By Daniel Glick
In October, 1998 an arson caused 12 million in damage at Vail, the country's largest ski area. A shadowy radical environmental group called the Earth Liberation Front claimed credit for what the FBI called the costliest act of ecoterrorism in U.S. history. But as it turns out, credible suspects were everywhere, since Vail was owned by a New York investment firm that had alienated a wide swath of Colorado's high country residents."Who couldn't have done this?" wondered a local sheriff's investigator. More than a clever whodunit, Powder Burn scrapes away the glitz of America's premier ski destination to reveal a cautionary tale about runaway opulance and rapid change in the New West. As the Denver Post put it, "Vail is a microcosm of the disputes over growth raging across the Rockies, and Glick's take on the fire helps to fan the flames." Packed with odd characters and paranoia, with beautiful mountains and despicable actions, Powder Burn is about corporate greed, the environment, a small town and a mysterious unsolved crime. As Vail celebrates its fortieth anniversary with a full season of hoopla and self-promotion, this book makes compelling reading for skiers, true crime enthusiasts, or anyone interested in the environmental, social, and political issues raised by the evolution of the new West.