Ski school OK, alpine slide isn’t |

Ski school OK, alpine slide isn’t

Steve Lynn
Vail CO, Colorado

BEAVER CREEK ” Kids can slide down the slopes but not down an alpine slide, the Beaver Creek Homeowners Association said.

Beaver Creek Resort wants to build a children’s ski school and a gondola adjacent to homes whose owners have opposed the alpine slide development.

The Beaver Creek Ski and Snowboard School has reached its capacity for space, said John Garnsey, chief operating officer of Beaver Creek Resort.

“We’re always looking at ways we can take the children’s ski school to the next level and this is one of the ways we’re able to do that,” Garnsey said.

The 4,300-square-foot children’s ski school would be located near the top of the Haymeadow chairlift on the east side of the mountain, which would be replaced by a gondola that unloads inside the school, he said.

Despite its opposition to an alpine slide proposed in the same location, the Beaver Creek Homeowners Association would support a new ski school and gondola, said Tom Schouten, president of the Beaver Creek Homeowners Association.

The association wants to make sure that Beaver Creek uses the building for its children’s ski school and not for other purposes such as wedding parties or a public restaurant, he said.

“We’re about skiing and we’re about children,” Schouten said.

Nor would the Beaver Creek homeowners approve of the gondola running at night or during the summer. The noise from the gondola would bother homeowners because of its proximity, he said.

The association wants Beaver Creek to remove the gondola cars during the summer, especially if Beaver Creek builds an alpine slide. That would make it more difficult for alpine sliders to make their way to the top, he said.

“We’re not finished with that battle,” said Schouten, referring to an agreement to suspend legal action on a lawsuit until November.

A coalition of homeowners associations, including the Beaver Creek Homeowners Association, filed a lawsuit contending that Vail Resorts has no right to build an alpine slide ” meant to be a summer attraction for kids ” in Beaver Creek. The lawsuit contends county commissioners acted unfairly when they allowed an alpine slide in December.

Vail Resorts deleted the words “alpine slide” in its 1994 revision to its approved land uses, and many Beaver Creek residents saw that as a binding declaration that an alpine slide wouldn’t be built.

An alpine slide would be an asset to the community and would better accommodate children who come to visit, Vail Resorts has argued.

Neither Schouten nor Garnsey would comment on the details of the lawsuit, but Garnsey said Beaver Creek would continue to work with the homeowners association.

Staff Writer Matt Terrell contributed to this article.

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