Women’s downhill course in the works at Beaver Creek | AspenTimes.com

Women’s downhill course in the works at Beaver Creek

Lauren Glendenning
Vail Daily
Aspen, CO Colorado

Contributed imageThe dotted black lines on this map show the proposed women's downhill course, left, and the proposed Beaver Creek Mountain women's giant slalom course, right. The current men's downhill course is in the middle, shown with a solid black line.

BEAVER CREEK, Colo. – Beaver Creek Resort recently submitted a proposal to the Forest Service to begin the process of building improvements at the resort, including a new women’s downhill course proposed to be built for the 2015 World Alpine Ski Championships.

The Forest Service opened up a 45-day public comment period Friday to gather feedback about the proposals.

“In order for Beaver Creek to continue to host international alpine race events, including but not limited to the 2015 World Alpine Championships, and provide the highest quality experience for the large number of attendees and spectators, a number of infrastructure projects and improvements are necessary,” said a statement released by the Forest Service Friday.

The proposed projects at the resort are all on the upper mountain portion of Beaver Creek, including the Birds of Prey and Grouse Mountain lift and trails, as well as the Red Tail Camp area.

Beaver Creek Resort’s proposal primarily focuses on projects that are necessary for hosting future ski races, but also includes projects that should help skier guests such as additional seating areas at a brand new Red Tail Camp facility, said Beaver Creek spokeswoman Jen Brown.

Don Dressler, snow ranger with the White River National Forest’s Eagle/Holy Cross Ranger District, will seek during the next 45 days for the required environmental analysis, which he hopes to send off for Forest Service approval sometime next winter.

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The environmental analysis will include information about impacts on everything from water to wildlife to vegetation and more.

The proposals at the resort include a completely new Red Tail Camp, which would also include relocating the Birds of Prey finishing area to accommodate anywhere from 10,000 to 14,000 spectators at the 2015 championships, as well as more seating open throughout the ski season at the new Red Tail Camp.

A new 150,000-gallon water tank that has been in the plans for 10 years is also part of the proposal, said Tom Allender, director of resort planning for Vail Resorts.

Other proposed improvements include snowmaking projects, tree removal, trail widening, grading, utility and infrastructure projects.

Dressler said the mountain improvements have been in the planning stages for a long time, which is why both resort and Forest Service officials are excited to kick off the first steps of getting those projects approved.

“We look forward to making the next steps toward the 2015 championships,” Dressler said.

lglendenning@vaildaily.com

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