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AN UP-LIFTING EXPERIENCE: SKI AREAS UPGRADED WITH BIG $$

          CO ski areas are "spending a record" $233M "to improve
     their resorts" in '99, $77M more than the previous record of
     $156M spent in '98, according to Erika Gonzalez of the ROCKY
     MOUNTAIN NEWS, who wrote that the number "represents an
     almost" 50% increase over last year.  Copper Mountain "plans
     to spend" $500M over the next five to 10 years "to upgrade
     the resort and draw more destination guests."  Gonzalez:
     "The ski area will invest $67 million this year to build
     four new lodges at the base of its mountain."  Winter Park
     "will open" a $70M lodge this winter, offering 220
     condominiums, restaurants and shops.  Vail Resorts "isn't
     far behind" with $60M in "improvements slated" for its four
     resorts.  Vail spokesperson Paul Witt: "You can't sit still
     in this business."  However, Gonzalez noted that skier
     visits statewide "fell" 4.8% in '98, the "first significant
     drop" in several years (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 8/21).

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