New ski area proposed on farm land |

New ski area proposed on farm land

Allen Best

WINDSOR – You certainly wouldn’t call Windsor a mountain town. Located about an hour’s drive north of Denver and 20 miles east of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, this is a farming country. Or at least it used to be.Lately, it has become thick with real estate developments, and one of the developers wants to create a ski area on a river bluff, using the vertical relief of 250 feet.This would not be the first ski area in Windsor, which is also home to a Kodak plant. In the 1970s and early 1980s, a ski area called Sharkstooth was operated. It never got more than about 10,000 skier days a year, and only that by offering sliding under lights. The closest big ski areas in Colorado are located about a two-hour drive away.That ski area, while always marginal and constantly vulnerable to heat waves, was ultimately a victim to demographics. After the bulge of baby boomers had quit skiing quite as much, the ski industry flattened through the 1990s as the generation X, a much smaller group, came of age.But since 2000, the industry has been growing again as a new generation, the echo boom, comes of age. The growth period is expected to continue another 10 to 15 years.However, demographers also point out that ski areas riding this wave of a new population bulge will necessarily look more colorful. A much higher percentage of this age cohort are Latino, black and Oriental. Winter Park reservoir survives inspectionWINTER PARK – A proposed reservoir that would help Winter Park ease past some of its worst water woes has survived the first review. The reservoir would cost $8.7 million to build, not including land acquisition, and would hold 540 acre-feet of water.However, that’s far less than the minimum 8,100 acre-feet of storage that water officials believe necessary to accommodate all the development being planned in Winter Park and the Fraser Valley. The water shortages are so severe that town officials think they may have already approved more development than existing water systems can service during drought years. Vail Colorado

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