Copper Mountain Resort delays opening day to Nov. 30, implements parking reservation system

Reservation system to manage resort-wide volume, including on-snow

Snowboarders ride together off the top of the American Flyer lift at Copper Mountain Resort during 'A Day For Jake' snowboard day at Copper Mountain Resort in honor of the late Jake Burton Carpenter, the founder of Burton Snowboards, in early March.
Chip Proulx / Copper Mountain Resort

FRISCO – As part of novel coronavirus precautions, Copper Mountain Resort is delaying its opening day to Nov. 30 and implementing an online parking reservation system.

Copper Mountain President and General Manager Dustin Lyman announced those items for the upcoming ski season in an online letter Friday morning that detailed Copper’s current plan for the winter amid the COVID-19 situation.

Lyman said the new online parking reservation system will pertain to all on-mountain guests, from season pass holders to those just looking to tube or dine. Lyman added the resort is implementing the system to track and manage volume and enable appropriate physical distancing. Copper plans to share more details on the parking system in the coming weeks.

In a follow-up email, Copper spokeswoman Olivia Butrymovich said Copper will be limiting the number of guests skiing and riding on the mountain through the parking reservation system. She added the resort will not be implementing an on-snow reservation system.

In the letter, Lyman said the resort settled on the Nov. 30 opening day, which is a Monday, in order to likely have more ski terrain acreage and lifts open to help guests spread out and physically distance. In previous years, Copper has opened two to three weeks earlier, traditionally in mid-November, sometimes earlier.

Lyman added the resort believes skiing and snowboarding are “inherently safe,” but Copper is making changes and preparing adaptable operation plans in order to protect the health of guests and “to ensure the longevity of the season.”

The Copper president also outlined new measures intended to manage volume and physical distancing. Those measures include additional spacing in lift lines, such as extended maze designs and more lateral spacing.

As for face coverings, the resort will require them in all indoor spaces, except when guests are seated to eat or drink. They will also be required when riding a resort bus, waiting in a lift line, when loading and riding chairlifts or gondola cabins and when entering resort facilities.

Outdoors, face coverings will be required when 6 feet of physical distance cannot be maintained.

The resort will have guests self-group and load chairlifts and gondolas with their traveling party while lift attendants will not require guests to ride a chairlift with people they do not know. Lyman clarified high-capacity chairlifts and closed cabin carriers may be an exception to that measure, though they will be loaded “in a way that allows for physical distancing.”

As for the resort’s ski and ride school, the season will begin with only private lessons for related parties in groups maxing out at six peple. Lyman said recurring youth programs will be available starting in 2021. He added further information on that programming will be provided at a later date.

In terms of on-mountain dining, Lyman said the resort has reconfigured its dining spaces and will offer more “grab-and-go” menu items. Lyman also said the resort will offer more pop-up retail locations and “a new (equipment) rental experience.”

Lyman further announced in the letter Copper is extending its best pricing on Copper season passes and other pass options through Sept. 30.

Copper’s announcement for their 2020-21 ski season plan amid COVID-19 follows Vail Resorts’ announcement last week of a reservation system for the season at properties such as Breckenridge Ski Resort and Keystone Resort in Summit County.

To read Lyman’s full letter, and to learn more about the resort’s latest pass information and COVID-19 regulations, visit:

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