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Other improvements include replacing outdated snowmaking equipment on the front side of the mountain, expansion of the Adventure Point tubing area, an egress trail from the cat-served terrain in Bergman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.
As envisioned, the new facility at the top of Dercum Mountain would be about 20,000 square-feet, requiring about three acres of ground disturbance. the new lodge would have indoor seating for 700 people, with another 200 outdoor seats. The existing structure was built 1970.
The water treatment facility for the Summit House would also be replaced with fixed water lines running down the back side of the mountain to tie in with existing waste lines in Keystone Gulch. This upgrade would eliminate the need for the open sewage lagoon near Adventure Point.
On the west side of the mountain, the resort wants to develop an interactive family adventure zone within existing tree islands, featuring hands-on activities aimed at enhancing the family ski and learning experience.
For the summer, several miles of new mountain biking trails are also proposed, including a new 3.5 mile beginner top-to-bottom trail.
Under the environmental assessment, the Forest Service must conclude that the improvements won’t have a significant impact on the environment. If the EA finds there could be significant impacts, the agency would go back and do a more in-depth environmental impact statement.
For now, the Forest Service says the projects wouldn’t have any direct significant impact on endangered species like lynx. As part of the analysis, the agency will look at indirect impacts, including traffic on nearby roads, might have an adverse effect on lynx.