Forest Service seeks input for new operator permit at Elk Ridge Ski area
New owners, Arizona Snowbowl, to take over operations
WILLIAMS, Ariz. — Kaibab National Forest is seeking input and responding to any inquiries from the public for the issuance of a new permit to operate the Elk Ridge Ski Area near Williams.
The Forest Service is considering issuing a new term permit now that the ski area is being purchased by Arizona Snowbowl. Elk Ridge will be included in the Mountain Capital Partners collection of resorts — Arizona Snowbowl, Purgatory Resort, Sipapu Ski & Summer Resort, Pajarito Mountain Ski Area and Hesperus Ski Area.
Whether the permit is issued or not is dependent on evaluation and acceptance of an application from Arizona Snowbowl. The permit would be for assuming the current operations at Elk Ridge starting this winter. No changes to existing facilities or operations would be authorized with the issuance of this permit.
If a new permit is issued, Snowbowl could propose updates to the facility’s master plan in the future, which would be considered by the Forest Service in a separate environmental analysis in accordance with requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
Elk Ridge Ski Area encompasses 37 acres and is located on Bill Williams Mountain on the Williams Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest. The current ski area term permit authorizes public operation of the ski area during the winter from November through April to provide downhill skiing and tubing opportunities.
Existing improvements within the permit area boundary include two surface lifts, a ski lodge, a parking area, eight cleared ski and tubing runs and other supporting infrastructure. Under current conditions, some of the existing ski area improvements will require considerable maintenance and repairs and possible replacement. Summer operations include maintenance activities and infrequent, small special events held at the lodge, which are approved on a case-by-case basis by the Forest Service.
The issuance of a new permit for an existing ski area is considered an administrative change when the only modification is in ownership of ski area improvements.
Members of the public with questions or seeking to provide comments about the issuance of a new term permit should do so no later than Nov. 3 by contacting Liz Schuppert, Public Services Staff Officer, Kaibab National Forest, 800 S. Sixth Street, Williams, Arizona 86046; telephone (928) 635-8367; fax (928) 635-8208, or e-mail email@example.com.
More information is available from Kaibab National Forest through Twitter, Facebook or www.fs.usda.gov/kaibab.