Two years ago, Vermont's Stowe Mountain Resort was in an unenviable position. Strapped with an aging infrastructure and suffering market-share losses, the resort needed to move forward on its development plan. But the landscape was littered with environmental pitfalls. Enter Hank Lunde, Stowe's new president, who first moved the project back to square one. He then invited more than 25 environmental groups, government agencies and area businesses to get involved in what became a community-planning process. Over a two-year-period, the resort listened, modified and compromised. As a result, it won support for a plan that includes enhanced snowmaking and water quality, an expanded base lodge and lift system, and a small hamlet at the base of Spruce Peak. For its effort, Stowe won the Golden Eagle Award for Overall Environmental Excellence in Ski Area Operation, presented by The Skiing Company, publisher of SKI. "Stowe has been courageous, honest, forthright and open to change through the entire process," judges said, "and the development it proposes meets all the requirements of smart, sustainable growth." Silver Eagle Award winners include:
New Event: Attorney Dodging
The 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympic Games could start with a face-plant. If the Olympic bribery scandal trial is pushed back, as attorneys for defendants Tom Welch and Dave Johnson said they'll request, proceedings could be in session during the Games. Welch, former president of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, and Johnson, SLOC's former V.P., face fraud, conspiracy and racketeering charges that come with a maximum prison sentence of 75 years. A trial has been set for Oct. 16. But attorneys for the duo counter that collecting evidence and putting the globe-spanning case together could take at least a year. Welch and Johnson say they have unfairly taken the fall for SLOC, and they did exactly what they were hired to do: bring the Olympics to Salt Lake City. Insiders believe a plea settlement will be reached to stanch the flow of negative publicity as Salt Lake gears up for the Games. The former SLOC executives say their defense will implicate prominent Utah politicians and businessmen, which has many Salt Lake community leaders anxious. "It is ironic that now that the Olympic Games are a reality in Salt Lake, Dave and I stand alone," Welch said.