Vail Resorts, Inc. has submitted a proposal to the U.S. Forest Service for a comprehensive summer activities plan at Vail Mountain.
Vail’s summer activity effort, named Epic Discovery, a Summer Mountain Adventure, will encourage “learn through play” by featuring environmental and educational elements interspersed between new activities located in developed areas of the mountain.
Vail Resorts will work with The Nature Conservancy to bring scientific content to the eco-discovery experiences and will contribute 1 percent of all summer lift ticket and activity revenue toward forest restoration projects.
This initiative marks the first proposal of its kind in the country, following passage last fall of the Ski Area Recreational Opportunities Enhancement Act, championed by U.S. Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado.
The proposal includes zip lines, ropes courses, mountain excursions and Forest Flyers with environmental and interpretive programming.
Vail Resorts hopes to begin construction on Epic Discovery activities, after U.S. Forest Service approval, during summer or fall 2013.
Epic Discovery activities and environmental interpretive programming will be designed to be compatible with the existing on-mountain infrastructure of lifts and trails, blending into the natural environment in an unobtrusive manner.
In addition, U.S. Forest Service Rangers will be on site to provide eco-educational experiences for kids and families.
Among the highlights, Game Creek and Front Side Zip Line Tours will be three-hour guided tours featuring zip lines and aerial bridges. The Adventure Ridge Challenge Tour will be a multi-stage tour combining zip lines, ropes swings, bridge components and other features. Micro-Interpretive Centers for Education will be integrated with trails and activities around the mountain, providing hands-on information and activities about forest health, wildlife and the mountain geography of the White River National Forest.
The Family Forest Adventure Park will be a playground of rope challenges and bridges to introduce young children to the forest.
The Forest Flyer will be an alpine slide that runs on raised rails down the mountain, following the natural contours of the landscape through the forest.
The Game Creek Deck and Lookout Tower will offer panoramic views of alpine forests, meadows, wildflowers and wildlife. Segway Trails and Tours offer a guided tour via cross-terrain, self-propelled Segway vehicles. There also will be more hiking and mountain biking trails with comprehensive interpretive and directional signage.
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