o n t h e c o v e r : Skiing freshies off Palmyra Peak, some of Telluride’s new hike-to terrain. photo by doug berry / telluridestock.com
Skiing freshies off Palmyra Peak, some of Telluride’s new hike-to terrain. photo by doug berry / telluridestock.com

Change. What else could I write about? It was the mantra of the 2008 presidential election, so it was the bedtime story I heard every evening as I sent this issue to press. It was in the news, permeated late-night comedy and political cartoons:
McCain: I say “change” 10 times a day.
Obama: I say “change” 20 times a day.
Unemployed guy with a cup: I say “change” 300 times a day.
Me: I say “change” for change’s sake, for change is as sure as taxes and death, only with the divine allure of possibility.

I see change from this vantage: I’ve lived in Telluride for 32 years and worked on Telluride Magazine for 26. I’ve enjoyed a gratifying life in surroundings that are often aggrandized, visited by those who are envious of where I live and what I do (and rightfully so). But this fish bowl is not impervious to the outside world, nor is it sustainable. As with the rest of the nation, I’ve witnessed the implementation and outcome of change—not always what I’ve felt was right, but often, I’m pleasantly surprised.

Last summer, we became a part of Big Earth Publishing. I like the name: I like the feeling of being part of something bigger, something that connects me to the outside world. Here in our Telluride office, we’re still the same team, the same minimalist publishing staff with our homes and hearts in Telluride. That change, which seemed strange and foreign at first—we’ve always been skeptical of out-of-town experts (OTEs)—has turned out to be positive, giving us access to what people outside our box know about publishing, advertising, distribution and technology. Our team has new legs.

The timing couldn’t be better, just as the ski area’s terrain expansion and new lift into Revelation Bowl couldn’t be more fortuitous. Gadzooks, the nation is in a financial fix, but we still live in one of the world’s most desirable places. Don’t take it from me: OTEs from National Geographic Traveler (November/December 2008) recognized Telluride as one of the top 109 destinations in the world. Telluriders have fought hard to protect the region’s heritage and environment: the successful condemnation of the Valley Floor as open space speaks boldly to our respect for place. As Geographic’s geotourism editor, Jonathan B. Tourtellot, said, “A home grown sense of stewardship, along with the support of caring visitors, is what will secure the future of our pasts.”

We secure our future by making the best of what we have and enhancing it, if need be. We have snow, but more is always better. In this issue, snow aficionado Peter Shelton looks at the unsung art of snowmaking. In her story about LEED construction (go to page 102 if you want to know what that is), Martinique Davis explores the new era of green and sustainable building. In a town based on a real estate economy—where efficiency and carbon footprints are the caveats of the future—that designation couldn’t be more apropos.

Change has another all-together hopeful message at the annual Telluride AIDS Benefit. It’s what the models in the TAB Fashion Show do—“change,” and often. Writer Pat Healy (who recently moved on to a national job in journalism) leads us through this scintillating event, which raises money in hopes of changing the destiny of those afflicted with HIV/AIDS.

And sometimes, when you’re taking a risk—something Telluriders have little aversion to or they wouldn’t be here—change bites you in the heinie. As unpredictable as the economy may be, it plays second fiddle to the San Juan snowpack—something we here in Telluride strive to live with and respect.

By the way, unlike the locals in Suzanne “Angel” Cheavens’ essay, “No Last Names in Telluride,” most people in town know me by only my last name, something I don’t plan to change.