Ski Industry-Middle Class

In this Nov. 16, 2014, photo provided by Keystone Resort, skiers take a lift up a snowy mountain.

Skiers and snowboarders at Keystone Resort could see their playground expand with new lift-served terrain.

The U.S. Forest Service this month gave the green light for the Summit County resort's plan to build a detachable chairlift that would shuttle visitors above timberline to a place previously reserved for uphill hikers or paid snowcat tours. In its analysis, the Forest Service found between 25 and 50 enthusiasts hike to Bergman Bowl each day when open, while up to 600 weekly pay for a ride to reach the bowl and its adjacent Erickson Bowl.

The lift would grant broader access to 555 acres. Pending a 45-day public review, the plan calls for 13 trails to be carved in Bergman and three in Erickson.

The plan would also add snowmaking to cover the runs in Bergman Bowl, which promises to be surprisingly approachable for its ambitious altitude.

The expansion, said Dillon District Ranger Bill Jackson in a press release, "would provide an alpine bowl-skiing experience for beginner and intermediate skiers — something that does not exist at many resorts."

From the top of the lift, beginner trails are envisioned to glide down through trees and back to the lift base at the current intermediate terrain of North Peak.

A timeline for the project is not yet set, a Keystone spokesperson said.

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