In this undated photo provided by Vail Resorts, Beaver Creek ski area is shown in it's present form of 17 lifts, 149 trails, four terrain parks and 1,815 acres. Vail Associates envisioned world-class ... more 
In this undated photo provided by Vail Resorts, Beaver Creek ski area is shown in it's present form of 17 lifts, 149 trails, four terrain parks and 1,815 acres. Vail Associates envisioned world-class skiing and living not far from Vail when it acquired the Nottingham family's ranch land in the early 1970s. After overcoming opposition from environmentalists, a U.S. Forest Service permitting process, and a near brush with Colorado hosting part of the 1976 Winter Olympics, it opened Beaver Creek Ski Resort with six chairlifts on Dec. 15, 1980. French skiing great Jean-Claude Killy and former President Gerald Ford, an early home buyer in Beaver Creek, were on hand for opening day, the resort's pioneers said. less 
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Associated Press | Photo By Vail Resorts
Fri, Dec 10, 2010 5:16 PM EST