The end of a strenuous lawsuit leaves Silverton Mountain with an additional 164 acres to play with. As of August 24, 2006, Silverton added new terrain for a total of 1,819 acres, marking it as Colorado's 6th largest ski area.
The lawsuits over the area began about 18 months ago when Jim Jackson, owner of the 164 acres, sued Silverton for alleged trespassing skiers and land damage by avalanche control, said Aaron Brill, who owns Silverton Mountain with his wife Jen.
The judge ruled Jackson's claims unfounded, and Jackson was awarded $1 for the accidental trespassing charges. After all the fuss, Jackson decided to let Silverton Mountain purchase the 164 acres, which has made everybody happy.
"The best thing for us is that we've been spending all of our money defending ourselves on legal expenses, and it's great to put money back into the ski area," Brill said.
Sallie Rockwood, a teacher and Silverton local, said the skiing "will be a bit more relaxing" because she won't have to worry about touching the forbidden areas.
Skiers can look forward to the new slopes providing less hassle and different terrain.
The changes are two-fold. First, since the property was littered throughout the ski area, skiers won't have to traverse around the mountain to get to legal areas. The hike to the Cabin Cornice Ridge on the north side is a straight shot now instead of a roundabout hike. Another addition to the mountain is a totally unique section, said Aaron. The Vodka Shots are ultra-steep, super-tight chutes that provide some of the craziest chutes on the mountain.
"I think it will just add to the great energy that is already up there," Rockwood said.
Rockwood said she is definitely excited to hop on the new terrain because she has been staring at the skier-less runs for the past few years.
"Silverton Mountain, with this new terrain," Rockwood said, "is going to be the best ski area in the lower 48 states."