Off Limits

The white stuff: For a half-dozen years the "Underwear Tree" off Chair 5 in Vail's back bowl has been one of the ski area's most entertaining sights (along with watching Texans fall on their butts). The tree is festooned with undergarments, including several unusually "well-proportioned" items, according to Vail's Paul Witt. "No one seems to know how it got started," he adds--but it's not hard to figure out how the coverup continues. Skiers spotting the tree from the chairlift get inspired; once they're safely--and warmly--inside the restaurant at the top of the mountain, they remove their own unmentionables and then let fly on the return trip up the hill. (Witt says he's never seen anyone actually disrobe on the chair--but hope springs eternal.)

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and now Vail's ostensibly better-behaved sibling, Beaver Creek, has its own lingerie display: A tree--appropriately enough, a bare aspen--just to the right of the quad lift recently broke out in full bloomers.

Of course, Aspen, the granddaddy of all Colorado ski resorts, has long had its own underwear tree. And last week it officially rejoined the fold--Colorado Ski Country, that is: the booster group now headed by John Frew (and recently abandoned by marketing wiz Shawn Hunter) that promotes Colorado skiing around the globe. That leaves just one last resort as a holdout: Tiny Wolf Creek, located in the southwestern corner of the state, withdrew from the group several years ago and has no plans to re-up. Although Wolf Creek enjoyed a record year last season, according to marketing head Roseann Pitcher, that part of the country has been short on snow recently, and "I can't believe any kind of marketing campaign is going to help that," she says. Wolf Creek may be gone from Colorado Ski Country, but it's not forgotten--the group still calls to get Wolf Creek's skier totals in the hopes that those tallies will push the state into yet another record-breaking season.

Putting up a false front: One of the most convincing performances in the newly released Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead is delivered by the Rossonian Hotel, the Five Points landmark whose first floor actually appears occupied in the movie. It was jumping for real fifty years ago, when the likes of Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Ella Fitzgerald shook the building. Now Denver's settling for the occasional Andy Garcia sighting--and the hope that a downstairs tenant, maybe even a jazz club, will move into the historic structure, the publicly funded makeover for which cost more than $2 million. (The Denver Housing Authority wound up signing a five-year lease for the top two floors.) Although the first-floor space comes with its own half-million-dollar renovation package, and developer Tom Yates predicted two years ago that the room would be rented by Christmas 1994, it's still looking for a tenant.

Signs of the time: "Forget your expectations," reads the just-revealed billboard at the corner of 20th and Lawrence streets. No kidding. The billboard, uncovered when a more current ad was peeled off, hypes the now-defunct Zima Gold--arguably the Adolph Coors Co.'s worst investment. (Industry analysts are blaming Zima for Coors's dismal earnings last year.) The bottle on the billboard points to what is arguably the brewer's best investment: Coors Field.

Shortly after Chuck Green's "Montbello High principal offers no apologies" hit the streets Friday, a parody appeared in the Denver Post newsroom: "Post commentator offers no apologies," honoring Green's "scoop" that Wilma Webb would run for Congress.

 
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