Breckenridge cuts Peak 6 expansion plan

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— Breckenridge Ski Resort execs signed on to a memorandum of understanding with local governments Thursday intended to mitigate the social impacts of a ski area expansion to Peak 6. The resort is also backing off a proposal for a restaurant on the new mountain, executives announced Thursday.

“The (memo) is the result of years of work among Breckenridge Ski Resort, the community, (Breckenridge) town council and the (Summit County) commissioners in reviewing our proposal to develop Peak 6,” stated Pat Campbell, chief operating officer of the resort in an email. “We are submitting the (memo) with our signature to make clear that should our proposal for Peak 6 … be approved and built, all our commitments in the (memo) will be binding on our company.”

Earlier this month, members of the Breckenridge council questioned the ski resort’s intention to sign the hard-won document if the town did not support the full Peak 6 development proposal over other alternatives put forward in a recently released US Forest Service study of the development.

Council members said they were pleased to hear of a commitment to the agreement from the ski resort.

“After all the work we put into it, I expect no less,” Councilman Jeffrey Bergeron said. “This (memo) will go some ways into mitigating some of the social issues.”

Officials from the town, county and Forest Service, along with local residents and representatives of the ski area, spent several years leading up to the release of the Forest Service’s draft environmental impact statement developing the memorandum of understanding in response to a public outcry over the expansion’s potential impacts on social programs, quality of life, parking and housing issues.

A 150-seat guest building with a restaurant at the lift mid-point on Peak 6 has been an uncertain aspect of the proposal, but it was included as part of a second alternative described in the Forest Service statement. A third alternative would have allowed additional development on the resort’s existing mountains but no expansion, and a first alternative in the statement would prohibit any action at all.

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