Mountain bike park developers promise transparency at community meeting

300 attending virtual meeting had many questions about the proposal

Deb Hurley Brobst
dbrobst@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 7/29/22

The developers of the proposed Shadow Mountain Bike Park in Conifer answered a wide range of questions on July 27 to provide information and to try to quell the mounting opposition to the proposal.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Username
Password
Log in

Don't have an ID?


Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.

Non-subscribers

Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.

If you made a voluntary contribution in 2021-2022, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one at no additional charge. VIP Digital Access includes access to all websites and online content.


Our print publications are advertiser supported. For those wishing to access our content online, we have implemented a small charge so we may continue to provide our valued readers and community with unique, high quality local content. Thank you for supporting your local newspaper.

Mountain bike park developers promise transparency at community meeting

300 attending virtual meeting had many questions about the proposal

Posted

The developers of the proposed Shadow Mountain Bike Park in Conifer answered a wide range of questions on July 27 to provide information and to try to quell the mounting opposition to the proposal.

The virtual community meeting on July 27 hosted by developers Phil Bouchard and Jason Evans was attended by about 300 people who by the end of the night had put more than 600 questions and comments into the Q-and-A section. Because of the way the Zoom call was configured, attendees could not see the names of others on the call or the questions and responses.

Bouchard and Evans want to put the downhill mountain bike park on 230 acres owned by the State Land Board two miles up Shadow Mountain Drive, and the proposal has faced extensive backlash from neighbors since it was originally proposed in January 2021. July 27's community meeting is the precursor to the developers formally applying to Jefferson County for a special-use permit on the property that is zoned Agriculture-2.

Evans and Bouchard propose a day-use bike park with a chairlift, the only one of its kind in Colorado, that would be open generally from March to October depending on weather. It would have a parking lot for 300 cars, 16 miles of trails between 6 feet and 15 feet wide that cater to a wide range of abilities, a lodge for registration and a small shop.

A change from the development proposed in January 2021 when it was called Full Send Bike Ranch is there no longer will be a restaurant and bar, Bouchard said. Instead, food trucks are planned. In addition, he added, the parking lot and lodge would be moved further south to help keep the meadow pristine.

While not all questions were answered after three-and-a-half hours, the developers promised more community meetings to make sure neighbors understood the proposal and its impact on the area.

Pros and cons

Bouchard said the park’s name was changed from Full Send because while the term means being passionate about something to some, to others it has the connotation of meaning crazy, over-the-top riding.

While the developers have had some support from mountain bikers, they also have received vocal opposition from Stop the Bike Park, a nonprofit formed last year to bring awareness to the project and to convince the Jeffco Planning Commission and county commissioners that the bike park is a bad idea.

Environmental and wildlife impacts plus overtaxing Elk Creek Fire’s emergency medical service are big concerns, but at the top of the list is additional traffic on the narrow, windy road. The developers say on peak days, they expect up to 500 cars on Shadow Mountain Drive equating to 1,000 trips per day.

Eleven people spoke during the meeting, and one suggested that the developers create a business plan similar to Denver Adventures, which has an office in Aspen Park and uses shuttles to take zip liners to Beaver Ranch. That business model, he said, would alleviate traffic congestion on Shadow Mountain Road, and eliminate the need for a large parking area and a lodge on the property.

“We want this to be a good situation for all of us,” attendee Randy Bates said. “Let’s be honest here. This is mostly likely going to go through, and we would like something good for community. Using shuttles would alleviate a lot of issues people have with the plan.”

One attendee asked whether the public would see the impact analysis to make sure it was comprehensive before it was provided to Jefferson County.

Attendees countered the developers’ belief that the mountain bike park would pull riders off congested area trails such as at Flying J, Meyer Ranch and Staunton State Park, saying that if the bike park was full, riders would just go to nearby locations.

In response to questions, the developers said:

  • There would be little light pollution since the park would be open during daylight hours;
  • The property would be mitigated against wildfire;
  • No residential or commercial development would be located on the site;
  • Echo Mountain would be too small for the project, and the developers have not talked with the Echo Mountain owners;
  • Ticket prices and hours of operation haven’t been determined;
  • Water usage would be similar to that of two single-family homes, and the park would operate on a septic system;
  • The project is being funded by Jefferson County residents;
  • There would be no access to the bike park from Christopher Drive on the south side of the property;
  • The trails would be under the tree canopy so they wouldn’t be visible to passersby;
  • Smoking, camping and campfires wouldn’t be allowed;
  • While a traffic study has not been completed, it will look at the park’s opening and closing in conjunction with school bus and commuter traffic;
  • The development would be as environmentally friendly as possible.
Full Send, Full Send Bike Ranch, Shadow Mountain Bike Park, Bouchard, Stop Full Send Bike Ranch

Comments

Our Papers

Ad blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an ad blocking plugin in your browser.

The revenue we receive from our advertisers helps make this site possible. We request you whitelist our site.