Eldora proposes new lifts, no mountain biking yet | AspenTimes.com

Eldora proposes new lifts, no mountain biking yet

Catherine Tsai
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

DENVER – Eldora Mountain Resort is launching another ski season with hopes of extending its rising ticket sales for a fifth winter, while keeping an eye on the future.

Unassuming Eldora and gigantic Vail Mountain both started running lifts Friday. Eldora near Nederland, west of Boulder, has had an average 271,000 skier visits over the last 10 years. If the ski area gets snow like last year, it could see skier visits rise 5 to 7 percent from last year, resort spokesman Rob Linde guessed.

“Snow is the trump card. It will really depend on snowfall,” he said.

Eldora is already making plans for more growth. This summer it submitted a new master development plan to the U.S. Forest Service to review now that its last one, written in 1994, is largely implemented. The resort says the Forest Service could decide on the new plan sometime next spring.

Eldora says the plan would upgrade its “antiquated” lift network on a mix of private and public land and help it better handle winds that can force it to shut down some lifts.

Based on lift capacity, Eldora can comfortably handle about 4,250 visitors daily today. Under the proposed upgrades, that would rise to about 6,580.

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The plan proposes replacing three main lifts with two high-speed ones and adding four more lifts. It would expand its restaurant and its skier services center at the base, and add another snowmaking reservoir and more intermediate and advanced terrain.

Managers are reviewing whether to offer ongoing summer activities like mountain biking.

Linde said there are no plans to add lodging on the mountain or try to be like Vail, which had about 1.6 million skier visits last season.

“Even with the master plan, we’re really positioned well as a day ski area. We really do want to remain local,” Linde said.