Copper Mountain’s new American Flyer lift won’t open by Christmas; Breckenridge Resort modified pipe open to public through weekend |

Copper Mountain’s new American Flyer lift won’t open by Christmas; Breckenridge Resort modified pipe open to public through weekend

The American Flyer high-speed 6-person chairs with bubble enclosures await their opening day as seen on Tuesday, Dec. 18, at Copper Mountain Resort. Copper is still hopeful the new chair will be open to the public in time for Christmas.
Hugh Carey /

The company tasked with completing construction on Copper Mountain Resort’s new American Flyer chairlift said in a statement on Saturday afternoon that the lift will not be open by Christmas.

“We have some installation and inspection steps that still need to be completed,” Rick Spear, the president of Leitner-Poma of America, said in a statement issued by Copper, “therefore the American Flyer lift will not be in operation this Tuesday as we had hoped. Every effort is being made to fully test and commission the lift so it can open safely in the near future.”

Spear also said in the statement that Leitner-Poma cannot commit to a specific date until “critical steps” are completed. Spear added Leitner-Poma will provide an update once the company knows more.

In recent weeks, Copper said it hoped the new American Flyer lift would be open by the holidays.

The new American Flyer lift is a high-speed, six-person chair with bubble enclosures that should increase uphill capacity by 33 percent. The new Flyer lift and the resort’s new American Eagle lift — which opened several weeks ago — are the first two lifts in North America to run on direct drives as opposed to a complex gear system.

Breck modified pipe open to public through weekend

Through this weekend, advanced park and pipe skiers and snowboarders will have access to Breckenridge Ski Resort’s modified superpipe built for Dew Tour.

The features the public will be able to ride include the modified pipe’s “Mr. T” shark fin side-hit feature above the halfpipe. The public will also be able to access the halfpipe itself and the tombstone exits at the bottom of the pipe.

“Beyond that we will have a traditional halfpipe open for guests through the holiday,” said Breckenridge spokeswoman Sara Lococo, “and then the park crew will work on adding new elements later in the season.”

The one-of-a-kind modified pipe was specially built for last week’s Dew Tour professional-level events in conjunction with Snow Park Technologies.

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