Keystone’s New Lift Won’t Open Thanks to Construction Flub
A recent construction misstep in the high-alpine requires further U.S. Forest Service review
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Another one of Vail Resorts’ Epic Lift Upgrade projects bites the dust. Word just came down from the U.S. Forest Service that further environmental review will be required on some of the high-alpine areas that are part of the construction zone, and it won’t be finished in time to install the chairlift for the coming season.
The Bergman Bowl expansion was one of the biggest and most anticipated of Vail Resorts’ lift upgrades for the 2022-’23 season. The 550-acre addition will add 16 runs in two bowls—13 in Bergman and three in Erickson Bowl—as well as a high-speed six-person chair to the 12,282-foot summit. The Epic Upgrade—which originally called for 21 new or upgraded lifts across 14 of Vail’s resorts—is now down to 18 lifts at 12 resorts after two lifts at Park City Resort were shelved in June when locals brought an appeal that the resort had violated a conditional-use permit.
“I am disappointed to share this news with our guests and community,” said Keystone Vice President and General Manager Chris Sorensen after sharing the news. “I know many were looking forward to this new lift-serviced terrain at the resort, including myself and the Keystone team, but for this winter, we do plan to open Bergman Bowl with hike-to skiing and riding.”
Important updates on the Bergman Bowl Project from our GM, Chris Sorensen. https://t.co/wpF3CASPmO
— Keystone Resort (@KeystoneMtn) August 4, 2022
Construction began on the Bergman project after the ski season ended, but was stalled last month when a construction crew mistakenly brought heavy equipment into an area only authorized for light equipment. This required the USFS to reevaluate the affected areas, and the subsequent postponement of the lift installation.
Sorensen said that the USFS has authorized the resort to continue working on other unaffected areas of the construction, including the expansion of The Outpost restaurant as well as adding snowmaking equipment and trail work that will expedite Bergman’s opening once the lift is in, presumably in time for the 2023-’24 season.
“Our priority is preserving and caring for our natural environment,” said Sorensen. “We take our role as stewards of the environment and of National Forest Service Land extremely seriously, and we will operate with that at the heart of the work we execute for the restoration plan and the full Bergman Bowl project.”