Megan Chillemi misstates some crucial points in her letter in the Friday, July 5, Sierra Sun, “Alpine coasters don’t belong here.”
First, the North Tahoe Regional Advisory Council (NTRAC), of which I am a councilor, did not “deny” a permit for the Forest Flyer at our May 9 meeting. We have no authority to allow or deny permits.
By a split vote the project was allowed to go forth without comment to the Planning Commission where a permit was, after thorough review, granted. I was unable to attend the May NTRAC meeting. Had I attended there would have been a majority in favor of allowing the flyer to proceed to the Planning Commission.
Second, the Forest Flyer project has been extensively studied over several years by both Booth Creek and now Vail. As a director on the Northstar Property Owner’s Association Board, I can relate that there has been thorough study, review and debate by us as well.
Vail has been very responsive to our community’s concerns, and, as a good neighbor, actually moved the Flyer from our village to mid-mountain where it will have no impact on local residents whatsoever.
The overall environmental impact (visual, noise, loss of trees, etc.) will be no more than the healthy glading of the forest to widen a run for new tree skiing; and the ride itself is probably safer than anything else we might do on the mountain — including walking across the snow in tennis shoes or hiking across shale in sandals.
Alterations in traffic and parking, if any, will not be noticeable. The flyer is not comparable to an amusement park roller coaster. Its main appeal will be in introducing novices to mountain fun.
The Northstar residential community is as environmentally concerned as any residents in the Tahoe Basin or North Tahoe Community. We are, by a large majority, in favor of the Forest Flyer.
Lawrence A. Danto
NPOA board member