Officials at Eldora Mountain Resort ski area were “shocked and disappointed” at Boulder County’s suggestion that the resort consider improving its existing facilities, rather than focus on a full-on expansion.

In a 13-page letter to the U.S. Forest Service, the county commissioners wrote that the agency’s review of Eldora’s proposal to branch out either to the north or south “represents an improperly truncated review of alternatives” and lacked any “meaningful analysis” on the secondary impacts of expansion.

But the commissioners may have been premature, having failed to first solicit community input. The Forest Service, however, granted the county commissioners the option to supplement their remarks in a few weeks, so the board held an open hearing last week to take public comment on the matter.

Cindy Domenico, chairwoman of the Board of Commissioners, explained that the letter was merely a response to the environmental impact study drafted in February by the Forest Service, and it intentionally avoided discussion of recreational impact.

The Forest Service is expected to issue its ruling on Eldora’s expansion plans early next year.

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