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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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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: USFS OKs new Copper Mountain master plan

A map showing proposed upgrades at Copper Mountain. Click on the image for a full-size version.

Long-range vision for resort includes new lifts, a summer mountain coaster and new on-mountain restaurants

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Copper Mountain’s new long-range master plan for addressing deficiencies in its aging lift network includes removing and replacing seven existing chairlifts and adding four new lifts, as well as new conveyors for the teaching area at the west end of the resort.

With one of the planned new lifts going up Tucker Mountain, Copper will also relocate and expand its popular snowcat skiing operation to 500 acres on the south side of the ridge running between Tucker Mountain to Jacques Peak.

The overall idea is to increase out-of-base lift capacity and dispersal across the mountain, according to the resort’s newest master plan, accepted by the U.S. Forest Service earlier this year. Full implementation of the master plan would increase the ski area’s comfortable carrying capacity from 11,870 to 15,630 skiers per day. The plan and related documents and maps are online at this Forest Service website. Continue reading

Summit County: Copper plans small zip line at West Lake

A sketch showing a proposed zip line across West Lake at Copper Mountain Resort.

Feasibility study also explores potential for a bigger zip line on the mountain, as well as a ropes-style challenge course in the forest

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Zip lines fans may soon be able to get their fix locally instead of driving down Glenwood Canyon. The Village at Copper is looking to build a dual zip line in the heart of the resort, passing over West Lake.

In a May 6 letter to the Summit County planning department, Village at Copper director Peter Siegel says the zip line launching point is planned for a spot near the Sugar Lips mini-donut shop, with the landing area across the pond next to Mulligans Bar and Restaurant.

The zip line will be about 300 feet long and would operate both winter and summer, with the needed gear stored in the Zamboni garage. Continue reading

Gin Blossoms, Quiet Riot at Copper’s 2011 Sunsation

Retro Red Bull 1976 games returns for season-ending bash

SUMMIT COUNTY — The Gin Blossoms, Quiet Riot and the Samples are among the headliners at Copper Mountain’s Sunsation festival this year, back for two weekends in late April (April 16-17, April 23-24). More acts will be announced soon, according to a press release from the resort.

Along with the traditional free music, the retro Red Bull 1976 games will return, as well as the the CBS Sports Network’s 2011 Alt Games College Slopestyle and Rail Jam Championships, and, under the motto safety first, an attempt to set a world record for the most people applying sunscreen at the same time. Continue reading

Copper Mountain to replace High Point chair with quad

A new chair at Copper will speed skiers from the Union Creek base up to mid-mountain and the Catalyst Terrain Park. TRAIL MAP COURTESY COPPER MOUNTAIN RESORT. CLICK ON THE IMAGE FOR A FULL-SIZE VERSION.

New lift enhances access from Union Creek base

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Copper Mountain this summer  will begin construction on a new chairlift to replace the High Point fixed grip double chair located at the base of Union Creek with a high-speed quad.

The new Doppelmayr lift, along with a new trail connection from the east will improve circulation from the Catalyst Terrain Park and around the beginner and intermediate terrain in the area.

The High Point chair dates back to 1976 and has been due for replacement. The new lift will have a capacity of 2,400 people per hour, a length of 4,937 feet, with a vertical rise of 1,005 feet. The ride time will be 5 minutes, a fraction of the current lift ride from Union Creek to mid-mountain now. The top terminal will be realigned slightly uphill and to the east of the current High Point lift. Continue reading

Copper Mountain employees help fund local green projects

Paycheck donations by Copper Mountain employees raised more than $26,000 for local conservation efforts this past year. PHOTO COURTESY COPPER MOUNTAIN AND FORREST MILLER.

Resort’s employee-funded foundation awards $26,000 in grants

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Even in tough economic times, Copper Mountain employees stepped up their environmental giving this past year, raising more than $26,000 that will help local groups like the Keystone Science School, the High Country Conservation Center and the Girl Scouts with grassroots conservation and environmental education projects.

Altogether, the program has raised raised more than $56,000 since it was started several year ago as a joint project between the town of Frisco and Copper Mountain. Frisco is no longer part of the program, but since then Copper has formed the stand-alone nonprofit Copper Environmental Foundation.

All the resort employees who donate are invited to be part of the process of choosing which local organizations get grants, said Copper spokesman David Roth, who serves on the board of the foundation. Roth said the focus is to keep the money — generated by employee paycheck donations — local.

This year’s grant recipients are:
•    The Keystone Science School, to support the Education in Action program, focused on Mining and Water Quality.
•    High Country Conservation Center and the Summit County Landfill for six exhibits at the Summit County Resource Allocation Park.
•    Girl Scouts of Colorado, in conjunction with Keystone Science School, for financial assistance to Girls Scouts for overnight programs.
•    Alternatives for Simple Living for agency and program support, to further develop the after-school programming that includes the “Summit Harmony” program and the implementation of “The 6 R’s” (Recycling, Restoring, Reusing, Reducing, Responding, and Refusing) program.
•    Bring One Back  – Bring one piece of litter back for every hike, bike, dog walk or other outdoor activity you participate in.

More details on the grants after the break … Continue reading

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