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Address the Deficiencies
Dear Editor,

The 10/23 CB News reported, "all the [CB Town council] candidates agreed the ski company needed to do a better job" with the ski area on Crested Butte Mountain. CNL/CBMR obviously agrees. The company's 6/09 Master Development Plan (MDP) tells us, "there are a number of deficiencies at CBMR that detract from the guest experience and may contribute to the resort's inability to retain destination guests and substantially increase annual skier visitation. While the resort's remote location and sometimes difficult access cannot be changed, some deficiencies can be addressed."

The Forest Service has already approved an expansion on CB Mountain that will address those deficiencies. CNL/CBMR can begin work on that expansion immediately, if it wants to. Specific quotes (in italics) from the MDP identify some of the deficiencies and the USFS-approved solutions:
. The slow, antiquated, center-pole Teocalli and Twister chairlifts and the Gold Link and Painter Boy lifts create "a negative impression of the ski area." The resort has approval to replace these old lifts with detachable quads. It can also add chairs to the Red Lady and Paradise Lifts to significantly increase uphill and out-of-base capacity.
. CNL/CBMR claims it needs "additional and diversified quality Intermediate terrain." It has approval to add "a significant percentage" of Intermediate ski terrain on CB Mtn, including, "additional and improved intermediate skiing terrain and gladed intermediate trees."
. The Silver Queen Road is a long-standing, dangerous bottleneck that "becomes overcrowded with skiers" and has "inadequate capacity to accommodate existing traffic." The approved re-grading and re-configuration of the Silver Queen Road would "improve skier circulation in an increasingly congested area."
. The ski area suffers a "significant deficit of in-door seating capacity at all locations. Even the outdoor seating does not make up for the deficit of indoor seats" - especially since the demise of the Gothic Cafeteria. New Base Area facilities can be built which would "provide a quality experience for resort guests, disabled visitors and the general public."
. The resort has a "deficit of restaurant seating.significant deficit of space at Paradise.deficit of on-mountain restroom facilities [and] shortage of women's toilets." Construction of the Red Lady Lodge and the Gothic Cafeteria replacement will eliminate these "significant deficits."
. In addition, the Forest Service has approved installation of a new Teocalli Bowl egress chair and creation of a new Nordic skiing trail network.

CNL/CBMR can expand and improve the ski product on Crested Butte Mountain sooner and cheaper, with substantially less environmental damage and the other negative impacts that a Snodgrass expansion would entail. The Crested Butte Mountain expansion would provide a much needed boost to the existing Base Area businesses and also utilize the existing Guest Services and Support Facilities!

The ski area has previously postponed some of these approved upgrades, citing financial constraints. According to the MDP's Phasing Summary, if the Snodgrass expansion was approved, the resort would commit it's resources to that expansion, and further delay many of the vital Crested Butte Mountain upgrades. With the money it would save by not expanding onto Snodgrass, CNL/CBMR could turn Crested Butte Mountain into the most buffed, polished, knock-your-socks-off ski resort on the planet!

BTW, since the arrival of new ownership in 2004, CNL/CBMR stands at #5 on Colorado's Growth Rate chart, ahead of Aspen, Copper, Durango, Keystone, Steamboat, Vail and Winter Park.

Chuck Shaw
Friends of Snodgrass Mountain, LLC

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