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Mt. Bachelor Plans Set for Public Comments


The Forest Service has released its review of a 10-year master plan for Mt Bachelor Ski Area.

The plan includes updating current facilities, including expanding West Village Lodge.

It also calls for new summer recreational activities including a lift-served, downhill mountain bike park.

Mt. Bachelor sits on leased Forest Service property. So the master plan has to be approved by the agency before any of the changes can happen.

Mt. Bachelor hopes to get the plan approved so it can attract more people to the area and improve the guest experience.

Mount Bachelor President Dave Rathbun has been in the mountain business for 25 years, and told NewsChannel 21 on Wednesday he’s never seen a rebound like the mountain experienced this spring.

“It means that we have a very resilient group of skiers and riders in this community, and they came out and enjoyed a great spring of skiing,” Rathbun said.

While skier visits in the Northwest fell by 6 percent, Mt. Bachelor was down just 1.5 percent, which Rathbun calls a success.

And with a new master plan for the next 10 years, the resort hopes to see continued success.

“We’re just trying to get back to the level of business we enjoyed in the 90s and mid-2000s,” Rathbun said.

The plan calls to improve the skiing experience during windy conditions by allowing the lower lifts to operate even in the windiest conditions, update old facilities and, the most exciting part to Rathbun, add a lift-served, downhill mountain bike park.

“That’s what Mt. Bachelor can bring is a lift-serve mountain biking experience to a community that already is rabid in its enjoyment of mountain biking,” Rathbun said.

Before Mt. Bachelor can build new lifts, trails or lodges, they have to go through the Forest Service process – including a public comment period, which begins Friday.

“A nice thing about the plan is they are really looking at summer recreational experiences that we can’t offer on the forests necessarily,” said Jean Nelson-Dean, Deschutes National Forest spokeswoman.

The Forest Service has to review all environmental impacts including the effects on wildlife habitat.

“We haven’t seen a lot of serious issues at this point,” Nelson-Dean said.

Rathbun added, “It’s really a total plan and it’s a comprehensive plan that will help Mt. Bachelor get back to the prominence it once enjoyed not too long ago.”

Rathbun was quick to say that the skiers won’t be paying for the improvements. The money, he said, would come from earnings.

The 45-day Forest Service public comment period begins Friday and ends on July 9th.

To comment you can drop written hand delivered comments to the Deschutes National Forest office at 63095 Deschutes Market Road.

Or by mail:

Shane Jeffries, District Ranger

Bend/Ft. Rock Ranger District

63095 Deschutes Market Road

Bend, Oregon 97701

The Draft EIS is available on the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests Website: or

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