Welcome to the forum Douglas. One of the reasons members are encouraged to fill out their profiles is so that we know what tools you have to work with. I agree with Gerry that a bandsaw is by far the fastest machine to get rid of the bulk of the material. But that isn't helpful if you don't have one. Next would be a jigsaw, if you have one. Routers aren't good at removing large amounts of wood and bits wear more quickly than other cutting tools and are more costly than other methods. However a pattern or flush trim bit is ideal for producing a finished edge (maybe with a little sanding) when following a pattern of the finished profile. So a multi machine approach is probably the best where you use a bandsaw or jigsaw to cut the basic pattern out, leaving 1/16th to 1/8th inch of wood to rout . That will give you a finished product with the least amount of time spent sawing and sanding.
Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.