Copper Mountain Resort
P.O. Box 3001, Copper Mountain, CO
Telephone: (970) 9682882
One of the world’s highest (and best) ski resorts (with North America’s highest golf course in the summer) offers skiing for all standards from a year-round purpose-built and largely car-free resort complex.
It is a little difficult to give a useful review of Copper right now, as the place is in a state of flux. Massive investment by the resort’s owners over the next few years will see the place completely transformed, with the base becoming unrecognisable and many on-mountain changes too. Some facts will stay the same. Copper will continue to be one of Colorado’s leading resorts and one of the closest and most convenient to access from Denver.
Its base and lifts, however transformed, will continue to serve a large and varied terrain with one of the state’s highest bases and stretching up to one of the world’s top 10 highest ski area lifts. The mountains themselves won’t change either of course – they’re rather more Alpine to look at – that is triangular, sharp and pointy – than those of many other famous Colorado resorts.
The owners insist that Copper’s ‘attitude’ won’t change either – that is a slightly less ‘stiff’ and ‘smug’ approach than a few other big ski areas with mountains not so many miles away. This could be a key reason why Copper is one of the most popular resorts in Colorado for the state’s own indigenous population to visit, taking almost 20% of the local market. Innovative low priced season ticket schemes and the ease of access from Denver also play a big part. For the 98-99 season the resort relaxed staff dress codes to allow a little individuality where it didn’t interfere in any way with service standards – those a little alarmed or uncomfortable by the ‘control freak’ nature of some resorts were pleasantly surprised by this revolutionary idea!
Intrawest, who acquired Copper in 1997 after much of the surrounding Summit County had been snapped up by fellow giants Vail Resorts, are currently spending $400 million on the redevelopment of Copper up to 2002. Work is then scheduled to continue up to ‘build out’ in 2005. Much of the money is going on a complete overhaul of the resort base so that it benefits from Intrawest’s award winning designs that have already proved so successful at Tremblant, Blackcomb and other resorts owned by the company.
Social spaces, festival plazas, enhanced view corridors, bold architecture and continual activity will define the new village of Copper Mountain. Money will also go into an improved lift system (already seen with the opening of Colorado’s first six-seater chair, the Super Bee, in 1999), significantly upgraded places to meet and eat on the slopes and even improved snow conditions.
In the village itself, Copper’s new buildings will see varied roof heights, with building sizes to maximize appeal and sunshine in social spaces. Landscaping will be designed to harmonise with surrounding elements, and to provide a wide range of retail, dining and lodging options along with an unprecedented amount of day and night life.
Copper’s new-look base will include several neighborhoods including the East Village, The Village at Copper, and the Preserve. Each will have its own distinct personality and all will be interconnected by unique landscaping, walkways and heavily timbered buildings framed by incredible mountain and valley vistas. The redesign will change the current resort to provide much more of a feeling of community, a sense of place and belonging, and a surprise at every turn.
Copper Mountain, Colorado, Summit County, Copper, Central Rocky Mountains, Rockies, USA, Intrawest
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