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Breckenridge Peak 6 Expansion - Your Help Needed

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

 

If you haven't been to Breckenridge in quite a while... you might be surprised by the crowds and lift lines that have developed in recent years... especially on the busy weekends.  To help alleviate the situation... Vail Resorts (the owners of Breckenridge) have proposed an expansion of the resort within their already approved special use permit.  This expansion is being proposed on the north side of the resort in what is known as Peak 6.  The expansion (preferred alt 2) would include a new detachable 6 person lift with a mid-point loading station, a new eatery on Peak 6, and roughly 550 acres of additional terrain.  The new terrain is broken down as follows for the preferred Alt 2 proposal:

 

  • Roughly 300 acres of new lift served intermediate terrain
  • 104 acres of new lift served expert terrain
  • 143 acres of new hike-to terrain
 
What is really exciting for the mid-range skiers is that 235 of the 300 intermediate acres would be above tree line.  That is an experience which is currently not available at Breckenridge for those skiers.  For expert skiers... there is a raft of new terrain accessible from the Imperial lift as well as 143 acres of hike-to terrain.  
 
With all of that said... there are two other options which are being considered.  Alternative 1 is no expansion... and Alternative 3 is a light version of alt 2 with only 97 new skiable acres for intermediates and 150 new skiable acres for experts.  Alt 3 only goes as far as the saddle between peaks 7 and 6... plus it includes some other lift enhancements on the mountain which would eventually need to happen even without the expansion.
 
The reason for this post... 
 
As you can imagine... there is a very vocal and well organized minority of individuals who are opposed to the expansion.  The US forest service comment period for the project opened about three weeks ago and the opposition has already boasted to having over 120 letters written in favor of either Alt 1 or Alt 3.  Alternative 2 needs your support.  Linked below is the Forest Service website for the project as well as links to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, detailed maps of the alternatives, and contact e-mail and addresses.  The comment period has been extended to August 9th.  If you support the project to help disperse the crowds, provide a new eatery, and open up some new and exciting terrain for intermediates and experts... please send a brief e-mail in support.
 
Project Website
 
Draft Environmental Impact Statement
 
Preferred Peak 6 Alternative 2
 
Peak 6 Alternative 3
 
Contact Forest Service by August 9th:
 
Joe Foreman, Winter Sports Administrator
Dillon Ranger District
PO Box 620
Silverthorne, CO 80498
(970) 262-3443
jgforeman@fs.fed.us
 
 
Again... comments can be sent via e-mail or through the postal service.  Thank you... and I hope to see you on the slopes in Breckenridge!!
 
Best regards,
 
Rich Mason and Family
Thornton, CO
post #2 of 27

First off, as a (mostly former) skier of Breck and former employee, I don't feel like I should weigh in on this subject.  The Forest Service gets WAY too many people who have "no skin in the game" responding to stuff like this.  It doesn't matter that I'm a taxpayer and this is National Forest land, there's too many interests more important than what I think about this.  Having lived in Summit County for 7 years, it used to really piss me off when outside interests tried to control what happened in our backyard.

 

Having said that, these would be my primary questions regarding it:

 

1.  What do the locals in the Peak 6 neighborhood think of this?  I remember a long time ago thinking of buying a place up there in hopes Vail would come in and take it over.  A lot of the homes in that area are some of the older homes (older meaning 1970's) in Breck.

 

2.  What's going to happen with parking?  Reading through the plan, it sounds like a disaster.  They're projecting this is going to increase skier visits by 2% (roughly an additional 100 cars on average a day, but skewed much more toward the weekends.)  They're not going to increase parking capacity at all?  C'mon.  Hwy 9 is already a mess.

 

3.  My personal feeling is that it's time for Vail to step up to the plate for employee housing by being required to build 100 units of housing that falls under the current guidelines of the Summit Housing Authority.

 

4.  So, it seems like what would make the most sense would be to bulldoze a dozen homes at the base of Peak 6 and put in a day lodge.  In fact, I'm sure within the next 5 years we'll see that proposed if this plan goes through.  So, let's not half ass the plan, let's include that day lodge in it as well as the improved access to it.

 

5.  I've always thought Breck would be better off avoiding the Peak 6 expansion and jumping over to the less populated Peak 4 or 5 area with an easy interconnect.  Even better (for me) would be skiing off the backside into the SKY chutes, but that terrain is a bit too difficult and doesn't get the green/blue segment they're going after.

post #3 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinn View Post

 

5.  I've always thought Breck would be better off avoiding the Peak 6 expansion and jumping over to the less populated Peak 4 or 5 area with an easy interconnect.  Even better (for me) would be skiing off the backside into the SKY chutes, but that terrain is a bit too difficult and doesn't get the green/blue segment they're going after.


DO you know how many back country skiers would be in an uproar about that? lol. it would not be a very popular expansion

 

That being said I agree with your access concerns. That one lane highway is so over taxed and the parking is already a nightmare. I have never worked as an employee so I can't comment.

 

What I would like to see is them turn the peak 6 area into one of those areas that's technically patrolled but requires back country gear and a partner to access. They could then offer all kinds of lessons back there that would bring up the revenue and provide a "safe" place to learn back country travel. Again that doesn't get the blue/green terrain they are after( not that they don't have a lot already.)  

 

post #4 of 27
Back-country Peak 6 would not address the issues they hope to address and definitely would not provide revenue to cover the patrol/avy control costs.

I'd like to see them provide both an UNLOAD and Load facility at the midpoint. There are quite a few days when skiing above treeline can be both uncomfortable and hazardous.

A Peak 6 base with its own parking/skier services facilities would be wonderful, but if you think the enviro folks are against what's already proposed can you imagine their opposition to that "destruction" of the landscape/wildlife habitat?
post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 

Just a quick update... the Forest Service has extended the comment period to August 26th (this Friday)... so there is still time for your voice to be heard if you ski at Breckenridge or care about ANY resort expansions in the future.  There have been a number of recent developments... and I will try to post them this week as time and my work schedule allow.

 

Best regards,

 

Rich

post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 

As an update to this thread... just this week the US Forest Service announced that they have selected alternative 2 for the Breckenridge Peak 6 expansion.  Included in the proposal is the following:

 

 

  • Roughly 300 acres of new lift served intermediate terrain
  • 104 acres of new lift served expert terrain
  • 143 acres of new hike-to terrain
  • Two new lifts (one 6 person high speed was originally proposed)
  • The upper Peak 6 lift would be installed as a detachable, six-person chairlift. The lift would have a slope length of approximately 6,000 feet, a vertical rise of approximately 1,550 feet, and a design capacity of 3,000 people per hour (pph).
  • The lower Peak 6 lift would be installed as a fixed-grip, four-person chairlift. The lift would have a slope length of approximately 2,600 feet, a vertical rise of approximately 350 feet, and a design capacity of 2,000 people per hour (pph).
  • The restroom facility would be approximately 1,200 square feet in size and would include composting toilets.
    A ski patrol/warming hut would be constructed at the top terminal of the upper Peak 6 lift, approximately 500 square feet in size.
     

If you'd like to do more reading on the subject... the over 500 page final project document is here:  http://breckenridgepeak6.com/available/

 

Local news articles on the expansion are here:

http://summitcountyvoice.com/2012/08/21/breckenridge-peak-6-expansion-wins-forest-service-ok-but-community-concerns-and-some-hard-feelings-remain/

 

http://www.summitdaily.com/article/20120821/NEWS/120829978&parentprofile=search

 

 

As to the expected completion date for the project... Vail Resorts is saying everything will be ready for the 2013/2014 season... while the Forest Service is eluding to a 2014/2015 completion.

 

Best regards and we hope to see you on the slopes of Breckenridge this winter.

 

Rich Mason

post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 

Another quick update from the Summit Daily News this morning...

 

http://www.summitdaily.com/article/20121130/NEWS/121129795/1078&ParentProfile=1055

 

 

To catch everyone up... there was an appeal to the decision above filed by several groups and individuals approximately 2-3 months ago.  It is a normal part of the US Forest Services process for projects such as this.  From the news this morning... it appears that the appeal was rejected.  According to the article... the groups opposed to the development are now considering filing a law suit to block the project.

 

In the interim... Vail Resorts (which owns Breckenridge) is free to begin work on the project beginning December 14th.  They have said in previous news stories that they hope to have the project complete by the 2013/2014 season.

 

Best regards,

 

Rich Mason

post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 

One additional article from the Summit Daily this week... sounds like the resort is making plans to do the expansion this coming summer.  Should be open for the 2013-2014 season...

 

http://www.summitdaily.com/article/20121218/NEWS/121219814&parentprofile=search

post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 

Another update... looks like a sure thing.  Should be skiing Peak 6 next year thanks to two new lifts.  23% more terrain... almost 550 more acres.

 

http://www.summitdaily.com/article/20130208/NEWS/130209861/1078&parentprofile=1055295

 

Best regards,

 

Rich

post #10 of 27

Disclaimer that I've never been to Breck, but what do they achieve by putting in a whole chairlift that goes up a measly 350 vertical?

post #11 of 27

From a guy who skis Breck very often I am looking forward to the expansion. Often while skiing peak 7 I look at peak 6 and think it would be great to ski there!  Not sure of the environmental impact but I think the skiing will be great!

post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiking4 View Post

Disclaimer that I've never been to Breck, but what do they achieve by putting in a whole chairlift that goes up a measly 350 vertical?

350 vert?  where did you get that from?  Looks like it should be much more than that to me.

 

Saw some nice looking tracks on Peak 6 last week- probably ski patrol or some other VR guys doing some product testing.

post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiking4 View Post

Disclaimer that I've never been to Breck, but what do they achieve by putting in a whole chairlift that goes up a measly 350 vertical?

I've copied the lift descriptions below from the FS Decision document.  I see where you got the 350 vertical... the lower lift which will take you over to the base of the Peak 6 area is only a 350' vertical... but the upper lift which will take you near the top of the peak is 1,550' vertical.  The hike to the summit is probably another 300' vertical above that (my guess).

 

 

Lifts

The upper Peak 6 lift will be installed as a detachable six-person chairlift. The lift will have a slope length of approximately 6,000 feet, a vertical rise of approximately 1,550 feet, and a design capacity of 3,000 people per hour (pph). Ground disturbance (grading) will occur for the installation of the top and bottom terminals. This lift will be a bottom drive lift to minimize disturbance above treeline. The power line to the top terminal will also provide power to the ski patrol/warming hut.

 

The lower Peak 6 lift will be installed as a fixed-grip four-person chairlift. The lift will have a slope length of approximately 2,600 feet, a vertical rise of approximately 350 feet, and a design capacity of 2,000 people per hour (pph). Ground disturbance (grading) is required for the installation of the top and bottom terminals. The lower Peak 6 lift will be constructed as a top drive lift.

post #14 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris holowiski View Post

From a guy who skis Breck very often I am looking forward to the expansion. Often while skiing peak 7 I look at peak 6 and think it would be great to ski there!  Not sure of the environmental impact but I think the skiing will be great!

I'm very excited about the expansion (obviously)... but my one disappointment through this process was the loss of the restaurant on Peak 6.  As of now... if you want to eat inside (cafeteria style)... you need to head all the over to Peak 8.  I had envisioned the restaurant being in the style of the one in Blue Sky Basin (Vail)... complete with cook-your-own meat propane powered grills.  Oh well....

post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mase View Post

I'm very excited about the expansion (obviously)... but my one disappointment through this process was the loss of the restaurant on Peak 6.  As of now... if you want to eat inside (cafeteria style)... you need to head all the over to Peak 8.  I had envisioned the restaurant being in the style of the one in Blue Sky Basin (Vail)... complete with cook-your-own meat propane powered grills.  Oh well....

I am speculating, but my guess would be that the only reason not to have a restaurant was environmental concerns/concessions...from a business standpoint, I would highly suspect that VR would have liked to put in a restaurant and other facilities.

post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mase View Post

I've copied the lift descriptions below from the FS Decision document.  I see where you got the 350 vertical... the lower lift which will take you over to the base of the Peak 6 area is only a 350' vertical... but the upper lift which will take you near the top of the peak is 1,550' vertical.  The hike to the summit is probably another 300' vertical above that (my guess).

 

 

Lifts

The upper Peak 6 lift will be installed as a detachable six-person chairlift. The lift will have a slope length of approximately 6,000 feet, a vertical rise of approximately 1,550 feet, and a design capacity of 3,000 people per hour (pph). Ground disturbance (grading) will occur for the installation of the top and bottom terminals. This lift will be a bottom drive lift to minimize disturbance above treeline. The power line to the top terminal will also provide power to the ski patrol/warming hut.

 

The lower Peak 6 lift will be installed as a fixed-grip four-person chairlift. The lift will have a slope length of approximately 2,600 feet, a vertical rise of approximately 350 feet, and a design capacity of 2,000 people per hour (pph). Ground disturbance (grading) is required for the installation of the top and bottom terminals. The lower Peak 6 lift will be constructed as a top drive lift.

 

So you have to take a fixed grip lift servicing 350 flat vertical to get to the 1550 vertical detachable upper lift?

Now, I'm good with that, but economically it doesn't seem to make much sense. Seems like no one's really gonna want to take laps on a 350 vert fixed grip lift that experts will ride too in order to get to the upper mountain. So it makes two lines that people will have to wait in (the first one potentially long as it is fixed grip). but, at the same time, it avoids a major runout, so good props to Breck as I'd probably support this based on just the fact that it removes a run out for taking laps on the lift.

post #17 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiking4 View Post

 

So you have to take a fixed grip lift servicing 350 flat vertical to get to the 1550 vertical detachable upper lift?

Now, I'm good with that, but economically it doesn't seem to make much sense. Seems like no one's really gonna want to take laps on a 350 vert fixed grip lift that experts will ride too in order to get to the upper mountain. So it makes two lines that people will have to wait in (the first one potentially long as it is fixed grip). but, at the same time, it avoids a major runout, so good props to Breck as I'd probably support this based on just the fact that it removes a run out for taking laps on the lift.

From what I understand... you'll also be able to get to the base of Peak 6 through a new run that begins at the top of the Independence Super chair on Peak 7. Experts can also get to the new Peak 6 area by dropping in from the hike-to terrain on the top of Peak 7.

post #18 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree30 View Post

I am speculating, but my guess would be that the only reason not to have a restaurant was environmental concerns/concessions...from a business standpoint, I would highly suspect that VR would have liked to put in a restaurant and other facilities.

In other news... the Peak 9 Restaurant which is independent of Vail Resorts will close in 2014.  Their lease runs out that year and will not be renewed by VR.  Sad news...

 

http://www.summitdaily.com/article/20130202/NEWS/130209990&parentprofile=search

post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mase View Post

I'm very excited about the expansion (obviously)... but my one disappointment through this process was the loss of the restaurant on Peak 6.  As of now... if you want to eat inside (cafeteria style)... you need to head all the over to Peak 8.  I had envisioned the restaurant being in the style of the one in Blue Sky Basin (Vail)... complete with cook-your-own meat propane powered grills.  Oh well....

You're forgetting the Sevens restaurant at the base of the Independence Lift.
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mase View Post

In other news... the Peak 9 Restaurant which is independent of Vail Resorts will close in 2014.  Their lease runs out that year and will not be renewed by VR.  Sad news...

 

http://www.summitdaily.com/article/20130202/NEWS/130209990&parentprofile=search

agree, best food at Breck, and just a different vibe. 

post #21 of 27

I am completely baffled by VR thinking on restaurants at Breck.  At Peak 8, they close the aging but perfectly functional Bergenhof and replace it with a totally inadequte facility in the new hotel.  Not enough space and a dark cave with no views (the Bergie had views in spades).  And the new restaurant at Peak 7 is waitress service only (unless you want to sit outside and get food from the window - fun on a cold snowy day).  I don't think they understand that everyone in a ski group may not ski bell-to-bell and some may need a place to sit in reasonable comfort for some period. 

 

And don't get me going about what they did at River Run at Keystone over the years. 

post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimH View Post

I am completely baffled by VR thinking on restaurants at Breck.  At Peak 8, they close the aging but perfectly functional Bergenhof and replace it with a totally inadequte facility in the new hotel.  Not enough space and a dark cave with no views (the Bergie had views in spades).  And the new restaurant at Peak 7 is waitress service only (unless you want to sit outside and get food from the window - fun on a cold snowy day).  I don't think they understand that everyone in a ski group may not ski bell-to-bell and some may need a place to sit in reasonable comfort for some period. 

 

I have never understood that either. The area that had all the chairs out on the snow was hands down the best place to sit out and get a drink. I really do miss that restaurant. I also don't understand why Vail removed all microwaves from the lodge, well I do, but I don't like that they are so blatant about trying to squeeze every penny possible out of me.  

post #23 of 27

Peak 6 will have 2 lifts:

 

The primary lift will be a high-speed 6-passenger lift.  This will run directly on the terrain pod on Peak 6 and upload above treeline, with the remaining vertical to the summit being available for hikiing.

 

There will be a secondary access lift, a fixed-grip quad that will run from about 3/4 of the way down Monte Cristo on Peak 7 and span the drainage over to Peak 6.  This lift is mean for access and not for lapping.

 

Access to Peak 6 will be the following:

Access road/catwalk from Peak 7 top of Independence Chair (above Ore Bucket) and widing across the drainage to Peak 6, and will funnel into the new HSS lift.

 

Extending the traverse that starts over from Vista Haus - Rocky Mt - Tbar-Columbine-Pioneer, and punching it through over to Angels Rest, so that skiers and descend down to the new Peak 6 access chair (fixed grip)

post #24 of 27

Anyone know if the construction has started?

post #25 of 27

Not sure -- but the start was imminent as of a month ago.

 

http://summitcountyvoice.com/2013/05/28/breckenridge-peak-6-expansion-set-to-start-within-weeks/

 

Mike

post #26 of 27

Looking forward to skiing it this year1

post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris holowiski View Post

Anyone know if the construction has started?

Yes, front page of today's paper http://www.summitdaily.com/news/7266349-113/resort-breckenridge-peak-terrain

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