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Nordic lighting closer to reality

FRISCO – Evening skiing at the Frisco Nordic Center might be a reality this winter.

Gene and Therese Dayton, who operate the Nordic center for the town, asked council members Tuesday for support in using experimental lighting on a section of trail at the Nordic center this winter.

The Daytons said they wish to use six to nine solar-powered lights to illuminate a one-kilometer section of trail on the east side of RJ’s Vista and at the parking trailhead.



According to Gene Dayton, many people have said they would like the opportunity to ski on the town-owned portion of the peninsula in the evening after work.

Normally, the Nordic center closes at 4:30 p.m. Still, there are skiers who use the trails at night, even though it is prohibited – sometimes interfering with the Two Below Zero Dinner Sleigh Rides.



Therese Dayton said organized evening skiing might help prevent conflicts between skiers and the sleigh rides. The Daytons wish to find the evening skiing solution that would best suit all parties involved – the town, Steve and Cynthia Lewis (who own Two Below Zero) and themselves.

No council members objected to the proposal, though several expressed some concerns, including the cost of lighting and the risk of skier injury.

The lights the Daytons wish to use cost $600 each. According to Rick Higgins, deputy director of Frisco public works, that is about one-third the cost of similar solar lights available.

The lights have not been proven to work at Frisco’s high altitude or low temperatures, however, and several council members seemed hesitant to spend an additional $2,000 to $3,000 on more lights (the town already owns three). They asked the Daytons to inquire about getting the lights for an experimental season. If the lights worked, only then would they pay for them.

If that is not an option, the council still will consider buying the lights for an experimental season. Higgins said he hopes to return to council with a resolution regarding the lights by early December at the latest.

The Daytons said they are hopeful they will be able to try experimental lighting this winter – both to collect data on the lights and to gather ideas from skiers for successful evening skiing at the Nordic center.

“We want to give a good first impression,” Therese Dayton said. “What we’re doing is looking at every possible option.”

Steve Lewis, who also was present at Tuesday’s worksession, said the lights, if placed properly, should not affect the pristine setting for his sleigh rides. His main concern then is the safety of all parties involved.

Lu Snyder can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 203, or lsnyder@summitdaily.com


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