Private ski resort plans unveiled
Eagle County correspondent
The firm that wants to build a private ski resort submitted detailed plans to Minturn last week outlining the development of 4,300 acres on and around Battle Mountain, the developer, the Ginn Co., said.
The Ginn Co. is proposing to annex the land into Minturn and build 1,700 homes, a golf course and ski area.
The plans submitted Wednesday show the locations of development and analyze impacts to traffic, wildlife, employee housing, schools and the town’s economy. The Minturn Planning Commission is expected to begin reviewing the documents in January.
“We’re excited to move to the next stage and proud of the hard work and careful consideration we’ve put into planning this project,” said Bill Weber, senior vice president for the Ginn Co.
Some of the highlights include the traffic study. The company studied how future resort traffic from residents, employees and construction might impact seven segments on U.S. Highway 24 from Dowd Junction to Red Cliff. They graded traffic on each segment from A to F – according to the Highway Capacity Manual – at four different times until 2023.
The seven segments currently function at a B or C level – per Colorado Department of Transportation criteria – during peak times in the winter and summer seasons. The study shows the traffic situation wouldn’t significantly degrade until 2015, at which time the Dowd Junction Interstate 70 interchange would be rated at a D level.
A D level represents traffic is approaching unstable flow.
The segments north of downtown and in town significantly downgrade beginning in 2020 to a D level during the summer.
Although the Colorado Department of Transportation typically improves highways, the Ginn Co. and town can upgrade the highway to improve traffic. The company also outlined several ways to improve traffic in Minturn.
Another highlight is employee housing. The Ginn Co. estimates 776 employees might work at the resort when it is completed. They plan to house some workers in 50-70 units at Gilman and 80-100 single family duplexes and townhomes just east of the Willow Creek drainage on Battle Mountain.
The housing at Gilman is proposed to replicate the historic buildings at the former mining town.
Resort residents and employees are expected to generate 137 students during 20 years of construction. The $5.4 million generated from property taxes at the resort far outweighs the cost to public schools in Eagle County, the report says.
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Bluebird skies, spring-like temperatures and a few inches of snow from Monday night’s storm helped Snowmass skiers and snowboarders cruise into the season Wednesday for opening day.