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Snowmass OKs use of gondola, eatery until midnight

From the Snowmass Sun
Aspen, CO Colorado
Jeremy Swanson/Aspen Skiing Co.The Snowmass gondola and the Aspen Skiing Co.'s planned to new restaurant at Elk Camp, served by the gondola, will be allowed to operate until midnight, the Snowmass Village Town Council has decided.
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ASPEN – Aspen Skiing Co. will be allowed to operate its new Elk Camp restaurant and the gondola until midnight, members of the Snowmass Village Town Council determined Monday night.

The elected officials sided with the Skico about the issue of whether the reconstructed on-mountain restaurant should be able to host parties and other events that stretch into the wee hours.

Opposition had come primarily from the Colorado Division of Wildlife, which is concerned that loud noise and lights might disturb area wildlife like elk, deer, coyotes and pine marten.

“We believe the hours of operation are already a settled matter for the Forest Service and the town,” said Skico planning director David Corbin.

He went on to state how usage of the on-mountain structure is “allowed by right in the master PUD,” adding that two thorough reviews of the planned unit development had been conducted.

One of the big issues was noise from outdoor music that would ostensibly take place on the restaurant’s deck. Skico agreed that when darkness falls, the music will be moved inside. The speakers will also be pointed in a direction away from Burnt Mountain, which is habitat for the ungulates.

Wright said concerns remain in general about the health of the area’s wildlife in light of increased recreational and development pressures on what was previously pristine space.

Given that the mountain has expanded its options from one season to nearly year-round and that Skico is now directing much of its summer development on the eastern pod of the mountain, “I don’t see how anyone can deny there are going to be impacts there,” Wright said.

“When’s wildlife going to get a break?” if there’s activity on the slopes from morning until midnight, Wright added.

His concerns were not shared by elected officials, who directed town staffers to draft a preliminary resolution for a special review and an ordinance for the Minor PUD amendment at its Jan. 18 meeting.


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