Ski resorts offer summer fun as they look toward a water-short future

Your Water Colorado Blog

Blog7 Vail Mountain’s Epic Discovery brings activities like ziplines, adventure courses and more. Photo courtesy of Vail

By Heather Hansman

When Vail’s Epic Discovery Center, with its mountain coaster and disc golf course, opened in the summer of 2016, it became the first of five resorts within the White River National Forest to offer non-skiing activities. That’s thanks to a 2011 bill sponsored by Colorado Senator Mark Udall. The Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act amended the National Forest Ski Area Permit Act of 1986, which limited ski area recreation to Nordic and alpine skiing. The 2011 act includes activities like zip lines, mountain bike parks disc golf courses and rope courses. It prohibits water-intensive activities like pools, water parks and golf courses. The idea was to open the scope of economic opportunities in mountain towns.

The Forest Service projects it bringing an estimated $40 million into ski resort communities. But…

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