Colorado village’s much-anticipated resort receives power boost

The sprawling Willow Creek Pond in Silverthorne may be the state’s best winter haven but this year it’s also open for ice skating as part of a new partnership between the local community and Resorts World Colorado.

Since it opened in mid-April, the $20 million development is building on a rapidly developing ski industry buzz around Colorado, with a planned expansion on the west side of town as well as a nearby property market fueled by city officials and industry leaders.

SVDC recently announced it will open spring skiing on the publicly owned and controlled Willow Creek Pond by mid-summer, potentially connecting it to the skiing and snowboarding facilities to the south and north of the traditional ski area.

“Our partnering with SVDC to offer the full range of skiing at Willow Creek is just the latest move in a very busy offseason for Colorado mountain resorts,” said Craig Myers, CEO of the Colorado Ski Country USA, which oversees the state’s ski and snowboard industry. “Colorado has more than 300 ski areas, 38 of which are privately owned and 80 percent of our state is accessible through trails. Our industry has always enjoyed public, privately owned ski areas. We welcome SVDC to the mix.”

Resorts World Colorado will also serve as the “civic steward” of the 750-acre wildlife habitat, which is a huge deal for the local Ute Mountain Ute community. In fact, the lone Ute currently on the 18,000-person reservation working in the ski industry recently spoke out in a letter to Silverthorne and the county board of commissioners in support of the new partnership.

“We do not begrudge the entities who wish to pursue their aspirations, which is their prerogative, but there is so much more to life, the opportunity to connect with God, with our children, and with each other, than just the pursuit of the pursuit of making money,” wrote Jim Dunstan. “Please recognize the very important human nature that is non-material, and to not discount the public environmental pride we believe so deeply in. Please do not forget how strong our identity, both personally and collectively, is in it. We have thousands of years of ‘God’ in our history.”

Resorts World Colorado also has set a December opening date for its expansion project on the west side of town. It’s a $20 million development that will include 470 new guest rooms, new terrain parks and hills, a convenience store and gas station. That project includes having one helicopter landing pad in the new development, which will also include a base village like the current Silverthorne resort.

That development will compete with the $31 million development that will connect Vail and Beaver Creek with a new cross-country ski/snowshoe area and a soft-surface skating area known as Longs Peak. The new Longs Peak development was originally slated to begin construction later this year, but the feasibility study with Vail is more likely to begin in January.

For more on the new Willow Creek Pond, check out:

[Find some of our previous coverage of Longs Peak development in our slideshow below.]

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