Breck proposes mountain improvements
BRECKENRIDGE – Breckenridge Ski Resort is asking the U.S. Forest Service for permission to relocate the unbuilt Peak 7 restaurant from up top to mid-mountain, to construct a midstation for the new Peak 7 Independence SuperChair and to add 18 acres of snowmaking on Peak 9’s beginner trails.
The resort also wants to improve water service to the Vista Haus and Peak 9 restaurants by construction of two new water diversions on mountain streams. Vista Haus water service would be extended to the planned Peak 7 restaurant, as well.
The proposals follow a busy summer at the resort that saw construction start on the Independence SuperChair and the new Peak 8 SuperConnect plus renovations of the Maggie and Vista Haus restaurants – work costing about $12 million, resort chief operating officer Roger McCarthy has said.
The Dillon Ranger District of the U.S. Forest Service is soliciting comment on the new proposed work as part of an Environmental Analysis – a less extensive process than an Environmental Impact Statement many projects must undergo.
An open house is slated for 4-7 p.m. Oct. 16 at the Summit County Courthouse in Breckenridge. Forest Service officials will present 15-minute outlines on the half hour and solicit comments.
According to a Forest Service notice, the resort wants to build a new water diversion structure, treatment facility and water line to supply the Vista Haus Restaurant, as well as the planned Peak 7 restaurant.
The plan is to put an infiltration gallery on Sawmill Creek, about 110 feet south of the bottom terminal of E Lift. A water treatment facility would be built about 120 feet northeast of the E Lift bottom terminal. A water line would start at the treatment plant and head north 3,300 feet along Frosty’s Trail to the Vista Haus. From there, it would continue 6,311 feet along Columbine ski run, then south on Claimjumper, to a spur north on the Peak 7 and 8 road and to the Peak 7 restaurant.
According to the notice, water systems are inadequate for current and future needs, and wells supplying the VistaHaus typically reach critical shortages in February. Additionally, the existing infiltration gallery and water line are aging and are too small to serve the new restaurant on Peak 7 adequately.
The resort also is asking to add 18 acres of snowmaking to the Country Boy and Eldorado trails on Peak 9. Air and water lines would be buried on the north side of the trail and disturb an area no wider than 40 feet.
Resort officials say the lack of snowmaking on those popular trails prevents skiers – particularly beginners – from using the trails and, thus, contributes to crowding at the Peak 9 base area.
Additionally, the resort proposes relocating an approved restaurant on Peak 7. The original restaurant, approved in 1998, was to be built just south of the Independence SuperChair’s top terminal. Now, officials want to build it just downhill of the Peak 7 and 8 road between the Claimjumper and Pioneer trails.
The facility could be used at night and in the summer.
In conjunction with that relocation, resort officials want to add a mid-station unloading platform along the new Independence SuperChair to offer novice skiers the option of skiing the gentler slopes on the lower half of Peak 7. The midstation also would provide more direct access to the new restaurant.
In another water improvement, the plan is to upgrade an aging diversion in Lehman Gulch on Peak 9. This would involve a new infiltration gallery near the existing location and replacing the undersized water line. The current gallery is about 1,500 feet southeast of the top terminal of the Mercury SuperChair.
After taking comment about the proposed modifications, acting Forest Service Supervisor Steve Deitemeyer will determine whether to allow the proposal to proceed or whether other actions might be preferable.
Forest Service officials use comments to identify issues and develop alternatives to the proposal. People submitting comments should include a name, address, phone number and the organization, if any, they are representing; the name of the proposal; and facts, concerns or issues and supporting reasons for Forest Service officials to consider.
Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 228 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mail comments to District Ranger Jamie Connell,
Dillon Ranger District, P.O. Box 620, Silverthorne, CO 80498, or fax to (970) 468-7735. For additional information, contact Michael Liu at (970) 262-3440. Comments must be postmarked or received by Nov. 2. Only those who express an interest in the project will receive a copy of the environmental analysis.
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