COPPER MOUNTAIN, CO-Looking past the fear of travel and a soft economy, Intrawest Corp. is unveiling a huge plan for expanding and improving its Copper Mountain ski resort over the next 15 to 20 years. The new plan, with an estimated price tag between $170 million and $250 million, will include better transportation, a village gondola, more community housing, new residential neighborhoods, a civic area and an entertainment and recording complex.

Intrawest, based in Vancouver, BC, owns Copper Mountain, located directly off Interstate 70. It is the first major ski resort in Summit County from Denver.

”Copper Mountain has undergone a transformation over the past several years, from a great ski mountain to a first-rate resort with a new mountain village, enhanced conference facilities and on-mountain improvements,” says Intrawest corporate vice president for real estate development Paul Stashick. ”The next phase will take to a higher level, creating world-class, year-round experiences that will guide this evolution and allow Copper Mountain to grow as a vibrant, sustainable, competitive resort.”

Some highlights of what Intrawest is comprehensive development strategy, including:

* A high-capacity village gondola, the first in Colorado, to move people across the mountain base area, making transportation more efficient and reducing traffic.

* A state-of-the-art 70,000-sf entertainment and recording complex with two performance halls, high-definition video/audio recording capability and a high-tech conference center.

* Approximately 230 beds for community housing; three new neighborhoods with 1,100 new single-family houses, duplexes, townhomes, stacked townhomes, villas and a condominium hotel.

* A new loop trail that connects to the Colorado Trail and Vail Pass Trail.

* A redevelopment of the Copper Mountain Athletic Club.

* A new outdoor summer sports field.

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