A major development plan for Mt. Bachelor is now set for implementation, after surviving a final 45-day comment period through the U.S. Forest Service. Officials at the central Oregon resort now say they will prioritize projects and hopefully begin work this summer.
“This marks the completion of a long process,” said Dave Rathbun, Mt. Bachelor’s president and general manager, noting that the plan was first submitted to Deschutes National Forest headquarters in 2010. “Aspects of the plan, including new lifts and trails on the east side of the mountain, base area infrastructure, summer activities including downhill mountain biking, and other improvements, will help Mt. Bachelor attract more visitors to the Bend area year round.”
This is the resort's first updated plan in 32 years.Tops for the short term (one to four years out) will be a detachable quad chair to serve the intermediate terrain on the East Side. A walkway is planned to get from the Rainbow lift to the new East Side chair.
The rest of the short-term project involve non-alpine facilities, including a Kids Adventure Zone, a revamped tubing area, new Nordic center and cross-country access, and a Downhill Mountain Biking Park.
Further out – four to 10 years – Mt. Bachelor officials hope to tweak a number of lifts; expand parking and snowmaking; revamping the West Village lodge and surrounding area; and, establishing an alpine training center.
Highlights of the medium-term projects include relocation of the existing Sunrise Express lift to Rainbow and installation of a new, higher capacity lift on the Sunrise alignment.
Also in the 10-year window plan is the shortening of the Red Chair and roping off some Red Chair trails to periodic race training.
Beyond that, Mt. Bachelor officials hope to build a biomass fuel generator to power the resort.
Photo: Mount Bachelor