SUMMIT COUNTY — Breckenridge Ski Area is preparing to create an outdoor-themed summer amusement park on the public lands it leases from the U.S. Forest Service. The resort wants to add 14 miles of beginner, intermediate and family oriented mountain biking trails across peaks 7 and 8, as well as adventure hiking zones, zip lines and ropes courses.
Vail Resorts submitted a formal proposal to the U.S. Forest Service this week. Following acceptance of the proposal, the agency will begin an comprehensive environmental review to analyze and disclose site-specific environmental impacts. If the U.S. Forest Service approves a plan, Vail Resorts would begin construction on Epic Discovery activities in the summer of 2015.
DU Law Clinic may help with administrative or legal challenge
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — The U.S. Forest Service approval of the Peak 6 expansion at Breckenridge Ski Area probably won’t go unchallenged. Longtime critics of the project scrutinizing the the final environmental study say they are likely to appeal several elements of the decision, including, fundamentally, whether the expansion meets the stated purpose and need.
Vail Resorts claimed from the start that the new lifts and terrain will ease congestion at Breckenridge by spreading out skiers on peak visitation days, but at least some of the data in the Final Environmental Impact Statement seem to contradict that conclusion.
Skiers and snowboarders will still have to use the busiest lifts out of the Peak 8 base area to reach the new terrain. At one point in the document the Forest Service appears to flat-out acknowledge that the expansion won’t significantly shorten lift wait times on Peak 7 and Peak 8.
SUMMIT COUNTY — White River National Forest supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams said Tuesday his decision to approve a 550-acre expansion at Breckenridge Ski Resort is an appropriate balance between resource conservation and recreational use of the forest, but some critics of the expansion remain unconvinced.
Fitzwilliams acknowledged that the expansion will affect 81 acres of habitat for threatened lynx, but promised that the Forest Service will work with community partners to improve the overall conditions of surrounding forests, with an eye toward restoring important wildlife habitat.
“No question, there are impacts, and I think we’ve disclosed them in a fair and balanced manner … and through mitigation and design criteria, we can mitigate them to the point where they are acceptable,” Fitzwilliams said during a media conference call on the Peak 6 decision.
Town council to discuss development agreement that would enable site work before a final building permit is issued
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — The latest proposal for a new timeshare development at Peak 8, up for discussion at a July 24 town council meeting, could give the developers (Breckenridge Grand Vacation) an opportunity to get a head start on the proposed timeshare project by allowing them to start demolishing the Bergenhof and building infrastructure before the actual building permit is issued.
That would be a new path for the town, since development codes don’t allow site work to begin before a building permit is issued.
The deal, which has been in the works for several months, includes Vail Resorts selling the property to the timeshare developer, as well as an increase in overall density above what is allowed on the site and a decrease in parking spaces.
The developers also want to gain density by reclassifying already built and future proposed public restroom space, employee locker room space and storage spaces as listed in the Peak 7 and 8 Master Plan as skier services to new category that does not require density.
To sweeten the pot, the developer has proposed donating $25,000 to the town for preservation activities in Cucumber Gulch.
Check out the staff memo and the proposed development agreement in the town council packet for the July 24 meeting.
Two extra weekends of turns — and free parking — on tap for Colorado skiers
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY— For the first time since merging with Vail Resorts, Breckenridge Ski Area will extend the season in response to a flood of requests from loyal skiers.
The area’s high-altitude should ensure good conditions through late April. Breckenridge often stayed open into early May back in the 1980s, when old-timers can remember celebrating Cinco de Mayo with late-season turns on Peak 8.
The two-weekend bonus season will include only Peak 8 terrain, including the Imperial Express SuperChair, for two additional weekends, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 20-22 and April 27-29, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. each day. In addition, the resort will have a special 50th season extension day ticket price of $50 for those without passes and free parking in the gondola lots. Continue reading “Breckenridge Ski Area extends season”→
The Summit County ski area received one of the lowest grades in the state and country based on the potential impacts that the expansion would have on forests, wildlife habitat and other natural resources.
Breckenridge and Vail ski resort history interconnected since the early days of the Colorado ski industry
By Bob Berwyn
Breckenridge ski area’s 50th anniversary will be marked by community celebrations and a resort marketing blitz, but skiing has deep roots in the Summit County town that predate the sport’s commercial era by at least 100 years.