Vail, Beaver Creek alpine rides stalled |

Vail, Beaver Creek alpine rides stalled

Edward Stoner
Vail correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colo. ” The construction of amusement rides at both Vail and Beaver Creek mountains has been pushed back, and their futures remain uncertain.

A coalition of Beaver Creek homeowners associations has challenged the county’s approval of the planned alpine slide at Beaver Creek in a lawsuit that says Vail Resorts had no right to build the slide.

But the sides have agreed to hold off on legal proceedings until November as negotiations continue between Beaver Creek and the homeowners, said Bryan Treu, county attorney.

“Vail Resorts is looking at some alternative locations,” Treu said.

The company continues to “explore our options,” Vail Resorts spokeswoman Kelly Ladyga said in an e-mail.

Residents ” including the late President Gerald Ford ” opposed the alpine slide at Beaver Creek, saying its noise and appearance wouldn’t be appropriate for the base of Beaver Creek Mountain.

Tom Schouten, past president of the Beaver Creek Property Owners Association, said he couldn’t comment on the nature of the discussions because of a confidentiality agreement.

“We’re working toward finding a resolution,” he said.

Vail Resorts envisioned the slide ” planned for the Haymeadow area at the base of Beaver Creek ” as a summertime attraction for the resort. Riders would use small sleds equipped with wheels and brakes to navigate down the slide.

Meanwhile, an “alpine coaster” at Vail, proposed a year ago, remains stalled in the Forest Service’s approval process.

The coaster, which would be at Eagle’s Nest, would have steel rails that would carry two-person sleds on a 3,000-foot-long track down 300 vertical feet. It would be built on Forest Service land, and would run in both summer and winter.

That proposal is “taking a back seat” to other Vail proposals ” including new chairlifts and snowmaking, said Roger Poirier of the Forest Service.

The Forest Service will take a close look at the proposal before it makes a decision, Poirier said.

“This is kind of precedent-setting,” he said.

Comments on the coaster gathered by the Forest Service last year were both negative and positive.

Colorado Wild, an environmental nonprofit, said the coaster would create “urban-type recreation” that doesn’t benefit the public.

But the trade group Colorado Ski Country USA supported the proposal.

“The alpine coaster will appeal to a broader, youthful population and get more kids ‘in the woods,'” the group wrote.

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