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Vail Resorts skier visits drop 14.6 percent

More spring powder in Vail's Back Bowls could help skier visits rebound during the last few weeks of the season.

In quarterly earnings statement, company says revenue holds steady and announces $75 million in capital improvements, including a new Vail gondola

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — With Tahoe-area snowfall at only about 30 percent of average, Vail Resorts saw skier visits drop by about 32 percent at its California resorts, contributing to an overall decline in skier visits of about 15 percent for the second fiscal quarter of 2012.

The company announced that skier visits at its Colorado resorts were down about 8.8 percent for the quarter, with net revenue for the company’s mountain division dropping about 0.7 percent for the quarter. Continue reading

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Colorado: Snowboarder hits tree, dies at Keystone ski area

Keystone's Elk Run. PHOTO COURTESY COLORADO SKI AUTHORITY.

Helmeted rider suffers massive trauma in Summit County, Colorado ski area crash

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — The string of on-slope ski and snowboard fatalities continued this weekend, as 24-yar-old Joshua B. Allen, of Tampa, Florida, died from injuries suffered in a crash at Keystone Ski Area. According to the Summit County Coroner, Allen, who was wearing a helmet, died of massive facial injuries and brain trauma.

The coroner’s office reported the accident as a transfer case at 3:25 p.m., reporting that Allen was found in the trees on the intermediate Elk Run Sunday morning. The Keystone ski patrol was contacted at 11 a.m. and performed advanced life support.

Joshua B. Allen.

Allen’s death is the fourth of the season at Keystone. For the season to-date, there have been at least 11 reported ski and snowboard related deaths in Colorado, close to the long-term average of 12 deaths per season.

Allen was subsequently flown to the Summit Medical Center for stabilization for a flight to Denver. He died in the emergency room at St. Anthony’s in Lakewood at at about 2:30 p.m.

Allen had been skiing in the area with two friends since Wednesday.

Op-ed: Keystone plan a golden opportunity for restoration

Resort, Forest Service should strive for environmental improvements, not just in the Summit House facility, but in the overall development footprint of the project area; full disclosure needed for the planned Bergman Bowl egress trail

A satellite view of the summit of Dercum Mountain at Keystone Ski area shows the level of development, including an open air sewage lagoon slated to be replaced in the lower right-hand corner of the image. The beginner conveyor lift is visible center-left.

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — At first glance, plans to revamp the summit of Keystone’s Dercum Mountain and make other improvements to existing terrain and facilities appears to be a laudable step away from the normal ski resort expansion race, marked most recently by Breckenridge’s quest to add lift-served terrain on Peak 6.

Keystone’s proposal is to work within the resort’s existing development footprint, which already sprawls three mountains deep from the Highway 6 base area into the surrounding national forest. Improvements to existing trails, the addition of a few new mountain bike trails and enhanced visitor facilities at the summit of Dercum Mountain all make sense for one of the state’s busiest ski areas. Replacing the aging mountain-top lodge, cozy as it may be, with a new energy efficient structure is also a good move, both from a business and environmental standpoint.

But there are a couple of glaring questions that come to mind immediately. As part of its review, the Forest Service should look at how the new facility will affect the operation of the Outpost, built at great expense and with a lot of environmental fanfare. I’m not sure how, but Keystone earned green accolades for construction of that remote lodge, which could become a white elephant for the resort and the Forest Service. Continue reading

Summit County: Keystone plans major upgrades

A map of proposed improvements at Keystone, including new or improved smowmaking on the front side of the mountain marked in blue. Click for the full-size map.

Resort wants to replace Summit House, boost snowmaking, expand family adventure areas

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Keystone ski area’s old-school summit lodge could soon be replaced with a modern energy efficient facility. The

The proposed replacement of the Summit House is part of a slate of improvements aimed at improving the quality of the on-mountain experience at the resort, according to the U.S. Forest Service. The improvements were initially outlined in the 2009 Keystone Ski Area master plan, online at this White River NF web page (loads slowly).

which last week started accepting scoping comments on the plan. Click here to comment.

The scoping notice is online at this White River National Forest website.

Other improvements include replacing outdated snowmaking equipment on the front side of the mountain, expansion of the Adventure Point tubing area, an egress trail from the cat-served terrain in Bergman Bowl and improvements to learning terrain on the mountain. Continue reading

Front Range Ski Bus adds service to Copper Mountain

Transit to ski areas growing in popularity

The Front Range Ski Bus at A-Basin on a snowy day. New service to Copper Mountain starts this week. PHOTO COURTESY FRONT RANGE SKI BUS.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY —With demand picking up, the Front Range Ski Bus announced this week that it’s starting service to Copper Mountain as soon as Feb. 16, running buses to Copper Thursday through Sunday.

The company has been offering bus service to Loveland, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin for about a month, with all those resorts giving Front Range Ski Bus passengers a discount on tickets. Round trip prices start at $39 with advance online booking. Continue reading

Colorado: Skier dies after crash at Keystone

Keystone Ski Area.

Helmeted had suffered broken neck, brain injury; was found face-down on expert trail

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY —The Summit County coroner’s office is reporting that 72-year-old William Emberton, of Stonington, Connecticut, died Thursday (Feb. 9) from injuries suffered at Keystone Ski Area. Stonington died at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Lakewood.

Stonington was found Feb. 7, at about 1:30 p.m. face-down on the Geronimo Trail at Keystone. He suffered a broken neck and an anoxic brain injury. According to the coroner, he was wearing a helmet. The accident is still under investigation.

 

Summit County: Winter bluegrass at Keystone

The Pine Beatles featured in a top-notch bluegrass lineup at Keystone, Colorado, Feb. 2-4

The Pine Beatles are part of a stellar lineup for the Feb. 2-4 Winter Bluegrass concert series at Keystone. PHOTO COURTESY THE PINE BEATLES.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY —Keystone’s summertime beer and bluegrass festival has become a high country classic, and now, the resort is looking to bring some of that twangy American roots music to the winter season with the Keystone Winter Bluegrass concerts at Warren Station (Feb. 2-4).

Thursday’s lineup includes  Willy Porter, Carpe Diem String Quartet and The Mealies and the bluegrass continues Friday with the Mossgatherers, followed by local favorites The Pine Beatles and  The Haunted Windchimes.

The concerts conclude Saturday with Steel Pennies and Finnders and Youngberg.

A full-access, three-day pass is $30 purchased in advance, while tickets for individual shows are $12. Tickets can be purchased online here.

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