BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. (AP/CBS4) — Breckenridge Ski Resort is opening over 500 acres of new terrain for Christmas.

The Peak 6 expansion will open at noon Wednesday. Two new lifts will provide access to intermediate and expert terrain above treeline.

The anticipation has been building for more than a year. The excitement drew Trever Scanell and his friends to this lift first thing this morning.

“I got out here about 9:20 a.m.” said Scanell.

This is one of the most significant terrain expansions in Colorado in recent memory.

“That’s about a 23 percent increase in our total acreage for the resort so it’s really meaningful,” said Pat Campbell form the Breckenridge Ski Resort.

Breckenridge started working on the expansion into peak six almost a decade ago.

“It’s been very long in the making and is so gratifying to see the final product and what a high quality experience it’s going to add for our guests,” said Campbell.

Much of the new terrain is above treeline, but still rated as blue runs.

“Now this terrain is available to our intermediate skiers and to be able to experience the high alpine terrain for the first time is going to be an amazing experience,” said Campbell.

The U.S. Forest Service approved the project, though some environmentalists worried the expansion would harm habitat for Canada lynx. To address those concerns, Vail Resorts agreed to pay $425,000 toward lynx conservation in Summit County.

Breckenridge last expanded in 2002, when it added terrain at Peak 7.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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