August 27, 2007
ARAPAHOE BASIN, CO - (News Release) - Arapahoe Basin's Montezuma Bowl expansion will increase the ski area's terrain by 80 percent this coming ski season. The 400-acre Montezuma Bowl, located on the backside of Arapahoe Basin, will be the nation's largest terrain expansion for the 2007-2008 ski season. The bowl is scheduled to open for the holidays in late December.
The new terrain will include blue, black and double black slopes for a total of 36 additional runs. The skier and rider will discover cornices, chutes, glades and wide-open bowls. Several runs will be groomed nightly, providing the intermediate guest with much coveted additional cruising terrain. Hike-back terrain past the lower lift terminal will also be available for the adventurous skier or rider who has more interest in experiencing a remote, backcountry feel.
Construction of the $3 million project is approaching completion and has adhered to very strict environmental standards that maintain the natural beauty and integrity of the terrain. Installation of the new fixed-grip quad Zuma Lift is progressing on schedule with all concrete and foundation work completed. In September, a Sky Crane helicopter will be used to deliver and install the lift towers, haul rope and chairs. Expected completion of the lift will be October 2007. The Zuma Lift will be 4,100 feet in length and will rise 1,100 vertical feet. The ride time will be 9 minutes and the lift will have a capacity of 1,800 skiers per hour.
Arapahoe Basin worked closely with the White River National Forest and other agencies to ensure that the design and construction of Montezuma Bowl have minimal environmental impact on the terrain:
The terrain remains a roadless area as a result of a site plan that did not require a road to be built to support construction.
Tree removal was limited to less than 1 percent of the bowl.
The bottom lift terminal was built during the winter months in order to minimize ground impacts.
All tower excavation was done with a low-impact spider hoe, which follows best practices for construction in sensitive terrain.
All equipment including lift towers were brought in via helicopter, over-snow transport or on foot.
Ski trails were left in their natural state with no ground-disturbing activities.
Lift location was selected to minimize visual impacts.
Wind-generated energy will be used to operate the new chairlift, ensuring a carbon neutral operation of the lift.
A specialized high-altitude re-vegetation program is being implemented through a collaboration with Colorado State University and United States Forest Service staff."All of us at Arapahoe Basin are very proud of the green construction practices used during the Montezuma Bowl expansion project. As stewards of this very special place, we strive to uphold the highest environmental standards," stated Alan Henceroth, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Arapahoe Basin. "Montezuma Bowl demonstrates how it is possible to undertake a major project like this expansion in a way that is very environmentally conscious.""The terrain is very conducive to skiing and is an ideal location since it would require minimal grading, vegetation disturbance and tree clearing to implement the project," said Roger Poirier, Winter Sports Program Manager at the White River National Forest. "This project is a leading example of balancing a high-quality skiing experience with progressive design features and construction techniques that minimize natural resource impacts."To get an early look at Montezuma Bowl, stop by Arapahoe Basin's booth at the annual Sniagrab event at the Sports Castle on Broadway in Denver this weekend (August 31-September 3). A-Basin representatives will have additional information about Montezuma Bowl as well as special offers for season passes.For more information on Arapahoe Basin, Montezuma Bowl, or 2007-08 season passes, call 11-888-ARAPAHOE or log on to www.arapahoebasin.com.A preview video of Montezuma Bowl is also available at www.myspace.com/arapahoebasin.