A recently approved plan for a mountain coaster in unincorporated Larimer County has been reason for heated discussion around the Estes Park area. Residents fear that the new mountain coaster will bring increased traffic to the region, as well as disrupt the local wildlife.

Initially approved on August 6, the coaster is set to be built on land already owned by Estes Park Town Trustee and Mayor Pro Tem Cody Walker. The area is currently home to Sombrero Stables.

Additional concerns have been raised by a group called Estes Park Citizens Against the Slide citing the possibility of Mayor Pro Tem Walker’s personal interests influencing the decision. Their three main points as listed on their website include (1) that the space is zoned to be residential – not commercial, (2) that there has been a lack of transparency regarding the decision with no public hearings taking place, and (3) that the decision is a conflict of interest.

Appeals are able to be filed on this decision until September 5.

Mountain coasters have become quite popular across Colorado in recent years, becoming a staple in many outdoor recreation communities, including Breckenridge, Steamboat, and Glenwood Springs, among others. A gravity-driven experience, riders typically sit in carts while sliding down a track, controlling their speed with handbrakes.

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