Shortcuts: Colorado’s first Michelin star, Bhutan slashes tourist tax and Eurostar’s new ski train

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denver The Rocky Mountains’ reputation as a gastronomic desert could finally be corrected this month with the publication of the first Michelin Guide to Colorado. Anxious chefs will gather at Denver’s Mission Ballroom Sept. 12 to see if their restaurant has been included in the guide, which will cover Aspen and Snowmass Village, Boulder, Denver, Wayne Towne and Beaver Creek Resort.

Since launching its New York edition in 2005, the French restaurant guide has been expanding to North America. Colorado will be the eighth guide; since 2020, all content is online-only, available on Michelin’s website or app. Like other US guides, publication of the Colorado edition is funded in part by the local tourism board, which commits more than $100,000 annually to support its marketing and promotions.

Inspectors have announced that nine restaurants in Colorado will be awarded a Bib Gourmand for “high-quality, high-value cuisine.” Michelin has come a long way from its French gastronomic roots, and inspectors are raving about AJ’s Pit Bar-BQ in Denver, where the “cornbread is creative and when we say you want custard topping version, trust us”. michelin guide

thimpu The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan is slashing a $200-a-day tourist fee introduced last year as a key part of its “high-value, low-traffic” tourism strategy. The “sustainability fee” is the highest tourism tax in the world and is a policy closely watched by other governments and tourism agencies facing the problem of overtourism. In Bhutan, however, the approach appears to be overly effective: the country received 54,585 tourists in the first seven months of this year, down from 174,435 in the same period in 2019. The pandemic, lingering effects of the war in Ukraine and cost-of-living pressures in key markets have dampened demand, officials said, but they hope the cuts will “revitalize” the industry. From this month until 2027, the daily rate will be $100, with further reductions for children (visitors from India will continue to pay the lower rate of $14.50). Bhutan Tourism Network

London British skiers will have a new route to the mountains this winter thanks to the launch of the Eurostar ski service from London via Lille to the French Alps. Skiers were so upset by Eurostar’s decision to cancel direct ski trains in 2020 that they launched a petition to save it. The new flight will operate from December to February, departing London every Saturday at 9 am, with stops in Chambery, Albertville, Moutiers and Aymera-Plagne, after a 50-minute connection in Lille. Finally arrived at Bourg-Saint-Maurice at 6.20pm. The Sunday return flight departs at 8.26am and arrives in London at 4pm. Returns from £198; tickets go on sale this weekend. Eurostar website

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