New Dawn and a new ski lift at Vail |

New Dawn and a new ski lift at Vail

Tom Boyd
Courtesy of the U.S. Forest ServiceThe proposed new chairlift, represented by the red line, would extend from west Lionshead up to the base of Chair 26. The new lift could help reduce crowding at other base areas around the mountain.

If anyone was fortunate enough to head into the Vail Village over Fourth of July weekend, they were able to see that Vail is doing quite nicely, even as it re-builds. The streets were originally filled with sub-17 babes and lax-wielding teens, all here for the junior lacrosse tournament. Then the big kids came to town, full of angst and energy which can be a bit unnerving, but is entertaining nonetheless.

A congratulations should go out to the Town of Vail and all the local business owners for doing an excellent job of keeping the vitality of the town intact during Vail’s New Dawn.

Town looks pretty good, considering, and all the bars and restaurants were hoppin’. By the time all this is done Vail’s going to be the most beautiful place on earth. It already is, in my opinion, but the plans people have to improve the town are spectacular.

Sure, part of me will always be wistful, dreaming of the good ol’ days, when I’d meet up with the neighborhood girls at Haagen Dazs to try and score a free ice cream cone. And part of me will be watching things closely, making sure town officials don’t blunder into the development and build the old Vail completely out of existence.

The Forest Service announced June 29 that Vail Resorts has proposed to install a high-speed detachable quad from West Lionshead to the base of Chair 26 (the Pride Express Chairlift).

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The base of the lift would be catty-corner to the Marriot Hotel, just east of Blockbuster Video.

The plot of land appears to be on or near that same plot of land, which Vail Resorts originally had slated for the conference center. The conference center was then moved, after the people voted to approve it, and Vail Resorts reclaimed the space.

Perhaps a tricky move, but a good one.

I’ve long been a supporter of opening more portals to the top of Vail Mountain. Vail Village, Lionshead, and Golden Peak are the only three base entryways to the biggest ski resort in North America. All those people – as many as 20,000 – get crammed into three spots in the beginning and end of the day.

The new lift would make for minimal environmental damage, better people flow, and an overall improvement to the Lionshead area.

If you agree or disagree with me, the Forest Service would like to know. You can send a letter to: Cal Wettstein, District Ranger, Holy Cross Ranger District, P.O. Box 190, Minturn, CO 81645, or send David Ozawa an email at

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