by Sally Francklyn
During the 2018-19 season, Copper Mountain will demonstrate its desire to keep improving. With Copper’s addition of a new restaurant, plus upgrades to existing chairlifts, the resort wants to make sure skiers and riders enjoy the sunshine, eat delicious food, and keep coming back for more.
American Flyer and American Eagle are the primary base-area lifts, so the goal to replace them will move skiers and riders up on the hill, where they can access the back bowls and steeper terrain. “Since they’re both in the base area of Center Village, many who lodge at Copper or are looking for access to a variety of terrain use Flyer and Eagle,” said Taylor Prather, Copper Mountain PR. She also said “there are also a variety of restaurants and shops in Center Village, so we see skiers come down mid-day for a break then head back out in the afternoon.”
Copper will replace American Eagle with a high-speed lift that has 6-person chairs plus an 8-person gondola every fifth chair. This will increase the ability for skiers to access the intermediate terrain by 40 percent. Replacing the Eagle will also give faster access to Excelerator chairlift, which allows guests to ski greater amounts of terrain, and runs that are more challenging.
American Flyer, also known as the “American Freezer,” will be replaced with a 6-person chair that has a bubble enclosure. This bubble will keep the skiers and riders more warm and comfortable on their way up the hill. This new lift will primarily serve the easy and intermediate terrain, plus provide fast access to the high alpine bowls. The replacement of this lift will speed up the ability to ride Sierra lift, and faster access to Copper Bowl, on the very south side of the resort. Prather said “we consider the Flyer and Eagle to be our workhorse lifts, and increasing the access for skiers and riders to get on the mountain and spread across our naturally-divided terrain will help with lift lines at the bottom.”
Interested in skiing outside of America? The purchase of a season pass also gives you access to Verbier 4 Vallées in Switzerland. The pass also allows you to ski at Powder Mountain in Utah, Grand Targhee in Wyoming, Taos in New Mexico, and Monarch Mountain and Purgatory, both Colorado resorts. Discounts on restaurants, ski and ride school, plus tune-up shops will also be available with the season pass. Click here for the full details.
Also new for 18-19 is Downhill Dukes, homage to Copper Mountain’s avalanche dog program (one of the first in Colorado). This restaurant has a south-facing, dog-friendly patio, and offers a locally sourced menu, live music, and libations to loosen you up for après. You’re encouraged to bring your pooch, as the menu has dog-friendly items in addition to food for humans.
I really enjoy how the terrain at Copper is naturally divided, like Prather said, so there’s not much need to look at a trail map to figure out the difficulty of the run below you. Replacing the two base-area lifts will really help the resort get skiers and riders up to enjoy the runs that Copper has to offer. Seeing skiers who keep enjoying everything Copper has to offer is part of the reason why the resort is making these modifications, and adding a new restaurant will provide a reason to come to Copper, beyond just the skiing.