Area Visual Impact- Vail, Colorado
In creating the 885-acre Blue Sky Basin, years of innovative planning, hard work and collaboration with federal, state and local agencies helped create a new era in ski trail design. Other than roads and lift corridors, the area was constructed without conventional ski trails.
Only braided winding trails and thinned glades exist aside from natural openings which minimizes visual impact as well as potential impact to wildlife and existing native vegetation. Strict adherence to a well-conceived plan and to mitigation efforts puts the resort on the cutting edge of trail design by creating "backcountry skiing in-bounds" while still preserving much of the pristine forest that creates that experience.
Blue Sky Basin is a showcase of how a collaborative process between the ski industry and environmental agencies can work toward a common goal -- producing a unique skier experience while remaining sensitive to the environment, both visually and biologically. (Finalists: Steamboat, CO and Stevens Pass, WA)