The first nip in the air and frost on the pumpkins is enough to get many Coloradans dreaming of the slopes. This year, though, the threat of terrorism and a very real recession is putting some backspin on the plans of ski buffs and resort habitues. And hey, isn't there supposed to be some snow around here? Come on, white stuff! Sock it to us!
- Arne Salonen
What's your favorite winter sport? Alpine skiing. Being outdoors. The feel of wind in your hair.
What's your favorite Colorado ski resort? Telluride. I lived there for three years. I usually go to Copper Mountain, though, because it's closer.
How will the war impact the ski industry? Most of the people going to the resorts this winter will live within driving distance. It could be, though, that the lure of skiing will overcome fear of flying.
Which will impact the ski industry more: the terrorist threat or the recession? Is there a third choice, like lack of snow? It won't be the recession. We all live off our credit cards. We can ski today, work tomorrow.
What's the best local winter activity? Making snowmen with the kids.
- Michael Hannigan
Head of local nonprofit
Hood: Cheyenne Canyon
What's your favorite winter recreation? Cross-country skiing, downhill skiing and snowboarding -- being out in nature, enjoying good friends, getting exercise in Colorado's fresh air.
What's your favorite Colorado ski resort? I like the little ones. They're friendlier and more family-oriented. You can let the kids ski without worrying where they are. We used to do a lot of Ski Copper, but now it's mostly Monarch, sometimes Breckenridge.
How will terrorism impact the ski industry? The ones who typically fly somewhere to ski will be scared off.
What's the best local winter activity? Hiking in the snow in Cheyenne Canyon or Garden of the Gods. Or cross-country skiing downtown when there's a huge snowfall and everybody leaves their cars at home.
Does drought or snow await us this winter? Changes in the global climate are making the weather extremely unpredictable, but I suspect another dry Colorado winter.
- Jennie Sprinkle
Mountain Chalet manager
What's your favorite winter sport? Telemark skiing, a variant of downhill that requires concentration, precision and form over sheer power and speed.
What's your favorite Colorado ski resort? Monarch because it's close, it's easy and it doesn't get all the hoards from Denver.
Will terrorism or the recession hurt the ski industry more? The recession will make people less willing to justify the high cost of lift tickets.
Will terrorism impact the Winter Olympics? Fewer people from overseas will follow their national team to a very high-profile event that would make a big splash for terrorism.
What's the best winter activity locally? Snowshoeing. There's all sorts of places to do it off Rampart Range Road, on Barr Trail, at Mueller State Park and on Horsethief Falls Trail.