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New ski resort on Pikes Peak

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Re: New ski resort on Pikes Peak

Postby johnF » Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:57 pm

Way to crush my enthusiasm guys. ;)

Seriously, though, I am familiar with both the history of skiing on Pikes Peak and Harvey Carter's decades of efforts in this particular spot. It seems like they're farther along in the process than they've ever been before, and although they still clearly have hurdles to face, it doesn't seem as far-fetched as it has in the past. The major obstacle in my view at this point is the rights to the land above Carter's property. CO Native, you think it's unlikely that he'll be able to get anything from the forest service?

I do agree that it's a great area for hiking, as I also mentioned in my original post, and would be a shame to see it developed from that standpoint. If a resort does get developed, I'd be thrilled that's it's there every winter, and ticked that's it's there every summer.

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Re: New ski resort on Pikes Peak

Postby skipikespeak » Thu Aug 12, 2010 10:40 pm

Please forgive me if this posts twice. I thought I posted the first time but never saw any evidence of it so I'm trying again.

My Name is Charlotte and I am the Director of Public Relations and Social Media for The Resort at Pikes Peak. In an effort to avoid violating the rules against promotion on this forum, I will not post our contact information in this reply (can you see it in my profile?). Instead, I suggest you google "skipikespeak." We're on facebook, twitter, and the web, but Facebook is where you will find an active community of 540 friends engaging in an ongoing discussion about this project. Mountain biking has been the hottest topic for the past couple of days.

I think it is safe in this forum to inform you that The Resort at Pikes Peak will be located off of Hwy 67, near The Crags and Mueller State Park -- 10 miles north of Cripple Creek -- and we are passionate about being good stewards of “America’s Mountain.” Our ultimate goal is to be a self-sustaining, energy-generating facility completely off the energy grid, and we hope to open for the 2012 ski season.

The degrees of descent vary on the 320-acre private land base area from easy to intermediate level runs over a 650' vertical drop. If Forest Service approval is granted, much more challenging terrain could be included in the future. Our initial focus is on family-oriented, learn-to-ski, easy-access-to-lift-served skiing for the surrounding communities. Our Concept Plan calls for two quad lifts to serve eight trails, and one lift to serve a separate terrain park. We plan to utilize advanced snow-making equipment, and the water rights that come with the property have been deemed sufficient for that purpose so it should not affect water for those around The Resort.

We encourage input about what exactly the community wants at The Resort at Pikes Peak, and we look forward to hearing your ideas.

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Re: New ski resort on Pikes Peak

Postby Gahugafuga » Thu Aug 12, 2010 11:24 pm

A Few Questions:

1) Is the 320 acre parcel intended to simply be a ski area or some ski trails amidst a new real estate development?

2) How does this resort intend to generate electricity to remain off the grid?

3) Is The Resort at Pikes Peak familiar with Kirkwood Ski Resort in California, a ski area/real estate development that chose to be off the grid? What plans are being considered to avoid the power failures and woeful mismanagement that have plagued Kirkwood for nearly a decade?

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Re: New ski resort on Pikes Peak

Postby England » Fri Aug 13, 2010 7:43 am

susanjoypaul wrote:From what I recall, the land owner is Harvey T. Carter, a legend in Colorado rock climbing. And yeah, the ski resort discussion has been going on for years. I personally don't see it ever happening.

For those interested, Carter founded Climbing magazine, held the first ever bouldering competition in the world, and is often credited with doing more first ascents than anyone in the world. Pick up any rock climbing book, and Harvey's name is in it.


You are correct. He is also the one responsible for painting a red dot at the base of his climbs(all over Colorado). He still gets out from time to time.
Peter Gallagher quote: "Many people say I move fast for a guy that's out of shape. Then I just remind them that round is a shape".

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Re: New ski resort on Pikes Peak

Postby Jim Davies » Fri Aug 13, 2010 9:36 am

I find the concept interesting, and it looks like a lot of work has gone into the business plan on the web site. However, I found this statement under "Threats" to be curious, and it has me wondering if the large, impressive business plan wasn't just copied from some other project:
Great care will be exercised as we proactively work
to help Colorado Wild, the Wilderness Society, Environmental Defense, Trout
Unlimited, West Slope Environmental Resource Council, High Country Citizen's
Alliance, the Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts, and the Colorado 14'ers Initiative
become aware that we share the same concern for the environment as their
organizations

Now maybe I'm not completely in-the-loop on local environmental politics, but this list of organizations doesn't seem to have much to do with the local area. For example, CFI has never done a project on Pikes Peak to my knowledge. However, Friends of the Peak and Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado have both done major amounts of work on the Crags route up Pikes Peak (right next door). The Sierra Club has successfully sued Colorado Springs to force the paving of the Pikes Peak Highway, primarily to protect the drainages below the peak, and they are likely to take an interest in any development of public land above the resort.

That list of organizations looks more relevant to the western slope (San Juans, Grand Junction) than Pikes Peak, with CFI thrown in just because it's near a 14er.

And what about the US Forest Service? Seems like they'd rate a mention here... What I've heard is that the local FS management are adamantly opposed to another ski area on their land, because of the mess they were stuck with from the closing of the Pikes Peak ski area in 1984. Memories are long, and budgets are tight.
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths. -- Steven Wright

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Re: New ski resort on Pikes Peak

Postby Presto » Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:25 am

Somewhat related, I posted this article recently ... there was a downhill ski area on Pikes Peak (at 11,000') called Glen Cove in 1955.

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=25525
As if none of us have ever come back with a cool, quasi-epic story instead of being victim to tragic rockfall, a fatal stumble, a heart attack, an embolism, a lightning strike, a bear attack, collapsing cornice, some psycho with an axe, a falling tree, carbon monoxide, even falling asleep at the wheel getting to a mountain. If you can't accept the fact that sometimes "s**t happens", then you live with the illusion that your epic genius and profound wilderness intelligence has put you in total and complete control of yourself, your partners, and the mountain. How mystified you'll be when "s**t happens" to you! - FM

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Re: New ski resort on Pikes Peak

Postby argothor » Fri Aug 13, 2010 11:25 am

Jim Davies wrote:They're shooting for about 800 skiers per day;


First couple of times I read that I read "They're shooting about 800 skiers per day", and I'm thinking, "does law enforcement know about this?" :lol:

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Re: New ski resort on Pikes Peak

Postby ClimbStewart » Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:59 pm

Harvey has been trying to get his Pikes Peak ski area off the ground for years...over 30 years. The Forest Service has, in the past, been against a ski area here for the simple fact that year in and year out the area behind Pikes Peak just doesn't get enough snow for a ski area. Anyone who's been around Colorado Springs for awhile will remember the old Pikes Peak Ski Area at Glen Cove. The trails are still there. The area faces north. It closed because it just didn't get enough snow on a regular and sustainable basis. Ask any skier who lived in the Springs before the Pikes Peak Ski Area and Ski Broadmoor closed and they will tell you that the skiing sucked. Much better to drive another hour or so to Breckinridge or Monarch.

My understanding of this whole deal is that "The Resort at Pikes Peak" will make lots of money not from skiing but by selling expensive home lots as well as the other condos and such (plans call for as many as 350 slope-side condos and a 300-room hotel) that will arise if they can get approval to build a ski area.

Notice how they're marketing this whole deal...they got the fancy name; they use lots of great words that show what great stewards they will be of this pristine and mostly wild area on the backside of Pikes Peak...words like "greenest year-round recreation retreat" and "a green ski resort" (I thought they were always white!); and of course by building this ski resort they are going to help save the planet with "a decrease of the carbon emissions caused by idling automobiles on the jammed freeways throughout Colorado's national park lands."

Huh?? Are there any freeways on Colorado's national park lands? Let alone ski areas? Ski Mesa Verde? Ski Rocky Mountain National Park? These guys don't even understand the ownership of public lands in Colorado.

But make no mistake, if you value how Pikes Peak is right now and if you value parking at the Crags Campground and hiking up the northeast side of the Peak, then all that will change in a big way. For starters, a large two-lane paved road with shoulders will be cut into upper Four Mile Creek valley from Colorado Highway 67 to the proposed ski area (proposed cost is $5 million). Big impact. The area past The Crags will be homesites for rich folks. More big impact. The mountainsides will be clear-cut for the runs, creating a huge visual impact that will be seen from US 24 and CO 67. If the place goes bust, like the old Pikes Peak Ski Area, those clear cut runs will still be visible 50 years from now and a reminder of greed. Even more impact.

It's also interesting as Jim Davies points out that The Resort at Pikes Peak plans to work with all those conservation organizations, but using all their names is simply gibberish designed to fool the reader because buried in that long sentence are the words "become aware..." which leads me to believe that they haven't actually partnered up with any of these organizations but are just tossing them out of a hat because it sounds "green." Jim is right too that Pike National Forest is not mentioned, and they are the key to making this proposed ski area work. And as he points out too, the Sierra Club as well as other Pikes Peak area conservation organizations will want to weigh in on this proposal.

If you read the business plan, this will not just be a ski area but will become a year-round resort with festivals and business events. What's next? An alpine slide? A chairlift to take tourists up to timberline? Their mission is to "...provide unrivaled adventures, experiences, and thrilling panoramic vistas from the west side of this historic mountain in concert with our sacred trust to be good stewards of 'America's Mountain.'" Isn't that what all of us 14er.com folks already do when we go out and climb Colorado's mountains on our own two feet?

The Business Plan also lists a couple "Threats." Notably "environmentalists." Hmmmmmm...if environmentalists are a threat, then what exactly does this resort have up its sleeve? I thought it was going to be "green." That it was going to work with conservation and environmental organizations. What are they proposing then that make these groups that they say they are going to partner with to be "threats"? They go on to say that "...environmentalists can dramatically slow down ski area developments." Don't environmentalists and other folks who want to know exactly what is going on and what the impacts are going to be have a right to "slow down" ski area developments? Do we want these proposed ski areas such as this one railroaded through and shoved down our throats? I think not.

Anyway, stay tuned to see if the backside of Pikes Peak is turned into another boon-doogle ski area...

If you want to write to the US Forest Service and express your concerns about this proposed ski area in Pike National Forest, then send a letter to:

Bob Leaverton
Forest Supervisor
Pike National Forest
2840 Kachina Drive
Pueblo, CO 81008

Brent Botts
Pikes Peak Ranger District
Pike National Forest
601 South Weber Street
Colorado Springs, CO 80903

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Re: New ski resort on Pikes Peak

Postby tenpins » Sat Aug 14, 2010 10:40 am

Mr Green - good points as always. Mr Leaverton is retiring in about 18 months, from what I hear. That may affect the NF course in all of this.

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Re: New ski resort on Pikes Peak

Postby Jim Davies » Sat Aug 14, 2010 4:39 pm

ClimbStewart wrote:The Forest Service has, in the past, been against a ski area here for the simple fact that year in and year out the area behind Pikes Peak just doesn't get enough snow for a ski area.

I've heard they also don't want to be stuck cleaning up another mess like the Glen Cove area stuck them with.
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths. -- Steven Wright

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Re: New ski resort on Pikes Peak

Postby ClimbStewart » Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:28 am

I heard the same thing Jim. The ski area at Glen Cove left a real mess and the area is just starting to recover. Those clear cut ski runs are going to be there for a long time too. I also wonder how much the old ski area contributed to the sedimentation along the Pikes Peak Highway and the creeks below that led to the Sierra Club lawsuit that led to the paving of the road.

It seems, however, that if a ski area was going to be built on the Peak, why not use the existing area? An access highway already exists. Ski runs are already cut. There is room for the necessary infrastructure to be built up there, not including luxury homes and a 300-room hotel. Snow-making equipment could be implemented to make it a viable ski area.

If rebuilding the old Pikes Peak Ski Area at Glen Cove was the plan, it seems that it will be easier to get more people on board to make that happen instead of creating a whole new ski area in an iffy snow area and spending millions of dollars to create the necessary infrastructure as well as all the environmental problems and degradation that will occur with road-building, luxury home building, mountain village building, ski-slope clear-cutting, and everything else needed to make it a viable proposition.

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Re: New ski resort on Pikes Peak

Postby Doug Shaw » Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:57 am

ClimbStewart wrote:It seems, however, that if a ski area was going to be built on the Peak, why not use the existing area?


'Cause it wouldn't financially benefit the people who are driving the attempt for a new one! Duh!

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