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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

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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

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