Peak 6 Expansion Gets ‘Go’ At Breckenridge; High Alpine Terrain
An expansion at Breckenridge Resort, Colo., to include Peak 6 – in the active pipeline for six years and talked about for decades – has received the green light from U.S. Forest Service. Look to ski or ride it during the 2013-14 season.
White River Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams approved the plan this week after Vail Resorts, Inc., Breck’s parent company, completed a “Final Environmental Impact Statement.” The decision is subject to appeal for 45 days. Opposition centers around concerns about the impact on forests and lynx in the area.
Peak 6 means an addition of 400 acres of lift-served and 143 acres of “hike-to” terrain. A high-speed, six-person chairlift and a fixed-grip chair will provide access when the terrain opens.
“Peak 6 will be a tremendous addition to Breckenridge, significantly improving the guest experience by adding both new terrain and lift capacity,” said Vail Resorts Chairman and CEO Rob Katz in a prepared statement. “In addition, the new terrain provides access to intermediate runs and high alpine bowl skiing that will be enjoyed by a wide variety of our guests.”
Peak 6 is the first expansion on U.S. Forest Service land in Colorado since 2008. This is the first expansion at Breckenridge since Peak 7 terrain was added in 2002.
“Peaks 6 and 7 were originally planned together as an expansion in 1985 under Aspen Skiing Company (ASC) ownership,” David Peri, who served as vice president of marketing at Breckenridge from 1983-87, told SnoCountry.com. “Peaks 6 and 7 were then envisioned as Breckenridge’s more upscale and private ‘Beaver Creek.’”
The intention for this projected experience then was, unlike Beaver Creek in the Vail Valley, this new area would be contiguous to the rest of the Breckenridge terrain taking advantage of existing infrastructure and enhancing the resort experience for all, he said. Vail Associates opened Beaver Creek in 1980. Vail and Beaver Creek are separated by 13 miles along I-70 West.
“The whole concept of our Peak 7/6 expansion at that time helped drive Victoria USA to purchase Breckenridge from ASC in 1988. Victoria intended to then invest over a billion dollars into a massive expansion which was to include America’s first funicular tram. They felt that capital infusion - inclusive of Peak 6 development - would accelerate Breck’s becoming the most popular, complete single mountain resort in North America,” he said.
Peri remained at Breckenridge through 1992, serving as Victoria USA’s corporate chief marketing director, responsible for Breckenridge, Stratton Mt., Vt., and Mt. Hutt, N.Z., among other resorts worldwide. All were acquired by Victoria USA at about the same time. Victoria USA was the Japanese investment arm of Victoria Ltd – Japan’s leading sporting goods retailer.
Other Breck News: A final vote is pending in the Breckenridge Town Council on approving an 80-unit time share at Peak 8, site of the now-defunct Bergenhof Restaurant (long known as the “Bergie.”). Support is reportedly wide-spread. See SnoCountry.com story.
What It Means: Breckenridge, with its classic mountain town, 2,358 acres of terrain – much of it family-friendly – is one of the most popular resorts in North America. Vail Resorts, Inc. no longer releases individual resort tallies, but Breck is “guesstimated” by many to be the most visited of all VR resorts in Colorado and California and is, most likely, the most visited mountain resort on the continent. The expansion is good news for all.
Photo: Peak 6/Breckenridge Ski Resort