Eldora Mountain Ski Resort gets preliminary go-ahead for expansion

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BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. -- It is tough to beat the world-class skiing in Colorado. Most people could do without the stop and go traffic to get up the mountain though. Now Eldora Mountain Ski Resort is taking steps to bring the big mountain experience without the trek up Interstate 70.

Eldora has been in talks for several years to expand its Boulder County mountain resort.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Forest Service gave initial approval for its plan to add more than 300 acres of new terrain, trails and glade skiing. The plan would also include upgrades to chair lifts, two new lifts and a new restaurant at the top of Indian Peaks lift.

Supporters say the expansion could bring a big economic boost to the area. Many skiers say they are excited about the new skiable areas.

“Increasing terrain in the glades is perfect because there is a lot of space between some of the runs on the north side of the mountain that really could be developed,” Elizabeth Pickner said.

The proposed expansion is drawing a lot of criticism from environmentalists, who say developing toward Middle Boulder Creek is a mistake.

“There may be pollution going down into the creek that`s Boulder`s water supply. It`s also the wildlife corridor. There will be a lot of noise pollution in the winter,” said Alan Apt, a local Sierra Club chapter chairman.

The plan still has to go through a public comment phase before it can get final approval.

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