Keystone Resort, CO, provided an update yesterday on the Bergman Bowl project which was shut down by US Forest Service officials last month. The US Forest Service called for a halt to construction immediately after learning that an “unauthorized road had been bulldozed in sensitive areas where minimal impacts were permitted,” reports the Vail Daily. The construction of access roads in the alpine tundra is traditionally not allowed.
After working closely with the Forest Service, Keystone’s restoration plan to fully restore the affected area has been approved and work on the project can restart. However, this delay and ongoing inspections mean that the project will not be ready for next winter. There will be no skiing/riding at Bergman Bowl next winter.
White River National Forest supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams told the Colorado Sun that the restoration plan was the “best he had ever seen in his life”.
“Honestly, this is the best dining plan I’ve ever seen in my life. Even our staff is like ‘Oh my god. The restoration plan submitted by Keystone is extremely detailed, thorough and includes all necessary actions to ensure that the damage is repaired to the best of its ability.
The full update from Chris Sorensen, Vice President and General Manager of Keystone Resort, is below:
Over the past month, Keystone Resort has been working closely with the US Forest Service on issues that arose during the construction of the approved Bergman Bowl project. Following an assessment of the situation, I have some important updates to share.
I am happy to share that the US Forest Service has approved our restoration plan to fully restore the affected area in the high mountains. In partnership with the US Forest Service, we began some of this work after their initial notification in July, and we look forward to continuing this work now that we have a fully approved restoration plan to execute.
While we are pleased with this news, it is important to note that the US Forest Service has determined that the high alpine portions of our project will require further environmental review. As a result, Keystone will not complete the Bergman Bowl Express lift for the 2022/23 season. I am disappointed to share this news with our guests and our community. I know many have been looking forward to this new terrain served by the resort lifts, including myself and the Keystone team, but for this winter we plan to open Bergman Bowl with ski and horseback riding .
The US Forest Service also told us that some aspects of project implementation could continue regardless of the affected area, including the expansion of the Outpost restaurant scheduled to open this winter, as well as snowmaking and trail work that will set us up nicely for continued work to bring the full Bergman Bowl project to life.
Our priority is to preserve and take care of our natural environment. We take our role as stewards of the environment and the lands of the National Forest Service very seriously, and we will act with this at the heart of the work we execute for the restoration plan and the entire Bergman Bowl project.
We are grateful for the partnership of the US Forest Service throughout our work together on this project. We greatly respect their expertise and look forward to working together on the remediation plan and additional environmental review. We are optimistic that the Bergman Bowl project can be completed next summer for the 2023/24 season.
It’s been a tough summer for Vail Resorts as it tries to upgrade and upgrade its resorts. In Park City, UT, the planning commission ‘shockingly blocked’ two previously approved chairlift improvements, and in Vail, CO, previously approved plans to build employee housing were shelved after the court’s conviction ownership because the parcel is essential for the bighorn sheep.
After discovering “damage to the alpine environment and wetland impacts” at Bergman Bowl, Scott Fitzwilliams of the USFS issued a cease and desist letter to Vail Resorts, which they immediately complied with. , adds Vail Daily.
“We’ve been a long-time partner with Vail, and they’ve been a good partner. I’m sure we can get through this, but it’s serious. We take this very seriously.
Chris Sorenson, Vice President and General Manager of Keystone Resort, Explain that the error was a misunderstanding on the part of the company’s construction team and that the company accepts full responsibility for the error. Vail Resorts has since hired a contractor to formulate a restoration plan.
“We are working closely with the US Forest Service on an issue that arose during construction. Specifically, an area that was supposed to have a minimal construction route was instead approached as a temporary construction route. This was due to a misunderstanding by our construction team, for which we take full responsibility.
Keystone Resort has a long history of successful partnership with the US Forest Service on projects that provide guests with the opportunity to enjoy outdoor recreation in our National Forest. We take this error seriously and, under their direction, have halted some work at the site while the USFS conducts an assessment to determine next steps.
We deeply regret the impact this unauthorized construction activity has had on the environment which our team works diligently to protect every day. We take environmental protection and compliance very seriously and are committed to addressing it.
At this time, we do not yet know if this will have an impact on the opening of the ground served by the lifts at the Bergman Bowl this season. We will provide more information as we continue to work in partnership with the US Forest Service.
– Chris Sorensen, Vice President and General Manager of Keystone Resort
White River National Forest approved Keystone’s plans for the new Bergman Bowl project in November 2020, with work beginning earlier this summer. The project will bring lift service to part of Keystone’s high mountain terrain above the treeline. A high-speed detachable quad chair will serve Bergman and the nearby Erickson Bowl, adding 555 acres of lift-served land to the resort.
Bergman Bowl statistics:
- Works: 13 + clearing ground
- Skiable Acres: 555
- Chairlift: high speed quad
- Basic elevation: 11,300 feet
- Summit elevation: 12,300 feet
keystone is located in Summit County, CO, adjacent to Arapahoe Basin, Breckenridgeand land of love. The ski resort opened in 1970 and has since boasted 20 lifts and over 3,000 skiable acres. Since 1997, the mountain belongs to Vail Resorts and is part of the Epic pass.
Along with the land expansion and new chairlift, Keystone will add additional infrastructure to the area. 20 acres of snowmaking, an expanded Outpost restaurant atop North Peak, and a ski patrol station atop the new Bergman Bowl chairlift will enhance the new project and the skier experience.
With the new ground, Keystone hopes to disperse the crowds and provide a new experience for visitors. Previously, the terrain in and around Bergman Bowl was only accessible by hiking and snowcat. Beginners and intermediates will rejoice as they can experience skiing above the treeline in the new lift service area.
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