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Despite recent fires set by a radical environmental group, Vail Resorts "has been busy getting the message out to its customers and business partners that it's business as usual," according to Erika Gonzalez of the ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS. Vail spokesperson Chris Jarnot said that the resort "should be ready to open" by Friday despite the damage caused by the fires, though the four damaged chairlifts will not be ready until Christmas. Vail will sent out letters to season passholders offering "information about the extent of damage and status of repairs." Jarnot said that a few consumers have inquired about the incident, but that the resort has not received any cancellations. Vail's PR efforts have received help from Colorado Ski Country USA, which has "taken an active role in helping shape public perception about the fires." The trade association ran a full-page advertisement in state newspapers to inform consumers that Vail is opening on time. Jarnot added that Vail doesn't "plan to run any national advertisements to ease concerns about the fires" (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 11/1).
The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, has "concluded its busiest October ever," according to Murray Chass of the N.Y. TIMES. More than 36,000 visitors "flocked" to the Hall of Fame during October to see goods and paraphernalia used by Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa as they broke MLB's HR record. September attendance was up 78% from last year while the total attendance of more than 70,000 for the last two months was a record for that period. The Hall projects attendance for '98 to be up 12%, or about 320,000, from '97, which would represent its first increase since '93 and its largest jump since '95 (N.Y. TIMES, 11/1).
Organizers of the "financially strapped" World Masters Games "are attempting to persuade creditors to accept 75 cents on the dollar of their debts," according to Jeff Manning of the Portland OREGONIAN. Outgoing Portland Oregon Sports Authority President Scott Andrews said the group "has given up on its plan to seek financial help from the city and state." Some creditors have already agreed "to accept as little" as 50% of what they are owed. However, Games officials have "persuaded corporate backers to come up with" about $300,000 in additional funds, "reducing" the Games shortfall from $500,000 to about $200,000, and sources said that Nike "agreed to furnish a significant percentage of the additional money." The August games drew less "than half the competitors predicted by organizers" and "was marred by disappointing participation and fell far short of the predicted local impact" (Portland OREGONIAN, 10/31).