The U.S. Forest Service has greenlit a terrain expansion at Loveland Ski Area.
Initially announced in September, the plan centers around Loveland Valley, known as a hub for novice skiers and snowboarders. The Zig Zag and Boomerang runs will be modified to better match their green rating, while two new trails will be added. The approval from the Arapaho National Forest supervisor also allows for the construction of a parking lot with up to 500 spots.
The project proposal calls for grading Zig Zag to a more gentle slope and trail widening that will require 3 acres of tree clearing. The proposal outlines another 3 acres of timber clearing for Boomerang, which will serve as a connector for the new pair of adjacent runs.
The project would make the Chair 3-accessed terrain "more suitable for lower ability level skiers," according to the Forest Service's environmental assessment, "providing additional trail options for skiers and supporting learning/teaching progression."
The assessment cites the ski area's own analysis finding an additional 529 parking spots are needed to meet current visitation and future projections. The new lot is to be built beside lots E and D off Interstate 70.
The forest supervisor's decision states the project "will not result in any unacceptable effects to National Forest System Lands."
An agency news release indicated work could start on the project as early as this summer.