With an initial go-ahead from the U.S. Forest Service, Crested Butte Mountain Resort will begin working on upgrades this summer that aim to solidify the resort’s stature in both winter and summer seasons.
In April, the Forest Service accepted a master development plan that outlines projects at the Colorado resort for the next decade. The plan includes new lifts, upgraded facilities, expanded summer recreation and a terrain expansion beyond the ski area’s permitted boundaries. It includes an initial look at inbounds backcountry skiing on Snodgrass Mountain – an expansion within the resort’s permitted boundaries that the Forest Service denied in 2009.
Many of the proposed projects were part of earlier approvals, including upgrading and relocating four chairlifts, adding and expanding trails, improving snowmaking and developing summer recreation like bike parks and zip lines.
“The (plan) provides CBMR’s vision for the use of public lands and will assist the Forest Service to plan for anticipated future uses," John Sale, director of planning and sustainability for CBMR, told local news outlets. "The plan will also provide local governments, agencies and the public with information about near- and long-term plans for CBMR. Acceptance of the (plan) by the Forest Service will enhance opportunities for a sustainable tourist economy for CBMR and the entire Gunnison Valley throughout the next decade.”
Most noticeable this summer will be construction of new mountain bike trails, tree glading between Double Top and Black Eagle trails served by the East River Express, and a new wedding tent site at the top of the Gold Link lift. Managers also will begin planning for emergency access into Teocalli Bowl 2.
Further out will be major projects in the high bowls. A chairlift is planned to replace the North Face surface T-bar that accesses Paradise Bowl. And, a pair of chairlifts may soon get skiers and snowboarders onto the backside and into the Teo Drainage area – which would be expanded by 440 acres – without having the traverse or climb as much as they do now.
Photo: Crested Butte