Battle Mountain proposal shrinks | AspenTimes.com

Battle Mountain proposal shrinks

Sarah Mausolf
Vail correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

MINTURN, Colo. – Developers of a Battle Mountain ski resort say they have dramatically downsized their proposal.

Plans no longer include a golf course or large hotel on the property, and developers have cut the amount of proposed commercial space by two-thirds.

On Wednesday, Crave Real Estate Principal Dave Kleinkopf outlined the revised proposal before the Minturn Town Council. Developers have envisioned annexing land into Minturn, a small town southwest of Vail, for the project.

Kleinkopf said the downturn in the economy was one of the things that prompted the Canada-based company to scale back its vision.

“Just like every one of you, you have a budget,” Kleinkopf said. “You had to tighten up your budget. So have we.”

Developers also scaled back the plan to address concerns from the Environmental Protection Agency that the project would use too much water. Developers have been mired in lawsuits with a host of Eagle River water users over the project, and say that their new proposal should give them a better chance at settling those lawsuits.

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The new project would require about half as much water. The amount of water the resort would store in the Bolts Lake area would drop from 2,200 to 1,210 acre feet.

The proposed 18 to 36 holes of golf on Battle Mountain had been a sticking point with environmental officials, and it was one of the first things to go, Kleinkopf said.

Other changes include fewer ski lifts at the proposed private ski area. Instead of 13 fixed lifts, plans now include four or five. Developers also plan to use three or four Snowcats to take skiers to the top of lifts.

Whereas the plan once included more than half a million square feet of commercial space, developers now plan only about a third of that. There will be a coffee ship, ski shop and some “chili shacks,” Kleinkopf said, but the commercial development will be far less elaborate than originally planned.

Developers still plan a mix of condos, townhouses and single-family homes but they expect to build far fewer units than the original 1,700 homes proposed.

“It will be less than 1,700 but how much less, I can’t tell you,” Kleinkopf said.

Developers plan to invite Minturn residents to a meeting on the plan later this month. Titled “What’s Up at Battle Mountain?” the meeting is set for 7 to 8 p.m. July 20 at Gourmet Cowboy, 455 Main St. in Minturn.

Kleinkopf said he does not yet know when Crave will submit plans to the town. That will hinge on when they can get regulatory approval for the project and work out water rights issues, he said.

Plans for the private ski resort have been in the works for about five years. Florida developer Bobby Ginn bowed out of the project last year. Crave Real Estate, which is tied to Philadelphia-based investment company Lubert-Adler, took control of the project.

smausolf@vaildaily.com

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