Skico introduces summer program at Snowmass
Snowmass Village correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
SNOWMASS VILLAGE – Aspen Skiing Co. would like to develop up to 50 miles of new hiking and biking trails on the west side of Snowmass ski area, some of which could be open by next summer, Snowmass General Manager Steve Sewell told elected officials on Monday night.
It’s part of an overall “summer activities plan” that has been in the works since the mid-1990s, Sewell said. He went on to add that the trails, potentially coupled with activities such as a climbing wall, children’s play area, bungee tramp, fishing pond and an extensive disc golf course, will “provide summer visitors and locals alike with a memorable experience.”
It’s believed that most visitors could gain access to the new attractions through the Elk Camp Gondola, though there would also be the option to reach them through foot or pedal power. The gondola is proposed to operate daily from June 20 through Labor Day weekend.
Skico is also looking at operating the Elk Camp quad chair three times a week during that same time period.
“I can’t think of a time when Snowmass needed additional activities more than next summer. I encourage you to get these going,” said Jeff Tippett, chair of the trails committee and a 37-year Snowmass Village resident.
While in past weeks some opposition to the plan had emerged because the activities were on the east side of the ski area, away from the mall, the vitality it could bring Snowmass Village in the summer seems to have quelled those fears.
“By going this big, I don’t think it’s going to be as detrimental to the [Snowmass] Mall,” said Town Councilman Reed Lewis.
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A management plan for the Marolt Open Space guides the city to largely leave it alone, although a feasibility study will be done for a potential bike park on the south side of the property.