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Gondola should be supported

Jason Hart

My comment is in response to Justin McCarthy’s opinion published April 4. Let’s be honest, any further development by the ski area will be construed by some as having a negative impact or being environmentally unfriendly. The point that Tom Day (an earlier letter writer) made is that the ski area provided scientific data that stated there would not be significant impact to the environment or wildlife from the operation and construction of the gondola. The consultant and the Division of Wildlife gave opinions backed up with absolutely no facts whatsoever. Is a gondola really going to have significant impact above and beyond the current uses? The fact is grooming machines and snowmobiles plow through the area on a daily basis, not to mention the cross-country skiing, hiking and biking.

What is the Preventative Management Area (PMA)? The PMA is a guide to help minimize the impacts to primarily private property that some consider being sensitive, not a regulation or a pristine designation that prohibits construction or development in any way. And contrary to Mr. McCarthy’s opinion, the ski area has vested rights for a substantial amount of development on Peaks 7 and 8 via an approved master plan from the 1980s.

We all moved here for various reasons, but this is a ski resort and a very large portion of our stability comes from our guests. Without improvements to the ski experience, like the gondola, our guests will choose other resorts that cater to their needs. Some growth is unavoidable and it is naive to believe that the ski area is in the business of the “continual destruction” of our community.

Lastly, I must set the record straight for some that seem to believe that those of us in the real estate industry have a “less” valuable opinion or an ulterior motive. As an industry we are one of the largest promoters of our community. For our customers, we are often their eyes and ears and occasionally their voice.

Many of the part-time and full-time residents I represent do support the gondola for making Breckenridge a more desirable and competitive community.

It is also noteworthy to mention that a majority in the real estate industry are longtime residents with families and have many of the same concerns as the next person. We have tremendous pride in this town and also want what is best for it. Sales will continue with or without an approval of the gondola, but our community as a whole will see a substantial long-term benefit if we do make these necessary improvements.


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