|Conceptual drawing of the Peak 6 development|
The U.S. Forest Service has approved the expansion of Breckenridge Ski Resort onto an area known as Peak 6. The expansion will add 550 additional acres and two new lifts. The new terrain will be generally intermediate in character. It is hoped the new terrain will help America's busiest resort address overcrowding concerns. According to resort officials the new terrain will not available until at least the 2014-2015 season.
The approval represents a major victory for Vail Resorts over local environmental groups. Environmentalists had argued that the resort's skier visit numbers were flat and that the expansion onto Peak 6 was not necessary. Additionally they cited destruction of wildlife habitats as a reason for denying the resort's application. The Forest Service disagreed and held that the expansion was consistent with the resort's master plan.
Opponents of the expansion have 45 days to appeal to decision to the Forest Service. Thereafter, the only option available to block the expansion would be litigation. As we have discussed in other stories on Ski, Esq. it is difficult to overturn the decision of an administrative agency because courts generally grant the agency's decision deference. Breckenridge is not absolutely assured of being able to construct the expansion, the law provides it with a strong presumption in favor of that construction.
Additional Stories on Ski, Esq.