Aspen Skiing Co. Unveils Snowmass Development Updates

Aspen Skiing Co. Unveils Snowmass Development Updates

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Aspen Skiing Co. Unveils Snowmass Development Updates

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Photo Credit: Aspen Snowmass

Photo Credit: Aspen Snowmass

This past week, White River National Forest officials accepted Aspen Skiing Co.’s proposed update to the Snowmass Master Development Plan. However, new projects that were not previously introduced and assessed will be subject to environmental review in keeping with the National Environmental Policy Act.

“This (plan) seeks to proactively address future trends in winter recreation at Snowmass over the next 10 to 15 years,”– Snowmass Master Development Plan

According to the plan, the main goal is to “enhance the upper-mountain terrain access and user flow.”

Involved in the plan is a comprehensive update of current chairlifts, restaurants, and mountain biking trails. Also laid out in the masterplan, is the creation of three overnight huts that will provide guests with a hut experience for those not familiar with backcountry travel. The structures, located in the Dikes zone, will sleep anywhere from 10-20 guests per night.

Here is what Aspen Skiing Co. hopes to accomplish in the upcoming future

  • Expand terrain on the east side of the resort.
  • Construction of 3 overnight huts
  • Updating Big Burn and Coney Glade chairlifts
  • Expanding Sam’s Smokehouse
  • Create chairlift access the top of Burnt Mountain
  • Summer seasonal alpine coaster on Elk Camp
  • Construct a climbing wall next to the Elk Camp Restaurant
  • 20 miles of additional mountain biking trails

Perhaps the most controversial piece is the desire to construct a lift that will reach the top of Burnt Mountain. Locals fear that the implementation of such a lift would ruin an otherwise inbounds backcountry experience that is devoid of any views of neighboring lifts like the Elk Camp Gondola. However, as seen in Jackson Hole, local sentiment is often usurped by market trends and the lift is a main focus of resort officials.

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