Vail still deciding on Lionshead lift | SummitDaily.com

Vail still deciding on Lionshead lift

ED STONEReagle county correspondent

VAIL – The west Lionshead planning committee is considering what type of lift would be installed there. Options include a gondola or different types of high-speed quads. Those lifts have varying capacities and abilities to download passengers. Downloading may be a primary way to reach the west Lionshead area from the mountain.Building a new skiway down to the base of the proposed new lift could be problematic, involving building giant retaining walls and a new skier bridge, said Vail Resorts planner Tom Allender.There may be an opportunity to use the existing Cascade Way trail to get skiers back to the area, Vail Mountain Vice President of Mountain Operations Brian McCartney said.Vail Resorts announced plans for the lift in June. It would connect to the base of Chair 26, the Pride Express Lift.An environmental study of the lift is ongoing, said U.S. Forest Service District Ranger Cal Wettstein. A draft copy of the assessment should be done in early January. After a 30-day period for public comment, a final report should be issued in late March and a decision from White River National Forest Supervisor Maribeth Gustafson is expected in April.Vail Resorts must also gain approval from the Vail Planning and Environmental Commission and potentially the Design Review Board, said Russ Forrest, the town’s community development director.