More skiing offered by private resort
MINTURN – David Reilly is excited that his daughter, Ginger, may get to ski on Battle Mountain for $50 each year when she’s older. Reilly doesn’t mind that she’ll have to wait until she’s 14 to ski on her own (like she can on Vail and Beaver Creek mountains) at the private resort that Ginn Development Co. wants to build south of Minturn. “It’s just more time to spend with my child,” said Reilly, skier and Minturn resident for two years. Minturn and Red Cliff residents may get to spend more time skiing and golfing at the resort than initially planned. Ginn has expanded access to its slopes and fairways by lowering the age required to ski and golf without adult supervision and increasing the number of days residents may ski there.Eight ski lifts are planned on Battle Mountain in the Willow, Holy Cross, Rock and Kiln creek drainages. With a vertical drop of more than 2,000 feet, the ski area has as much terrain as Beaver Creek without Bachelor Gulch and Arrowhead. Ginn will let 14- to 16-year-olds ski and golf alone, as long their parents are also at the resort. Kids younger than 14 must ski with their parents. Ginn’s first plan said people younger than 18 had to ski with their parents. The pass will give kids something to do in Minturn, where there are few activities for them, said Rosa Cordova, of Pooh Corner Preschool in Minturn. “It will be something that [Vail Resorts] does not offer the town of Minturn,” said Cordova, adding that Ginn should offer the passes because it’s “part of the community.” Residents will also get to ski at least 30 days each year and golf 15 days each year, the plan says. The pass is still $50. “$50 a year for that much skiing and golf? I could live with that,” said Matt Duckworth, a Minturn resident for four years. Duckworth may ski more often now: He said he can’t afford a pass from Vail and Beaver Creek. Residents also might get “a little more backcountry powder than we’re used to,” he said. Reilly is OK with the number of days on the season pass. “It’s a private resort,” Reilly said. “I think it’s a privilege to be able to use the facilities. They can dictate the rules. They don’t have to let us ski.” A Ginn Web site would show what days residents could use the 1,200-acre ski resort and 18-hole golf course. Ginn would charge greens fees similar to those at other Vail Valley golf courses but has not decided yet how much, said Cliff Thompson, director of communications for Ginn. The ski resort and golf course would be built “two or three years” after – and if – Ginn’s proposal is approved, Thompson said. Ginn did not include anything in its plan saying how long it would offer the pass for residents. “That’s one of a number of items we have to discuss with the town council,” Thompson said. Ginn has the right to change the plan “at any time and in any manner,” the plan says. Council members are expected to vote on whether to annex the property into the town of Minturn before the April council election. Ginn won a key endorsement from town planning commissioners in May. Ginn wants to build a private ski resort and golf course and 1,700 homes and condominiums on and around Battle Mountain, south of Minturn. The land Ginn owns is currently zoned by state standards, which means one home can be built for every 35 acres. Ginn wants to annex the land into Minturn and ask the town to allow it to build homes.
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