Business Briefs: Steamboat joins ski areas, signs climate declaration |

Business Briefs: Steamboat joins ski areas, signs climate declaration

Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. was among 108 ski areas from across the U.S. that joined with 40 other businesses May 29 in signing the Climate Declaration, which calls upon federal policymakers to address climate change, according to a news release.

A list of ski areas that signed the declaration is available at


"It is obvious that the success of ski business operations depends greatly on climate, which is why we are so invested in programs that keep our slopes sustainable. But our actions alone won't be enough without strong policies," said Brent Giles, chief sustainability officer for Powdr Corp, parent company of Park City Mountain Resort in Utah, Copper Mountain in Colorado and Killington Resort in Vermont. "We welcome legislative and regulatory initiatives that will reduce carbon emissions, incentivize renewable energy development and help improve our resiliency in the future."

Ski areas in the U.S. employ about 160,000 people and generate about $12.2 billion in annual revenue, according to the release. The National Ski Areas Association calculates that visitors to U.S. ski areas spent $5.8 billion at those resorts during the 2011-12 season. Preliminary figures from the 2012-13 season show an 11 percent year-over-year increase in visits to an estimated 56.6 million visits this past season.

The declaration can be found at

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Grand Junction among healing housing markets

The number of U.S. housing markets on the mend increased by five to a total of 263 in June, according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index. The list includes entrants from 49 states and the District of Columbia.   

Grand Junction, on Colorado's Western Slope, is among them.

The index identifies metropolitan areas that have shown improvement from their respective troughs in housing permits, employment and house prices for at least six consecutive months. Twenty-nine new markets were added to the list while 24 were dropped from it this month. New entrants included Salinas, Calif.; Sioux City, Iowa; Chicago, Ill.; Topeka, Kan.; Baton Rouge, La.; Laredo, Texas; and Philadelphia, Pa.

"As market conditions improve across most of the country, some metros have moved onto the IMI list while marginal seasonal fluctuations have nudged others off of it," noted National Association of Home Builders chief economist David Crowe. "This is to be expected as the recovery expands. Meanwhile, it's worth noting that the number of improving markets is now more than three times what it was in June 2012."

A complete list of 263 metros currently on the index, and separate breakouts of metros newly added to or dropped from the list in June, is available at