Telluride Ski Resort helicopter operations to begin Aug. 19

Words by Kathrine Warren / Recreation

Telluride Ski Resort will begin helicopter flight operations starting Monday, Aug. 19 and continuing through mid-September. Operational hours will be Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Preliminary helicopter work begins Friday, August 16 with no trail closures.

Due to the flight path and project scope, certain trails will be closed to keep all trail users, like hikers and bikers, safe and out of harm’s way during operational hours. These trails include See Forever, Basin, Prospect Trail and Prospect Loop.

The helicopter operation is part of a Forest Health Mitigation project to improve forest health, reduce wildfire risk, and improve recreation. The focus of the project is within the Lift 9 area and trees will be flown via helicopter from the forest health mitigation units to a decking/processing location in the Chair 10 area. Logging equipment and trucks will be moving through the resort in conjunction with the project.

As the majority of these trees are dead and dying, the potential for limbs/debris falling from the load is high.

“Guests can expect to see ‘CLOSED’ signage on trails and access points, so we ask everyone to please respect these signs and stay safe,” said Scott Pittenger, Director of Mountain Operations at Telluride Ski Resort.

The last time the resort performed this type of operation was during the expansion into Prospect Basin in 1999-2000.

Telluride Bike Park opens July 5

Bike Park opening

Words by Bill Kight / Recreation

Telluride Ski & Golf Resort is proud to announce the new lift-serviced Telluride Bike Park Grand Opening on next Friday, July 5 at 10 a.m.

The bike park offers riding for all ability levels, including the newly constructed beginner-level flow trail, Tommyknocker. This gravity-fed trail will take you overarching bridges and around bank turns for 5.8 miles.

“The Tommyknocker trail is an exciting new component in Telluride and opens the door for beginner mountain bikers,” said Scott Pittenger, Director of Mountain Operations. “We’re bringing a full suite of trails that’s been crafted for every skill level—and it’s just the beginning.”

Single day passes, season passes, guides and clinics, along with bike rentals are all available now for advance purchase. Additionally, guests will be able to activate their passes online. The Mountain Village Pass & Ticket Office is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., to assist with any Telluride Bike Park questions.

Beginning July 5, both the Oak Street ticket window and Mountain Village ticket office will be open daily to provide support for those accessing the new bike park from Telluride and Mountain Village.

”We are elated to have reached this point—getting the chairlift spinning for bike park access in the backyard is nothing short of a dream come true,” said Carson Taylor, Director of Mountain Sales. “It’s a monumental step for summer recreation, and we’re all stoked to ride the new trails.”

Portions of the proceeds from passes will be donated to the National Forest Foundation (NFF) in support of local hiking and biking trail maintenance. The NFF is a nonprofit partner of the U.S. Forest Service, and promotes the health and public enjoyment of the nation’s 193-million-acre National Forest System.

For more information, please visit tellurideskiresort.com/bikepark, call 970-239-7045 or email at [email protected].

Mountain Village passes dismount zone ordinance in Village Center

Dismount zone

Words by Kathrine Warren / Government, Recreation

In its monthly May meeting, the Mountain Village Town Council unanimously passed an ordinance creating a dismount/pedestrian-only zone in Village Center. The new ordinance goes into effect June 15, 2019, and encompasses the majority of the plazas and walkways in the heart of Mountain Village.

“With increased visitation to Mountain Village, the number of close calls between pedestrians, bikes and skateboards has become a concern, and we hope to give everyone an enjoyable experience while they are here,” said Police Chief Chris Broady.

The ordinance requires cyclists to dismount and walk their bikes, skateboards and Onewheels in public plazas, including Heritage Plaza, Sunset Plaza and Reflection Plaza. The zone extends past Village Pond and includes the Telluride Conference Center areas as well.

Wheelchairs, other rolling devices used for disabilities and baby carriages are exempt from the new ordinance.

It allows for areas to test ride bikes outside of Mountain Village’s three bike shops and outlines a bypass trail for bikers coming off the Telluride Bike Park (which is slated to open in early July).

The bypass route connects the Telluride Bike Park with Mountain Village Boulevard and the rest of the town’s trail system. Cyclists are reminded to follow the rules of the road when riding on Mountain Village Boulevard, Lost Creek Lane and Country Club Drive.

“We are very excited about the launch of the newly expanded Telluride Bike Park and can’t wait to check out their new trails,” said Mayor Laila Benitez. “It is important to us that we are doing everything we can to ensure a safe and positive biking and Village experience.”

The ordinance was created after extensive work with Telluride Ski Resort, local bike shops and Mountain Village’s Parks and Recreation Department and sought to balance the needs of merchants, bicyclists and pedestrians.

“This ordinance is a proactive step to foster the safety of both bikers and pedestrians,” said Town Council Member Patrick Berry. “It could not have been achieved without valuable input from the biking community, vendors and the public. Continued input from these groups will be vital to execute changes in the future as we learn what works and what does not.”