Copper, Breck close on high note |

Copper, Breck close on high note

Lu Snyder

SUMMIT COUNTY – The last day of ski season is not a happy occasion for all, but Copper Mountain officials did their best to call the season quits with good cheer.

“The snow’s gone, season’s over, I’m bummed out,” said now unemployed Copper ski instructor and Silverthorne resident Rob Iverson. “I got no work tomorrow. I guess I’ll have to go fishing.”

The resort hosted its second annual Sunsation festivities Saturday and Sunday – with seven well-known bands and the mountain’s well-known (and for some, perhaps a little overly anticipated) Eenie Weenie Bikini Contest.

After an uncertain start in the aftermath of Sept. 11 and its effect on tourism throughout the country, the season turned out well, said Copper’s communications coordinator, Beth Jahnigen.

“The ski industry was apprehensive as to how Sept. 11 would affect our business,” Jahnigen said. “Couple that with the unseasonably dry winter with low snowfall. The final numbers aren’t in yet but I think, overall, we’re more than pleased with the outcome of the year. And with Sunsation being our closing weekend, I would say we definitely ended this year with a bang.”

The weekend’s weather was not exactly cooperative. Where usually folks hope for snow, most were hoping for sunny skies and warm weather for the Copper’s final ski weekend of the year. The weather didn’t cooperate. The skies were overcast and spitting snow for most of the weekend.

“I thought the bands were pretty good, pretty high quality,” said Brian Oakley of Seattle. He and his friend, Pete Janik of Conifer spent the weekend skiing at Copper. “But we hoped the weather would have been a little bit better.”

The skies cleared a little after mid-day Sunday and many enjoyed the music in the sun at the bottom of the American Eagle lift.

A mostly male crowd gathered for the annual bikini contest. Though some will argue there is both men and women competing in the contest, let it be known only four brave men made their way down the course to a chorus of boos.

It was evident most were there for the women in bikinis. Local personality Biff America, and announcer for this year’s contest, suggested that for many of the Summit County males in the audience, this was the closest the men came to a date.

Breckenridge also ended its season Sunday.

“We were definitely pleased with the season, considering how uncertain it was at the beginning,” said Breckenridge communications coordinator, Amanda McNally. “We had more people come into town than we anticipated … and we were really excited with that.”

Vail and Beaver Creek closed Sunday, April 14 and Keystone will close Sunday, April 28. Officials at Arapahoe Basin are hoping to remain open through Memorial Day.

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