A project that’s been decades in the making, the National Forest Service has officially approved Vail’s request for expansion on Golden Peak. Now, the decision only has one final hurdle before it’s official – a 45-day period of public comment.

This expansion will be the first since the controversial expansion into Blue Sky Basin in 2000, adding 42 acres of terrain and a new lift that will service 760 vertical feet of skiable terrain, reaching the top of Golden Peak. According to the Vail Daily, the new lift will be capable of transporting up to 1,200 people an hour over a stretch of 1,870 feet.

Here’s the official US Forest Service map that shows what the expansion will look like:

Vail Mountain expansion US forest service
Vail Mountain expansion. Photo Credit: US forest service

Expansion of ski resorts is often a long process due to environmental impact studies. Any time expansion is made into forest land, it runs the risk of altering the wildlife and plant life that’s already there. This was one of the reasons behind the eco-terrorism that occurred during Vail’s last expansion into Blue Sky Basin. Recently expanding was Arapahoe Basin, which opened a new lift and a huge swath of new terrain. They’ve got plans for summer expansion, as well.

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