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Snowmass aims to expand summer offerings

March 30, 2017
Snowmass has a plan to add activities designed to enhance year-round recreational opportunities, including

· Mountain Coaster
· Zip Line
· Zip Line Canopy Tour
· Ropes Challenge Course
· New and Realigned Hiking Trails (2.4 miles)
· New and Realigned Mountain Bike Trails (15.1 miles)
· Climbing Wall
· Two Multi-Purpose Activity Areas
· Educational and Interpretive Installations and Programs

All of the proposed projects are within the Forest Service Special Use Permit area at Snowmass, and in order to see the expansion through the White River National Forest needs to give the project final approval in a Record of Decision, which is expacted to come late in the spring of 2017.

The overarching goal of this project is to engage a wide audience of summer visitors — a departure from typical ski area projects at Snowmass that focus on improving the recreation experience for the winter visitor.

According to Scott Fitzwilliams, White River Forest Supervisor, “This suite of new activities provides a diverse range of opportunities for guests to connect with the natural world. The entire spectrum of activities provides an environment that will encourage guests to further discover their national forests or visit them for the first time.”

Ski resorts on the White River National Forest provide recreation opportunities for over seven million visitors annually yet comprise a small portion of the Forest’s overall land base, and these visits primarily occur in the winter months. This project is the fifth summer activities project to be initiated at a ski area permitted on the White River National Forest.

“We’re expanding our vision for ski resorts — the types of visitors we cater to and the way we connect guests to their public lands,” said Roger Poirier, the Forest’s Mountain Sports Program Manager and team leader for the project. “We have a rare opportunity to engage more guests in a meaningful way in a beautiful mountain setting, and doing all of this in an already-developed footprint. The Elk Camp area is the perfect setting to provide natural resource-based adventures and learning.”

While there are a spectrum of activities planned for families and guests, the activities are not all about thrill and adventure. The decision authorizes interpretive and educational activities to enhance the guest experience.

“We’re looking forward to engaging the resort and other local organizations to create interpretive experiences that will inspire guests to learn through play, further explore the national forests, and gain a deeper understanding of nature. With views of the surrounding mountains, what better place is there to be inspired?” added Poirier.

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