After a tumultuous several months, Wildwood, Missouri’s planning committee unanimously recommended approval of a new $2.5 million zip line attraction at Hidden Valley Ski Resort, located just outside of St. Louis. The final decision moves to the City Council later this month.
In an effort to make the ski area a more economically viable business, Hidden Valley submitted its original proposal for the year-round zip line attraction in late spring 2017. The proposal included four tandem lines, at maximum heights of 150 to 170 feet off the ground. It was met with both support and opposition from the local community. Neighbors cited concerns about noise, traffic, and lights. Supporters saw it as an economic boon to the area that would open employment opportunities and add recreational options.
In early November, the committee voted against the proposed operating hours, which included night zips under lights, and against year-round operation. The adjusted daytime-only hours and a seven-month operating period then received a unanimous vote of approval, but Hidden Valley owner Peak Resorts said those adjustments made the project economically unfeasible and withdrew its petition all together. The latest approval returns the project economic feasibility once more.
Following the withdrawal, Peak Resorts CEO Tim Boyd said after the winter season the ski area would likely be sold to a developer, citing concerns for future financial viability as a result of the committee’s decision to limit when the zip lines could operate.
On Nov. 27, Hidden Valley suddenly re-submitted its petition for review by the planning committee, and the petition was unanimously approved. Hidden Valley agreed to move one of the proposed lines and will be allowed to operate year-round between the hours of 9 a.m. and sunset if the City Council gives the final go ahead.