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Proposed ski slope in Niwot area

With the increase in commercial land use applications in Boulder County for the open areas around Niwot, it's not surprising that the latest proposed project is a private ski hill in the open space between Hwy 52 and the Somerset neighborhood.

Funding has not yet been approved for the project, however, Vail Retorts has been looking to expand its reach closer to the Boulder area to attract more CU and CSU students to purchasing Epik passes over iKon. As of now, the closest ski area in proximity to both major universities is Eldora if you have an iKon pass, Key-stone or Breckenridge if you purchased the Epik pass.

While still in the early stages of proposal and development, Vail has sought to purchase that plot of land from the bottom of the trail head on 79th Street where the recycling center is located, expanding the parking area to the open space on the West side of 79th Street, with the objective to expand east towards the water tower and south to Lookout Road.

"This location is not intended for the more seasoned skiers," said one representative of the Vail Retorts Commercial Team, "but intended to introduce younger skiers across the foothills into the world of snow sports in order to keep them separated from the more seasoned veterans on the steeper slopes."

The representative also noted the idea to the board of directors for Vail that this would not only increase interest at earlier skill levels, regardless of age, but also improve ticket sales as Vail is still recovering financially post-Covid to spread riders across their current resorts.

"Breckenridge particularly struggles with the university student crowds causing a safety concern for young skiers and boarders as well as presenting a danger to those who are in control," she said. At a press conference, she acknowledged that university students typically do not enjoy the mountain fully sober and in control.


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