Newsweek correspondent and local author Daniel Glick will speak and sign his new book "Powder Burn" at the University of Colorado at Boulder on March 12 at 7 p.m. in Old Main Chapel.
When arsonists struck Vail in October 1998, doing $12 million in damage to chairlifts and mountaintop buildings, the town and its environs had become a powder keg of social and economic unrest. Though it was widely assumed that the fires were set by radical environmentalists furious at the resort's plans to develop new ski terrain in a vast swath of old-growth lynx habitat, no evidence for their culpability was ever found.
In "Powder Burn," Glick reveals that, in fact, the list of potential suspects in the crime was long, given the number of enemies the ski area's owners had made since acquiring the resort in 1996. Tinder lay in the tensions between disgruntled locals and Vail Resorts, Inc., a group of Wall Street financiers who took the company public and made shareholder returns paramount, traditions and community be damned.
Glick's "whodunit" arson probe is a compelling entree into a wider tale of intrigue, a saga of the cultural clash that ensues when wealth and enormous corporate power invade a once-pristine alpine valley and ski town.
It is a story happening throughout the "New West," as modem cowboys and wealthy lifestyle refugees have displaced ranchers, miners and loggers; as farms give way to 12,000 square-foot trophy homes and golf courses; and as new trails are cut into untouched forest for coveted ski-in, ski-out access.
Glick will share excerpts from his book, accompanied by slides. Refreshments will be served. The event is sponsored by CU-Boulder's Center for Environmental Journalism and the Center of the American West.
"Powder Burn" is a recent release by the New York publisher Public Affairs.
For more information, contact the Center for Environmental Journalism at (303) 492-4114.