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Summit County: Is Copper Mountain’s base village up for sale?

Ownership changes inevitable as real estate trust expires in 2015

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By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — Along with a slew of other ski resort villages, Copper Mountain‘s commercial base-area properties (the Village at Copper) may be for sale as part of a “trophy resort village portfolio,” offered  for $142.5 million.

According to an online brochure making the rounds, the resort villages can also be bought separately, starting at about $9 million for the smallest and ranging up to about $30 million. The real estate investment services company Marcus & Millichap is offering the properties, which are owned by CNL Lifestyle Properties, Inc..

The Florida-based real estate investment trust (REIT) that became a big player in the mountain resort business when it bought properties all over North America about the time the resort real estate boom fizzled. Continue reading

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Colorado skiers warned about rope-ducking risks

Sketchy snowpack makes Summit County sheriff, resorts edgy

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A large Feb. 25 avalanche near Francie’s Cabin. Some of the hard debris chunks were 4-5 feet thick. Photo courtesy Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — A sketchy snowpack and a series of avalanches in and near ski areas has prompted a joint warning on rope-ducking from Summit County Sheriff John Minor and local resorts.

Ducking a rope is also against the law as the part of the Colorado the Ski Safety Act of 1979.  “You can face charges for this,” Minor said. “Don’t be naïve about the risk you’re taking, and don’t put others in danger because of your bad decisions.”

In one recent accident, a snowboarder ducked a rope at Keystone within sight of numerous people and broke through a cornice that triggered a slide. The man was caught and issued a summons by the Summit County Sheriff’s Office for skiing in a closed area. Continue reading

Copper Mountain eyes new lifts, trail upgrades, wind turbines

Forest Service launches review with 30-day public comment period

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The U.S. Forest Service is starting to review a proposal to upgrade lifts and trails at Colorado’s Copper Mountain Resort.

*Corrected to clarify replacement of H Lift with a high-speed quad in 2011 as the most recent major lift upgrade.

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Copper Mountain has proposed a slate of on-mountain lift and trail projects to improve the overall skier experience, enhance teaching opportunities and modernize the resort’s lift infrastructure.

Specifically, Copper wants to replace the Kokomo and Storm King lifts, add a new Union Meadows surface lift and a new terrain park surface lift that will also help enhance Woodward at Copper’s camp operations.

To improve skier and snowboarder flow across the mountain, the resort is also proposing improvements to the T-Rex Connector trail and the Spaulding Bowl runout trail, improved access to the Enchanted Forest area and grading around one of the towers of the Sierra Lift.

The proposal also includes adding two 24-foot vertical wind turbines on Union Peak to generate about  2,000 kilowatt hours per year. The proposed wind turbines will add renewable energy capacity generated by existing turbines installed in 2011. Click here to learn more about kilowatt hours.

This proposal only includes a few elements from an earlier on-mountain MDP, said Shelly Grail, winter sports ranger on the Dillon Ranger District. This plan focuses on improving skier and snowboarder flow on the mountain, and especially on improving service in the beginner area. Grail said. Continue reading

Colorado skiing: Catch a free ride to the slopes Dec. 15

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The Front Range Ski Bus at Keystone Resort. Photo courtesy FRSB.

Local bus company offering a free demo day; season bus passes, four-packs and discounted ski tix also available

SUMMIT COUNTY — Who say’s there’s no free ride?

To celebrate the start of full winter operations, Front Range Ski Bus is running a free bus from Denver up to A-Basin, Keystone, Loveland and Copper next weekend, right after what looks to be one of the first real snowy and wintry weeks of the season.

The bus has already been running on a limited schedule and will start operating four days per week (Thursday – Sunday) on Dec. 14, with basic round trip tickets for $35, down from $39 last year.

“Riding the bus up to the slopes is a great way to make new ski and snowboard friends before you even get to the slopes,” said  said chief marketing officer Martin Beran, who frequently rides the bus to ride up at A-Basin. “It’s a relaxing way to get up to the mountains.” he said. “This day is a great way for Denver residents to try out Denver’s best ski bus service without spending a dime.” Continue reading

Skiing: Summit County areas rev up for the season

Snowmaking the key to Thanksgiving skiing

U.S. Ski Team racers have been training at Copper Mountain the past few weeks; Friday, the Super Bee chair opens to the public. Bob Berwyn photo.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — After a few weeks of exclusively serving top ski racers, Copper’s Super Bee chair opens to the public today (Nov. 23), boosting the total number of operating lifts to eight, including the American Flyer, Gem Lift, Super Bee, Timberline Express and American Eagle, serving about 175 acres of terrain spread across 15 trails.

Saturday evening, Woodward at Copper presents the 12th Annual Yam Jam Rail Jam, an after-hours competition under the lights held in Copper’s Lower Bouncer Terrain Park. Skiers and snowboarders compete for tons of prizes, and entry is only $10. Registration is at the Cage from noon to 3:30 p.m., and practice begins at 4 p.m.

Saturday also marks the first En Fuego of the season, ringing in the holidays with a Snow Cat Parade and tree lighting, accompanied by cozy bonfires and tunes from DJ Kris Kringle. Festivities begin at 5 p.m. in the Burning Stones Plaza.

On the east side of the county, Keystone has nine lifts open, serving 170 acres spread across nine runs. Open lifts include the River Run Gondola, the Summit Express chair, the Ranger lift and the Peru Express. Open runs include Spring Dipper, River Run, Schoolmarm and Silverspoon.

A-Basin opened Lenawee Chair last week for top-to-bottom skiing on Lenawee Face, Dercum’s Gulch, Ramrod and High Noon.

Breckenridge is 6 percent open, with five lifts operating, serving 145 acres on seven trails, including Springmeier, Trygves, Crosscut and the Park Lane terrain park.

 

Colorado: Ski racers start training at Copper Mountain

Upper Mountain hosting local teams; full-length speed training center slated to open Oct. 31, weather permitting

Ski team luminaries and resort execs prepare for the opening of the U.S. Ski Team Speed Training Center at Copper Mountain in November, 2011.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — After an intense early season snowmaking session, Copper is already hosting race training on the upper mountain, while U.S. Ski Team racers are looking forward to the scheduled Oct. 31 opening of the speed training center on terrain served by the Super Bee chair.

The training venue, which opened last year, has been touted as a game-changer for the U.S. team, enabling racers to make full-length training runs before key early season World Cup races at Vail and Aspen. The speed center opening is weather dependent.

To help get skiers psyched for the season, Copper is holding an online lottery that will enable a handful of passholders to win VIP access to the speed center, along with a chance to ski or ride with ski team racers like Lindsey Vonn, Bode Miller and Julia Mancuso. Continue reading

Skiing: Colorado areas dominate SKI mag poll again

Breckenridge remains the top-ranked Summit County resort

Breckenridge Ski Area ranked 13th in this year’s SKI magazine reader poll.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — Colorado ski areas once again dominated the annual SKI magazine reader polls, but only two Summit County resorts cracked the top 20 — not surprising, given that most of the local areas — with the exception of A-Basin — emphasize quantity over quality.

After a five-year run in the number one spot, Deer Valley yielded to Whistler-Blackcomb, which won on the overall strength of its many attributes, including terrain variety, snow quantity and, of course, its vibrant nightlife. But readers of the magazine, who rate resorts annually in detailed surveys, recognized that the somewhat unpredictable weather in the Pacific Northwest can sometimes be a damper.

The poll is a fall publishing ritual that spurs plenty of water-cooler discussions and helps set the mood for the impending ski season. Continue reading

Colorado: Copper Mountain starts snowmaking

Ski team speed center to open late October; passholders have a chance to win a preview session with the team

Picabo Street helps open the U.S. Ski Team speed training center at Copper Mountain in Nov. 2011. Photo by Bob Berwyn.

Opening day of the 2011-2012 season. Photo by Bob Berwyn.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — With a seasonable October chill in the air, Copper Mountain has fired up its snowguns, aiming to open the U.S. Ski Team speed training center by sometime in late October is favorable snowmaking weather persists.

The ski area is scheduled to open for the public on Nov. 2, but a few lucky passholders can win a preview session with the U.S. Ski team by entering on Facebook for VIP access that includes lift access for two, a venue tour from a U.S. Ski Team athlete followed by open skiing and riding and lunch with the Team.

In a press release, Copper said 87 snow guns will be dedicated to covering the speed training venue of the Super Bee lift, prepping a full-length alpine racing venue that will help top-level World Cup racers get ready for early season tests at Beaver Creek and Aspen.

Entries to the Speed Center VIP Preview Contest will be accepted until Oct. 28. The official event day will be announced on the U.S. Ski Team and Copper Mountain Facebook fan pages. You must have a Copper Mountain Season Pass, Copper Four Pack, Rocky Mountain Super Pass, or Super Pass Plus to enter. Continue reading

Colorado: Copper Mountain raises funds for injured ski patroller Sally Francklyn during upcoming CopperMan race

Sally Francklyn. PHOTO COURTESY COPPER MOUNTAIN.

Community support sought to help recovery of injured skier

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — To show support and love for Sally Francklyn, a long-standing member of Copper Mountain’s ski patrol team who was injured in a ski accident two weeks ago, Copper has renamed the ‘Super Hero’ heat at the upcoming CopperMan adventure race April 14, 2012, to the ‘Super Hero Sally’ heat.

Super Woman Sally Supporters will have the option of purchasing a $49 entry for this heat, and 50 percent of proceeds will benefit Sally’s recovery. Super Hero Capes will be sold during the event for $10, with 100 percent of proceeds donated to Sally.

During the race, there will be an obstacle called ‘Leap of Faith.’ Followers of Sally’s recovery will be able to view images online at CopperColorado.com as race participants show their support by entertaining her with their best super hero leaps! To register for CopperMan, please visit CopperColorado.com/CopperMan and use code ‘Sunshine’ when ordering. Continue reading

Front Range Ski Bus adds service to Copper Mountain

Transit to ski areas growing in popularity

The Front Range Ski Bus at A-Basin on a snowy day. New service to Copper Mountain starts this week. PHOTO COURTESY FRONT RANGE SKI BUS.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY —With demand picking up, the Front Range Ski Bus announced this week that it’s starting service to Copper Mountain as soon as Feb. 16, running buses to Copper Thursday through Sunday.

The company has been offering bus service to Loveland, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin for about a month, with all those resorts giving Front Range Ski Bus passengers a discount on tickets. Round trip prices start at $39 with advance online booking. Continue reading

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