Hidden Valley Ski Resort faces opposition from neighbors over zip lines

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ST. LOUIS, MO — Folks at Hidden Valley Ski Resort want to make their operation a year-round outdoor adventure place. But, they are running into opposition from neighbors.

Hidden Valley has skiing three months a year. Now, they would like to add zip lining for the other nine months. Company executives said they need another source of revenue because they can’t always count on winter.

Neighbors said the skiing is more than enough.

Jim Smith is President of the Trustee Association for the Radcliffe Place subdivision. He said, “Everybody in this subdivision I've spoken to is happy with it as a ski operation. If it expands beyond that, they’re unhappy.”

Hidden Valley has been a part of the St. Louis recreation scene for 35 years. The recent two winters have been terrible for business.

Tim Boyd is the CEO for Peak Resorts which owns Hidden Valley. Boyd said, “At Hidden Valley we lost money the last two winters and basically it’s weather driven.”

Boyd said they need another source of revenue. So, when the grass is green and the weather is warm they want to add a zip tour course.

“It’s critical from the sustainability standpoint of Hidden Valley,” said Boyd.

People who live nearby in the Radcliffe Place subdivision said they hear yelling and screaming and are subjected to bright lights for three months a year, during winter. They don’t want it year-round, especially when they’re enjoying their backyard barbecues. Plus, they fear traffic will increase.

“The more traffic you put on (Highway) 109 the worse that problem will get,” said Jim Smith.

Hidden Valley’s CEO insisted zip lining will be quieter, the lighting less intense and he raod traffic will be like a busy day with an extra 10 to 15 cars every hour on the road. He did not say they will close up if they don’t get the zip line. But, they also can’t stay open if they’re not making money.

People on both sides of the issue are being encouraged to show up at a meeting a Wildwood City Hall next month.

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