Locals oppose alpine slide style coaster in Colorado

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

Living near a ski lift is one thing — a very chic property-enhancing thing in a resort town such as Beaver Creek. But a ski-hill roller coaster is another matter: It's grounds for a lawsuit. The Beaver Creek Property Owners Association and the Greystone Condominium Association plan to file a lawsuit Thursday to attempt to prevent the construction of an "amusement park" that is proposed to be built near the children's ski school and at other mountain locations at Beaver Creek.

Read more from The Denver Post.

That law allows for year-round facilities on U.S. Forest Service lands leased by ski areas. The law excludes tennis courts, water slides, swimming pools, golf courses and amusement parks.

I would guess this one doesn't fly. It is a tough argument to say that gravity controlled amusement device is no part of an "amusement park."

Last edited by Aamilj,

Alpine coasters have already been installed at several different ski areas on forest service land and more have been approved. The property owners are going up against Vail Resorts, they're in for a long battle.

Last edited by coaster kevin,

Break Trims's avatar

These sort of summer activity additions are pretty common for ski areas east of the Mississippi, and it certainly makes sense that you'd want all seasons of the year to produce income. I suppose it really highlights the perceived and/or actual difference in property values in these places and how much noise residents feel entitled to make.

You don't have to read too far between the lines to see that the residents' main concern is rabble coming up to their mountain; a person who lives at a ski resort has little standing to be outraged at tree-clearing.

Parallel lines on a slow decline.

Most ski areas east of the Mississippi are on private property, so they can do as they please, for the most part, as long as their local planning board approves their projects. West of the Mississippi is a different story since most ski areas are on forest service land. However with the law changing last year that opened up different forms of recreation on the mountain, more ski areas have proposed building alpine coasters. The ROI is very favorable as most ski areas are in the black on alpine coasters after 2 years (they operate them during the summer & winter, closed during the shoulder seasons). The BC situation is entertaining since the base area is private land but where the they have proposed building the alpine coaster is forest service land. Had BC decided to install a bottom to top gondola and installed the alpine coaster at the top, it would be a different story, but since the lower mountain location will supposedly ruin their view, they're upset. Nevermind all the other sounds and unsightly views though, such as lifts, snowmaking, water tanks, and grooming to name a few, they'll tolerate those inconveniences but not something that would benefit the community in the long term. And most of the properties at the base of BC are not occupied year round, they are 2nd/3rd homes for folks or an income source if they are rented out. If VR can win this case, it will set precedent for all other ski areas, so hopefully this goes well.

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