Eldora ski resort, one of the closest resorts to the front range, is currently under construction. The parking lot, which usually has two trailers and permanent porta toilets near the beginner slopes, is now manned by construction crews and filled with huge concrete pipes. Excited people who have been working for years to make this happen are also present. Ignite Adaptive Sports, a program that provides access to winter sports for children and adults with disabilities, has been popular outside the ski slopes for many years. They have constructed a new building that includes many upgrades.
Rick Herman, one of the board members of Ignite and a stroke survivor of seven strokes in three years, is thrilled with the new building. “This is a big moment for me!” exclaimed Herman with a wide smile. He, along with other board members, fought hard to get this new building built in order to improve the quality of life for the athletes.
The new 12,000-square-foot facility will have two floors. The top floor will house a children’s ski school while the bottom floor will serve as the Ignite headquarters. The building offers more space than their two previously operating trailers and includes an indoor bathroom. A bridge will also be installed that leads directly to the foot of the elevator and ski lift. Previously, volunteers had to push the athletes up the first part of the slope, which could be very heavy.
Apart from practical improvements, this new building signifies a social optics upgrade. According to Ignite spokesman Bill Goldstein, “This puts our athletes on an equal footing with other athletes.” Goldstein, who lost his leg to a diabetes infection eight years ago, has returned to skiing and encourages others to do the same.
The construction of the new building has just broken ground and is expected to be completed within the next two years. Spencer Wilson, a Mountain Newsroom reporter for CBS News Colorado, covers this story.