Senate Legislation: Summer Ops in Ski Areas

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U.S. Senator Mark Udall (Colorado) introduced a bill yesterday that would allow ski areas operating on Forest Service land more leeway for summer operations.

Udall was quoted in the Aspen Daily News as saying, “The last snowflake doesn’t signal the end to our outdoor recreation, and our ski areas shouldn’t have to close up shop once the snow melts, either. The bill would help boost year-round activities in our ski resorts, provide more opportunities for outdoor recreation…create jobs, and cement stability for our mountain economies.”

Udall claims little opposition to the bill–the ski industry, federal foresters and environmental groups all favor the legislation. In Washington State, this bill would provide more summer opportunities. While the bill does not favor turning ski areas into amusement parks (which would be both unwelcome and unlikely in our state), it would allow for more hiking, biking, and concerts. At Crystal Mountain, this would mean new hiking trails along the ski runs and also the installation of a zipline system.

Support the Udall bill. Write your Senators and offer your two-cents. The summer season in the mountains is glorious, and by allowing ski areas to offer more activities, the public wins.

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2 responses »

  1. So, if the bill becomes law, I might have to pay to hike, bike and do other things on public land within SKICO’s pemit, which I can now do for free? Sweet.

    • Art,
      Why would you have to pay to use a hiking trail? Ski area use in the summer would be similar to winter–you pay to use the lifts, but if you want to drive up, use the parking lot and then hit the trails without using the lifts or other amenities, that’s your prerogative.

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