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Wolf Creek milestones

The Associated Press

• 1976: The Pitcher family buys the ski area, operated on a lease from the U.S.. Forest Service.• 1986: Texas billionaire Billy Joe “Red” McCombs and the late Charles Leavell of San Antonio acquire nearly 300 acres of land in Mineral County at the base of the ski area in exchange for land that Leavell owned in a neighboring county. They form the Leavell-McCombs Joint Venture.• 1990: Mineral County commissioners give preliminary approval to the ski village building plans. The commissioners revoke approval in 1999 because of changes, but again approve the preliminary plans in 2000.• 1993: The joint venture gets Mineral County approval to sell 12.5 acres of private land to the ski area for construction of ski lifts.• 1996: Texas businessman Bob Honts gets involved as president and chief executive of the Village of Wolf Creek.• 1997-98: The ski area seeks Forest Service approval for facilities expansion, including a road to parking lots that was intended to access the proposed ski village as well.• 1999: Colorado Wild, a Durango-based environmental group, appeals the Forest Service approval to extend the road to the village site. A compromise deal ends the road 250 feet short of the private land.• 2001: The developer sends a letter to the ski area, claiming the Pitchers defaulted on their agreement to extend the road to the private property.• 2003: Pete Leavell sells his family’s interest in the joint venture to McCombs. The developer seeks Forest Service authorization of a road from U.S. Highway 160 to the village site.• April 2004: The developer files a notice of default letter against the ski area.• May 2004: The ski area sues to clarify its obligation to the joint venture.• June 2004: The developer countersues.• October 2004: The Forest Service releases a draft environmental impact statement on the developer’s application for a permanent access road to the private property. The agency recommends support for the road.• March 4, 2006: The contractor hired by the Forest Service to weigh the impact of the planned ski village exchanges a series of e-mails with the developer, including one suggesting the contractor’s frustration with the red tape holding up construction.• March 21, 2006: A resolution presented in the Colorado General Assembly condemning the proposed Village at Wolf Creek is defeated in a 6-5 vote.


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