Sports

New gondolas in the works for two Colorado ski resorts


Two of Colorado’s most popular ski resorts are seeking approval from the U.S. Forest Service to build new gondolas out of their base areas, with construction possible during the summer of 2025.

Breckenridge wants to build one from the Peak 9 base to an angled mid-station, where a new on-mountain beginner area would be developed, before continuing upward to terminate near the top of the existing A-Chair. The A-Chair would then be removed.

Winter Park proposes to build one from the main base area to the Discovery Park learning area. It would replace the existing Gemini Express, a detachable quad.

Both projects are currently in an official public comment period, as required for forest service approval. The comment period for the Breckenridge project ends on June 13, while the comment period for Winter Park’s proposal ends on June 15. Forest service decisions are expected for Breckenridge in December and Winter Park in March.

“After projects on Peak 7 and Peak 8, we look forward to turning our focus to Peak 9 and are excited that our Peak 9 project proposal has been accepted for review by the USFS,” said Jon Copeland, Breckenridge’s vice president and chief operating officer, in a statement.

“This project aligns with our resort’s priorities to continue to improve flow and circulation across our five peaks, specifically in and around our base areas and main portals to the mountain, focusing on upgrades that make our resort better versus bigger,” he added.

According to a summary posted by the White River National Forest, the proposed Breckenridge gondola would originate adjacent to the lower terminal of the QuickSilver SuperChair at the Peak 9 base and run alongside it, reducing congestion which can be considerable there and at the nearby Beaver Run base. In addition, Breckenridge wants to build a new learning area that would include two short conveyors for beginners, a warming hut with restrooms and additional snowmaking. Also in its plans is replacing C-Chair, a slow double, with a six-person high-speed quad.

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A summary of the Winter Park proposal posted by the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests lists several other improvements the resort wants to make in addition to the gondola, which likely would be spread out over several years. They include a new restaurant on Vasquez Ridge, lift replacements and upgrades, trail improvements and additional snowmaking. The restaurant would replace a small chili hut.

Winter Park spokeswoman Jen Miller didn’t offer a timeline for the improvements, once they are approved.

“This is a multi-year process,” Miller said, “and a multi-year plan.”

Eventually, the resort wants to build another gondola between the town of Winter Park and the Discovery Park area, which would become the ski area’s third entry portal and transform the way that visitors access Winter Park.

“I wouldn’t call it another base area, but it (would be) another arrival point,” Miller said. “Then you would …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Sports

      

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