Living near a ski lift is one thing - a very chic property-enhancing thing in a resort town such as Coloroado's Beaver Creek. But a ski-hill roller coaster is another matter: It's grounds for a lawsuit.

Two homeowners' associations plan to file a lawsuit Thursday to attempt to prevent the construction of an "amusement park" that is proposed to be built at Beaver Creek, just up the road from Vail.

"An amusement park is not a good fit and is very off-brand for Beaver Creek," states a homeowners' news release announcing the lawsuit just days after the ski area announced it was beginning to prepare an area for summer tubing and was ready to start construction on a ropes challenge course.

Vail Resorts is not calling its proposed package of ziplines, rope courses, tubing hills, coaster structure and trails an amusement park. The resort is promoting the additions as "a summer mountain adventure."

In what is shaping up to be a lawsuit that hinges partially on semantics, the plaintiff homeowners are calling a proposed loop of coaster-like structures through the aspen trees "a roller coaster." Vail Resorts calls it the "Forest Flyer" - an alpine slide on raised rails.

Such mountain-adventure options became possible when the Ski Area Recreational Opportunities Enhancement Act was passed in 2011. That law allows for year-round facilities on U.S. Forest Service lands leased by ski areas.


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The law excludes tennis courts, water slides, swimming pools, golf courses and amusement parks.

One association that is suing Vail Resorts includes 715 homeowners who are arguing that the summer amenities would scar the face of the mountain and alter the character of the valley. The coaster, which could handle up to 500 riders an hour, would require the cutting of 350 aspen trees and would be within earshot and in the view of homes.

Beaver Creek announced last week that such additions are not going to impact residential areas but are going to let visitors explore nature from "a different perspective."

Vail Resorts also owns the ski areas at Vail, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado and Heavenly, Kirkwood and Northstar at Lake Tahoe.