BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. (CBS4) – One of Colorado’s most-crowded ski resorts is hoping to take care of the problem after the U.S. Forest Service has given Breckenridge Mountain the go-ahead to expand an area now being called Peak 6.
Breckenridge a resort that boasts 1.6 million skier visits per year, but admittedly that number is a burden for nearly 40 days every winter because there are just too many people. Now the overcrowding issue has won out over the environmental impact.
What’s just an extensive grove of trees right now will expand to about half a dozen runs, and 550 acres of skiable terrain.
“In recent years we felt like it was a great opportunity to expand the amount of terrain and lift capacity to address crowding issues, frankly,” Pat Campbell with Breckenridge Ski Resort said.
But the ski resort, which has wanted to expand its trail map for nearly a decade, had to make some concessions with the town and county first.
Many locals said if the resort is allowed to expand into the area north of Peak 7, they did not want to see more development at the base area.
“It was particularly as they utilize Forest Service land to run a business, and people felt development wise they had enough, and the community has grown to the size people are comfortable with,” Breckenridge Town Manager Tim Gagen said.
Some have also been concerned that while the expansion is within their existing permit, it won’t stop the resort from selling more lift tickets.
“Our primary objective in developing this area is to provide more of a great, quality skiing experience for the current visitors to Breckenridge,” Campbell said.
There’s an appeals process under way, but the resort says if that’s cleared Peak 6 skiing could commence as early as the winter of 2013.
The approval comes with a 45-day appeal period that ends on Oct. 9. The Forest Service has not received any appeals yet.
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