Plans for new ski area emerging in Vail Valley
MINTURN ” The vision for a private ski resort on Battle Mountain materialized late last week when blueprints for development of 4,300 acres of land were submitted to Minturn by the Ginn Company.
The conceptual plan calls for five areas of development dubbed Bolts Lake, Gilman, Willow Creek, Holy Cross and Rock Creek, containing a total of 1,700 housing units. Eight ski lifts are planned on Battle Mountain, which includes the latter three areas.
Bolts Lake, 562 acres, is intended to be the hub of the resort, with lodging, retail, restaurants, operations and management located in the area. Included are an aquatic center, 18-hole golf course, tennis and fishing.
The planned gondola originates at Bolts Lake and stretches to the far-east side of the property with an off shoot serving Gilman.
The bulk of the ski runs will be above Gilman on the Rock Creek area, but there is also skiing on the Willow Creek and Holy Cross areas, which sandwich Rock Creek.
If approved, construction is expected to take place in three phases, beginning with utilities and roads, housing and possibly ski facilities on Bolts Lake. Also included in this phase is development of Willow Creek and cleaning mine waste in the Bolts Lake area.
Phase two begins a year after phase one begins, and includes developing the remainder of Battle Mountain and Bolts Lake.
Phase three ” building of Gilman ” is expected to begin five years following the start of phase two. The long delay is due to the extensive amount of mine-waste clean up that must be done.
The Ginn Co. ” in conjunction with a consulting firm and state and federal wildlife agencies ” studied impacts to several wildlife species including elk, black bear, Canada lynx and many others.
Possible measures the developer proposes to lessen the impact on these creatures are building a wildlife bridge over Highway 24 at Bolts Lake to allow for elk migration and allow for movement of the elk and other animals through the property.
The developer is still considering traffic impacts to Highway 24 and other area roads. When the impacts are determined, the company will present how it plans to lessen these impacts to the town and Colorado Department of Transportation.
A full-time staff of people will be employed year-round and paid competitively on a “tip-less” model so “employees are not reliant on fluctuating tips to support income.”
Ginn officials feel the salary structure alone will be enough for employees to afford their own housing. However, the developer is considering on-site employee housing, subsidized housing in Minturn or the region and employee loans.
Residents of the resort are not expected to impact the school system, because few will reside at the resort year-round. The ones who do are likely empty nesters.
The town of Minturn will maintain water and sewer facilities Ginn built. All other services such as police and fire protection will be provided by the appropriate entities and funded with dues from a homeowners association.
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