Debate Rages Over Proposed Aspen Expansion

Debate Rages Over Proposed Aspen Expansion

Skiing

Debate Rages Over Proposed Aspen Expansion

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Aspen Mountain | Colorado Ski Country USA

Aspen Mountain (Formally Ajax). Courtesy: Aspen Skiing Co. & Colorado Ski Country USA

Aspen Skiing Co. was given the thumbs-up by the US Forest Service in 2019 to expand lift-service terrain at Aspen Mountain into a zone called ‘Pandora’.

The expansion would add 153 acres of high-altitude (>10,000′)  terrain serviced by a high-speed detachable quad, according to Seth Boster, The Gazette.

The proposed Pandora expansion. (New lift in red)

Aspen executives have noted that the Pandora expansion would be Aspen Mountain’s first sizable expansion in decades, and could create a legacy similar to Highland Bowl at Aspen Highlands.

Sounds great, right?

Well, some locals aren’t thrilled about the expansion.

The Pandora area is currently considered ‘side-country’, and is only enjoyed by locals and adventurers willing to venture outside of the resort boundary.

Aspen Mountain Trail Map

The expansion was tabled back in 2020, but Aspen Skiing Co. president and CEO Mike Kaplan is pushing for the project to begin, again.

Local opposition will most likely continue to push-back with many fearful that expanding Aspen’s terrain will begin an ‘incremental nibble’ towards the loss of Pitkin County’s backcountry and remote zones.

Do you approve of the proposed Pandora expansion at Aspen Mountain?

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