Forest Service OKs Breck summer expansion plan

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Summer is about to get busier on the slopes of the Tenmile Range.

Summer attractions expected to draw 150,000 new tourists

Staff Report

The U.S. Forest Service is giving Vail Resorts a green light for more development on the slopes of the Tenmile Range, at Breckenridge Ski Area.

In a final decision released this week, White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams approved a significant expansion of recreation infrastructure, including zip lines and canopy tours, as well as more off-highway vehicle tours and an expansion of the Peak 7 hut.All of the projects approved are on National Forest System lands and occur within Breckenridge Ski Resort’s Special Use Permit boundary:

  • Sawmill and Peak 7 Zip Lines
  • Sawmill and Ore Bucket Canopy Tours
  • Challenge Courses at Peak 8
  • New and Realigned Mountain Bike Trails and Skills Course
  • Peaks Trail Connection
  • Hiking Trails (excluding Lake Chutes Trail)
  • Off-Highway Vehicle Tours
  • Upper Four O’Clock Road Realignment
  • Vista Haus Deck and Climbing Wall and Peak 7 Hut Expansion
  • Educational and Interpretive Programs
  • Observation Tower (Alternative 3 location)
  • Existing Chairlift Operations, Scenic Chairlift Rides and Activities Access

Fitzwilliams said the decision will promote healthy outdoor activities by “engaging a wide audience of summer visitors.”

“I believe this suite of approved projects will provide a blend of activities that give a range of experiences for an increasingly diverse recreating public … from those seeking unguided hikes or bike rides by themselves and a more intimate engagement with the forests and natural surroundings, to those wanting more adventure- and thrill-based activities in the mountains of the Tenmile Range,” Fitzwilliams said in a statement.

The activities approved in this decision are projected to accommodate up to 150,000 additional guests on national forest lands at the resort during the summer months, the Forest Service said in a press release.

“We have a unique opportunity to connect so many people to the national forests and the outdoors in a confined, developed area”, said Roger Poirier, mountain sports program manager for the White River National Forest.

“While there are a spectrum of activities planned for families and guests, the activities are not all about thrill and adventure. The project includes a number of interpretive and educational activities and exhibits as well”.

Project documents available for download can be found on the White River National Forest website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=43291. Hardcopies may be reviewed at the Forest Supervisor’s Office in Glenwood Springs and the Dillon Ranger District office in Silverthorne.

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