COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Colorado is ski country. But skiers and snowboarders in Southern Colorado have to drive a long way to get to the slopes.
That may change if a local couple's efforts pay off.
For Colorado Springs skiers, the idea of being able to ski closer to home has been an alluring dream. and ever since the resort at the Broadmoor closed over 20 years ago, it has also been an elusive one
Eric and Ilana Jesse have a plan to give it another try on Ormes Peak, a 9700 foot mountain on U.S. Forest Service land in between El Paso and Teller counties. Its almost directly behind the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Ilana Jesse, standing at the North Gate of the Academy on Friday, says the reasoning is pretty simple.
"We want to bring skiing back to Colorado Springs. We have the luxury of having beautiful mountains as our landscape and in our backyard," she told us.
The Jesse's have no delusions, it's not going to be easy. Their first step would be to get the area re-permitted. right now, it's zoned for logging and small, motorized vehicles.
Eric Jesse explained just one piece of a large and complicated process.
"There's a new forest management plan, 2012 Planning Rule, it's a nice 300-page document with a 300-page handbook on how to use the document, and so we're writing that proposal and then it will go to the Forest Service," he said.
They'll also have to prove there won't be environmental impacts. In addition, they have to present a business plan and prove that they'll be able keep enough snow on the mountain.
Scott Uhl of The Ski Shop in Colorado Springs is all for it - if it's doable.
"We've missed the Ski Broadmoor for a lot of years. I think that everybody here in Colorado Springs would support it and i think it would be awesome for the community."
For now, it's only a dream, and an uphill battle. The permitting process alone could take three to five years.