The new vision for Battle Mountain
The new development team looked at the plan with new eyes, went back to the drawing boards, and re-examined every element of it. Some elements remained-those that still made sense- and those that didn’t- were discarded.

Tapping the expertise of a variety of disciplines, a series of visioning exercises were conducted in the summer of 2011 to help develop a comprehensive new vision for the project. The team worked within the realities of the changed economy and a new development theme: “more Colorado, less Florida,” as well as the numerous opportunities presented by the properties themselves.

No golf courses, far less commercial space

One of the most substantial changes to the plans was the removal of the golf courses and the removal of nearly all of the extensive commercial space at the mountain core and at Bolts Lake. Removing that from the property provides opportunity for the growth of businesses in Minturn and Red Cliff.

Fewer ski lifts
The amount of skiable terrain on the mountain as well as the number of lifts was scaled back. Early plans for the mountain operation had called for up to 10 lifts. Current plans are calling for three or four lifts.

One new and exciting element, unique to the area, will be the addition of snow-cat skiing on some of the more remote terrain of Kiln Bowl and elsewhere, providing a back-country experience.

The on-mountain village core at the top of the gondola has been scaled back so there is far less commercial space. Instead of having multiple restaurants and shops on the mountain there will smaller food outlets for the convenience of on-mountain users.

The tall building is gone

At Bolts Lake, where previous plans had called for a large base facility at the foot of the gondola with a 13 story, 700-unit condo-hotel, the new vision for the area is calling for a far lower profile with more dispersed single and multi family dwellings.

While the total number of entitled building sites is expected to remain at 1,700 spread over the entire 5,450 acres, the character of what will be built has changed. When the economy was booming, “bigger was better” seemed to drive development planning.

Now the appetite for “Mac-Mansions” seems to have waned, and smaller, greener dwelling units are in favor. Early planning is exploring significant sustainable elements that can be incorporated into the development and its infrastructure.

Outdoor activities of all sorts
Colorado is the most physically active state in the nation and Battle Mountain’s development plans envision a community that will focus on outdoor activities. There will be access to and facilities for activities of all kinds, from Nordic skiing to fly fishing, biking, kayaking and hiking.

The variety of terrain at Battle Mountain will be able to accommodate just about any activity you can envision.

In addition, Battle Mountain will be teaming with the Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy, which will occupy the nearby former Minturn Middle School and is exploring combined use for its facilities and programs. One area of exploration is a Nordic trail coursing around and through the Bolts Lake property.

The VSSA has produced a number of globally recognized winter sports athletes though Ski Club Vail, its sports training arm. Lindsey Vonn is one alumnus.

 

The first step
While the old plan called for the first significant development to begin on Battle Mountain itself, the new plan now calls for developing the Bolts Lake area first.

What’s a GID?
An element of the old plan that remains in place is a general improvement district or GID, for the development. It was a requirement by the town prior to annexation for the new development to have self-sustaining funding for its infrastructure and maintenance, over and above the taxes it would generate.