Forest Service authorizes Vail Mountain expansion project

Ski slopes in Vail are seen in this file photo. (Photo: Getty Images)

VAIL, Colo. — Federal officials have approved an expansion to Vail Mountain.

The Vail Daily reports the U.S. Forest Service authorized the expansion last week, as the Golden Peak Improvements Project final environmental impact statement, along with a draft record of decision, was published by the White River National Forest.

Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams wrote that the project gives Vail Mountain and the Forest Service an opportunity to provide world-class training and competition at Vail Mountain while enhancing the safety and efficiency for the general public.

The decision authorizes the construction of one surface lift and an approximate 0.07-square-mile expansion that would add about 760 vertical feet of skiable terrain to Golden Peak. The lift would be able to transport about 1,200 people per hour.

The Forest Service says project implementation is expected to begin in summer 2019.

Vail opened Wednesday, two days ahead of schedule.

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