Janet Day: The difference between weather and climate
April 14, 2008
Climate Concerns. Could the snow season have ended on a more perfect day? Plenty of snow, beautiful blue skies, big crowds and warm temperatures. But as I was digging out of last weeks annoying spring snowstorm, I started thinking about the difference between climate and weather. I thought about it again Sunday while enjoying the Spring Splash party at Winter Park Resort. What weve had this winter is weather snow, wind, more wind, even more wind. What it all adds up to is climate. Global climate change doesnt mean everything simply gets warmer. Weather patterns are expected to become more extreme arid gets drier, cold gets colder, winds get stronger and seasons compress or expand. These are issues we need to face for the future in an area that depends on weather.To that end, I was disappointed that prior commitments, meetings and work duties meant I couldnt attend last weeks National Cross Country Ski Areas Association meeting at Devils Thumb Ranch. But Holly Johnson of Imagica Communications, who handles marketing and public relations for the great green ranch near Tabernash, acted as my eyes and ears. What she related from the panels and discussions about energy and the environment affects not just Nordic centers, but any winter sports-related enterprise and the communities that depend on them.What ultimately happens depends on what governments, industries and individuals do in the next few decades. Panelists concluded that unusual weather patterns will continue, but the affect on the snow industry can be minimized.If the world continues to operate in its current fashion, not changing carbon dioxide emissions, snowfall could conceivably disappear at lower elevations. If emissions are reduced and energy used more efficiently, panelists said, the snow seasons will still be squeezed: By 2030, the snow season could begin a week later and end earlier. By 2100, that change could mean snow season starting two weeks later and ending up to three weeks earlier. Snow industry representatives are less worried about staying open into the Spring than being able to open in November. (Just look at the way this season played out). More resorts will need to rely on snowmaking, creating its own resource use issues. Lower elevation resorts, especially those in Europe, will have to consider moving or limiting themselves to higher terrain.The outlook isnt all doom and gloom. Resorts around the country and especially here in Colorado are out in front of energy-reduction efforts including the use of wind power, increasing recycling programs and educating guests. Snow sports industries have taken a leadership role in talks about climate change for years. The National Ski Areas Association, based in Denver, calls it one of the most important issues facing the snow sports industry.Building Boom or Bust. Its equally hard to tell what effect the national housing crisis is going to have up here, but some reports show a slowing of sales in resort areas, including Winter Park. One analysis by the Rocky Mountain Resort Alliance, which is made up of realtors in resort areas of the Rocky Mountain West, showed that while home sales in the Winter Park area didnt come close to the record-breaking numbers of 2006, prices were up considerably in 2007. The number of sales in our area dropped by 13 percent while prices went up an average of 15 percent. Most of the increase was in single-family homes.I have no idea what it means other than rising prices indicate were still an attractive area for second-home owners, but falling sales numbers seem to say were overbuilt for todays economy. One has got to catch up to the other pretty soon.Food Moves. The popular Winter Park Sushi Bar is moving into the spot that now houses Lost Boys Burgers & Shakes and previously was home to Fontenots and Marvins. After four years upstairs above Winter Park Optical, the sushi bar will re-open in the cavernous building across from Hernandos in May. Lost Boys and the Sushi Bar are owned by the same people, so the move is easier than most. But it will be interesting to see how they turn that big space into the kind of intimate spot that sushi bars should be.And while theyre making changes, can I ask for a little more fish and a little less rice in their many rolls? I love just about everything on their huge list of rolls, but they seem to have gotten more dependant on the rice, losing a lot of their original flavor. Nonetheless, Ill eat my weight in Mary Jane rolls, Asian Cowboy rolls and anything with soft shell crab.An Artsy Affair. Are you creative? Do friends suggest you sell that gorgeous jewelry you make? If so, think about applying for a booth at this summers Alpine ArtAffair. The application deadline is April 30. For details, go to http://www.alpineartaffair.com or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.The annual Fraser Library Book Sale held for what seems like forever in a big green tent at the back of the ArtAffair every summer is moving. This summers sale will be held inside the library in Fraser with the pre-sale held Friday evening, July 25 ($5 non-library-member entry fee), with the free sale all day Saturday and Sunday, July 26 and 27. The dates coincide with ArtAffair, which will still be held in the shady park area between Kings Crossing and the Winter Park Post Office.The change is being made for two reasons. First, the big old tent has finally expired, as co-chair Joan Shaw said, which probably means it dry-rotted, ripped, wore through and otherwise fell apart. Second, the Fraser library has plenty of close-in parking, making it easier for customers to get the big heavy boxes of books to their cars.Between now and July, books are being accepted at the library for the summer sale as well as the ongoing front lobby book sale. Please take donations only during the librarys operating hours.Keep in Touch: Whats got your attention around the area? Let me know. Ill try to find the answer or spread the news. Send it all to JDayQuilts@msn.com.
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