Beeline a go at Copper |

Beeline a go at Copper

Lu Snyder

COPPER MOUNTAIN – Skiers and boarders looking for first tracks and shorter lines will find them at Copper Mountain this winter – if they have the money.

The resort’s Beeline Advantage program, which debuted last season, allowed some guests to get on certain lifts 15 minutes before the general public, avoiding long lines at chairlifts and rental shops. Guests used special access keys to enter the separate Beeline lift lane, which was marked with a yellow flag and took them to the front of lift lines.

The U.S. Forest Service examined the program after Copper homeowners Jim and Betsy Horkovich filed a complaint. The couple questioned the equity of the program, they said, especially since the ski area uses public (Forest Service) land.

Last year, Copper offered the Beeline Advantage program only to guests who booked their reservations through Copper Reservations. The ski company did not offer the program to guests who booked with its other two reservations companies.

Martha Ketelle, supervisor of the White River National Forest, said the program would be authorized only if there is a demonstrated need for the activity, it is consistent with the way Forest Service lands are managed, it is an appropriate use of Forest Service land and it is in the public’s interest.

Ketelle and David Barry, Copper Mountain’s chief operating officer, were working together to find a solution that works well for both the Forest Service and the resort.

Steve Deitemeyer, acting forest supervisor, has approved the program for the coming season with the agreement Copper Mountain would gather customer feedback by the end of the season.

Customer reactions will play a part in whether the Forest Service approves the program for future ski seasons.

“My interest is in making sure that our resorts have the discretion to put together packages of opportunities for everybody,” Deitemeyer said. “We’re trying to be understanding of the need to put these special packages together. We understand that there’s some customer concern about it, and we’ll access that after this winter.”

Copper officials are pleased with the approval.

“We’re thrilled that the Forest Service is supporting the program,” Barry said.

Unlike last season, Copper Mountain is offering the Beeline Advantage to all of its guests this year – for a range of prices.

All guests booking reservations at the resort will have the opportunity to choose the program as a part of travel packages. Day guests will be able to purchase Beeline tickets for $124 – good for one day only – at the lift ticket window. Passholders and homeowners may opt for the Beeline Advantage season pass for $999, said Beth Jahnigen, Copper’s communication coordinator.

“We’ll continue to offer innovative and interesting products for our guests,” Barry said, adding that the program is one of several different packages the resort offers, including the four-pass, the Over the Hill program, season passes and snowboarding lessons.

Each season, the resort surveys guests – locals, and those from the Front Range and out-of-state – for feedback on items such as employee attitudes, parking, bathrooms and more. This year, those surveys also will ask guests their feelings about the Beeline Advantage program, Barry said.

The Summit Daily News was unable to reach the Horkoviches for comment.

Lu Snyder can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 203, or

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