Saturday, March 5, 2011

Eldora Mountain Master Plan for Expansion Approved

Eldora Mountain Resort released to the press and public this week. I had been skiing just the previous Sunday during there FREE lift ticket promotion. It was impressive how well they had handled this crowd that included over 1600 lift tickets that day to skiers and riders taking advantage of the promotion.

In speaking with Jim Spenst the General Manager he stated that Eldora Mountain Resort's plan is to replace some of its old chairlifts, add new high-speed lifts, open more terrain and renovate its lodge has been approved by the U.S. Forest Service.

For those of us who have skied the area over the last 30 years it is exciting news and will enhance significantly the ski experience and provide more reasons to avoid the I-70 traffic especially on weekends.

The master plan calls for improvements to trails, buildings and lifts, but it especially focuses on trying to increase the amount of intermediate terrain available and to reduce the amount of the mountain that needs to be closed in high winds. Winds have been known to limit the resorts operations that parts of this plan addresses.

Eldora wants to add two new lifts on the back side of the resort near the Indian Peaks and Corona lifts, but both would start and end at lower elevations. The two new lifts would also be high-speed, detachable, six-person lifts, which are heavier than the lifts now used at Eldora, and therefore, more stable in windy conditions. Eldora's managers say the combination of heavier lifts and lower elevation will allow them to keep more terrain open more of the time.

The master plan also calls for multiple lifts to be replaced with faster upgrades, including Corona, Challenge and Cannonball. And upgrading the lodge and on-mountain restaurant is also on the list of planned improvements.

While the plan has now been approved by the Forest Service, individual upgrades must still go through a separate approval process that takes into account the environmental impacts of the upgrades. That means it will likely be a year or more before any changes get made at the resort.


I had been skiing just the previous Sunday during their FREE lift ticket promotion. It was impressive how well they had handled this crowd that included over 1600 lift tickets that day to skiers and riders taking advantage of the promotion.