courtesy photo

Other prep notes

  • Eagle Valley baseball dropped a doubleheader to No. 5 Palisade on Saturday. The Devils fell to the Bulldogs 9-2 and 15-4 to fall to 7-8 on the season and 4-2 in league play. The first game was tied 2-2 going into the bottom of the fifth inning when the Bulldogs unleashed six runs to pull away. Jack Robinson, Anthony Ehlert and Jacob Loupe each had two hits in the second game, but Palisade scored six runs in each of the first two innings to once again set the tone. The Devils are at Rifle on April 20.
  • The Saints competed against Lakewood, Legacy, Eaton, Peak to Peak and Holy Family.
  • Battle Mountain sophomore Makena Thayer won the Montrose Red Hawk tournament on April 9. Thayer — who also won the Gypsum Creek Invite on April 3 — shot a 75 on the Black Canyon Golf Course, five strokes better than runner-up Kadence Ulrich of Fruita Monument. The Huskies (279) finished fourth out of 12 teams in the field with Tatum Vickers (97) and Dharma Bronsing (107) rounding out the scoring. Durango (254) won the team competition.
  • Vail Christian boys volleyball went 2-1 this weekend. The Saints defeated Denver Waldorf 3-0 on Friday and KIPP Denver Collegiate 3-1 on Saturday before falling to DSST: College View 3-0 later in the second day. The Saints (6-4 overall, 4-2 league) host DSST: Cedar on April 19 at 5:30 p.m.
Time Machine: 50 years ago, a locals only ski day after a record snow year at Vail /news/time-machine-50-years-ago-a-locals-only-ski-day-after-a-record-snow-year-at-vail/ Sun, 14 Apr 2024 18:08:00 +0000 /?p=557264 30 years ago

April 15, 1994

The Vail Trail, in an editorial, asked if Eagle þȾƷƵapp development trends were taking a toll on the working class.

“Development is in our faces like it has never been before,” according to the editorial. “It’s hard to say when it will stop.”

The editorial asked several rhetorical questions: Will higher interest rates put the brakes on this surge, or will the demand for housing and buyers’ willingness to pay premium dollars continue to fuel the frenzy? Is the Vail Valley becoming the place we fled? Will the working class ultimately get squeezed out and will others, dismayed by the seemingly uncontrolled growth here, decide to pick up and settle in other mountain communities?

“Whatever the case, it isn’t getting any easier for Joe Local to stake his claim in the Vail Valley,” according to the editorial. “Not only is he watching the landscape become one of condominiums and parking lots, but he’s also seeing affordable housing disappear altogether.”

40 years ago

April 20, 1984

Development was expected to increase in the coming summer after seeing a slump the year before.

“There were a lot of projects on the drawing board last year that stayed there,” the Vail Trail reported. “The general feeling is developers will be more concerned about interest rates than weather.”

While housing development nationwide was down 26.6 percent, “in Eagle þȾƷƵapp … resort development does not always follow the national trend, and often lags behind it; or in some cases, is insulated because of wealthy buyers,” the Trail reported.

A “mini-boom” was underway in Beaver Creek, where the core area was about 20 percent built out, the Trail reported.

Quoting Robert Olliver, editor and publisher of “The Source,” a newsletter that tracked local construction activity, the Trail reported that the high-end real estate market was doing well in Eagle þȾƷƵapp.

“So they’re leaning towards doing the very expensive projects,” Olliver said.

50 years ago

April 19, 1974

Vail Associates announced it would be hosting a locals-only ski day on Monday, April 22, following the regularly scheduled closing of the season on April 21.

“According to Vail Associates’ Jim Bartlett, Vailites will have one last chance to ski the Mountain, which endured a record number of skiers and a record amount of snowfall (420″ as of April 10) during the 1973-74 winter season,” the Vail Trail wrote. “In continuing a practice begun last spring, Bartlett announced that Gondola 1 and Chairlift 4 would operate Monday, April 22 from 10.00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. for all those in Vail who feel they really haven’t had enough skiing in for the season.”

60 years ago

April 16, 1964

The Bureau of Reclamation was expected to issue an invitation to bid on the Ruedi Dam construction project in the coming days, the Eagle Valley Enterprise reported.

“Ruedi Dam, in south Eagle þȾƷƵapp, will be 285 feet high, and the crest will be 1,060 feet long,” the Enterprise reported.

Road work would be required, as well, including the building of two miles of county road and a service road to the site of the outlet control house of the dam, located on the Fryingpan River 16 miles upstream from Basalt.

“Contract for the rest of the road relocation for the Ruedi Reservoir will be awarded after the Forest Service and Bureau of Reclamation revise plans for the recreation facilities for Ruedi Reservoir,” the Enterprise reported.

70 years ago

April 22, 1954

Murder charges were filed against William Wellington, 69, of Edwards, following the shotgun slaying of his brother-in-law, Benny H. Klatt.

“The shooting took place in the Edwards post office and store, and was witnessed by Mrs. Frank Brock, who with her husband owns the store,” the Eagle Valley Enterprise reported.

Klatt and Wellington engaged in conversation until an argument over property developed.

According to Brock’s statement, Klatt ordered Wellington to be moved out of the cabin he had been living in near the Edwards store, before Wellington left for his cabin.

“When he returned, Mrs. Brock was in the post office section of the building and stepped back into the store just as Wellington fired on Klatt … hitting him in the left cheek with a .410 shell,” the Enterprise reported. “Wellington then apologized to Mrs. Brock for ‘having done it in her presence,’ and returned to his cabin where he put away his gun.”

Wentworth: Celebrating the dispatchers who keep Eagle þȾƷƵapp safe /opinion/wentworth-celebrating-the-dispatchers-who-keep-eagle-county-safe/ Valley Voices]]> Sun, 14 Apr 2024 17:07:11 +0000 /?p=557383 This week, from April 14 to 20, we celebrate National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. The event started in 1981 in Contra Costa þȾƷƵapp, California. Here in Eagle þȾƷƵapp, the Vail Public Safety Communications Center takes center stage as we pay tribute to the critical role dispatchers play in keeping our community safe.

The center serves as the single point of contact for all 911 calls originating within Eagle þȾƷƵapp, as well as the dispatch center for all of Eagle þȾƷƵapp’s emergency response agencies. Dispatchers at the facility are the first line of defense in emergencies, fielding a wide range of calls from life-threatening situations requiring police, fire or ambulance services, to requests for assistance with road conditions or animal control. Vail’s dispatch team handled over 125,000 calls for service in 2023 — meeting or exceeding the National Emergency Number Association’s standards for service for call taking and dispatch times on each call.

The center’s team of highly trained dispatchers is crucial to ensuring a swift and effective response to any emergency. When receiving each call, Vail’s dispatchers assess the urgency of determining the appropriate jurisdiction and then take the necessary action to get help to those in need as quickly as possible. They use the National Academy Emergency Medical Dispatch system to offer pre-arrival instruction to initiate and assist callers on any type of medical call, from a cut finger to cardiac arrest.

, passed earlier this year, is a positive step toward strengthening emergency response services. The bill defines emergency communications specialists as first responders and clarifies that training funds can be used for a wider range of personnel who support 911 operations, including dispatchers and technical support staff as well as administrative services. This ensures that everyone involved in the emergency response chain has the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively serve the community.

In addition, the Vail Public Safety Communications Center goes beyond simply responding to emergencies. The center plays a proactive role in public education by providing resources on its website, , on what you can expect when calling 911, along with important tips for using the service effectively.

This week, we especially recognize the dedication, service and sacrifice of Vail’s 911 dispatchers. Their calm and collected demeanor in the face of emergencies is vital to ensuring the safety of our community 24/7/365.

The next time you see a police officer, firefighter or paramedic, remember the often-unseen heroes behind the scenes — the Vail Public Safety Communications Center dispatchers who are always present to answer your call.

Marc Wentworth is the director of the Vail Public Safety Communications Center.

Norton: How salespeople evolve from fear to confidence /opinion/norton-how-salespeople-evolve-from-fear-to-confidence/ Sun, 14 Apr 2024 16:10:00 +0000 /?p=557305 I shared how to navigate the sales spectrum in last week’s column. Encouraged by someone I look up to and respect so much, author and speaker Mark Sanborn, I wanted to make it a little more personal regarding how an individual salesperson may navigate the journey from fear to growing in confidence as they navigate their spectrum.

In the realm of sales, the journey from novice to seasoned professional is akin to embarking on an evolutionary odyssey. Each step presents its challenges, fears and triumphs, ultimately leading salespeople toward mastery of their craft. Let’s embark on this journey together, exploring the cycles that salespeople navigate, from the initial tremors of fear to the confident strides toward future success.

For many salespeople, the journey begins with trepidation. The prospect of rejection looms large, casting a shadow over their aspirations. The fear of failure can be paralyzing, preventing them from taking the first step toward their goals. It’s a natural response to an uncertain endeavor, but it’s also the crucible from which resilience is forged.

As salespeople muster the courage to engage with prospects, they often encounter another formidable adversary: the fear of prospecting. Cold calls, networking events and asking for referrals can all evoke feelings of discomfort and anxiety. Yet, it’s through these interactions that salespeople refine their pitch, hone their communication skills, and build the foundation for future success.

The key to overcoming fear lies in stepping outside one’s comfort zone. It’s a transformative moment when salespeople push past their self-imposed limitations and embrace the unknown. With each rejection comes a valuable lesson, each setback a stepping stone toward growth. Through perseverance and determination, they begin to chart a new course toward success.

As salespeople gain confidence, they learn the importance of qualifying prospects effectively. They understand that not every lead is worth pursuing and that their time is a precious commodity. By identifying the characteristics of an ideal customer and focusing their efforts accordingly, they maximize their chances of success while minimizing wasted effort.

Armed with a deep understanding of their product or service, salespeople embark on the next phase of their journey: presenting value. They learn to articulate the benefits of their offering in a way that resonates with the needs and desires of their prospects. They become storytellers, weaving narratives that captivate the imagination and compel action.

In the eyes of the prospect, value is often measured in terms of tangible outcomes. Salespeople must learn to quantify the benefits of their offering in concrete terms, whether it’s cost savings, increased efficiency, or improved performance. By demonstrating a clear return on investment, they instill confidence in their prospects and pave the way for future success.

With value established, salespeople move toward the critical moment of proposing. They present their solution with confidence and conviction, addressing any lingering doubts or objections along the way. They tailor their proposal to the unique needs of each prospect, ensuring that it aligns seamlessly with their goals and objectives.

The culmination of the sales journey is the moment of truth: closing the deal. It’s a testament to the salesperson’s skill, persistence and dedication. Whether it’s securing a signature on the dotted line or finalizing a handshake agreement, the act of closing represents the culmination of countless hours of effort and preparation.

But the journey doesn’t end with the closing of a deal. For the savvy salesperson, it’s just the beginning. They understand the importance of nurturing relationships, cultivating trust and delivering on their promises. They set a path for future business by staying engaged with their clients, providing ongoing support, and seeking opportunities for upselling and cross-selling.

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The journey of a salesperson is one of continual growth, learning and evolution. It’s a journey marked by triumphs and setbacks, fears and triumphs. But through it all, one thing remains constant: the unwavering determination to succeed. And as they navigate the cycles of fear, prospecting, value presentation and closing, they emerge stronger, wiser and more resilient than ever before.

I would love to hear the story of your evolution as a salesperson at and when we can grow from fear to confidence in our chosen profession, it really will be a better-than-good life.

Michael Norton is an author, a personal and professional coach, consultant, trainer, encourager, and motivator of individuals and businesses, working with organizations and associations across multiple industries.