Copper Mountain in Colorado is the latest resort to unveil to its customers how they plan on operating next winter. The open letter from President and General Manager Dustin Lyman outlines their policies on social distancing, face coverings, dining, parking, ski school, and much more, including their opening day, which they’re aiming to be November 30th.
Here’s the letter in full below:
Dear Copper Community,
There have already been a few dustings of snow on the peaks at Copper Mountain, which means it won’t be long before we can get back to doing what we love – skiing and riding! Now more than ever, we look forward to reconnecting on the slopes.
Opening day is approaching quickly and with that in mind, I want to give you an update on the actions we are taking to prioritize the wellbeing of all for the duration of the season. While we believe skiing and snowboarding are inherently safe, there are two principles driving our every action here at Copper Mountain. First is our commitment to protect the wellbeing of all who live, work, stay, and play at Copper remains steadfast. Second, we are doing everything we can to ensure the longevity of the season.
We continue to monitor COVID-19 and, given its dynamic nature, we have prepared thorough, adaptable operations plans that put safety first, are consistent with all local regulation, and follow the National Ski Areas Association’s Ski Well, Be Well best practices. We appreciate our collaborative relationship with Summit County and the state of Colorado to develop thoughtful solutions to keep Copper Mountain open, and our community safe.
So that our community can plan accordingly and gain insight into what the season will look like while still being covered by the Copper Passholder Promise refund guarantee, the below information previews our plans as they stand today.
Throughout the summer, facial coverings were a requirement for staff and guests in nearly every aspect of the Copper experience, and will continue to be required in all indoor spaces, except when seated to eat or drink, and outdoors when 6 feet of physical distance cannot be maintained. Whether you are riding a bus, waiting in a lift line, loading and riding one of our chairlifts or gondola cabins, or entering our facilities, you will be required to wear a face covering. We believe this is an essential first step that we can all take to ensure a safe experience at Copper Mountain.
Enabling appropriate spacing between parties is another important step to ensuring a safe experience at Copper Mountain. Based on our skier terrain and skier volume, we will limit the number of guests who typically have access to ski and ride on certain days. The following measures will be implemented to effectively manage volume and appropriate physical distancing on all days of the season:
• Opening Date – Copper Mountain will open for the 20/21 ski season on November 30th. We’re confident that starting our season later than we have historically opened, with more acreage and lifts open, will help guests spread out and maintain appropriate distance while also providing a higher quality on-snow experience from day one of the season.
• Parking – We are implementing an online parking reservation system. This means that whether you’re a season pass holder coming for a few powder day laps or a family looking to enjoy a tubing session and lunch, you will need to let us know you’re coming. Our goal has always been, and will continue to be, to provide our guests with a seamless Copper Mountain experience, which is why we are implementing this system proactively to help us track and manage volume and enable appropriate physical distancing. We plan to share more details in the coming weeks.
• Lifts – Physical distancing in lift queues occurs organically due to the length of skis and snowboards and guests will notice additional spacing measures, including extended maze designs, more lateral spacing, and increased signage, to further ensure a consistent flow of appropriately spaced traffic. Guests will self-group and load chairlifts and gondolas with their traveling party. Lift attendants will not require guests to ride a chairlift with people they do not know. High capacity chairlifts and closed cabin carriers may be the exception and may be loaded in a way that allows for physical distancing.
• Touchless Transactions – Pass holders and day visitors will now be able to pick up passes and tickets without coming to the ticket window. For guests booking on CopperColorado.com more than 12 days in advance of their visit, passes and tickets will be mailed out to them. In addition, there will be more pickup boxes around the resort base areas for in-person on-site ticket and pass pickup, now including Copper Season Passes and Four Packs. Further, we are also shifting to a cashless model in our retail and dining outlets.
• Ski and Ride School – The 20/21 season will begin with private lessons for related parties in groups up to six. Recurring, youth programs will be available starting in 2021 and further information will be provided at a later date.
• On-Mountain Dining – We have reconfigured our dining spaces for guests who choose to dine with us and are offering expanded grab-and-go menu items. We will continue to allow and encourage guests to bring their own lunch.
For the remainder of our resort offerings, such as rental, retail, and transportation, we will operate within all Summit County regulatory guidelines for those industries, including capacity limits and modified entry and exit layout. We will also offer more pop-up retail locations and a new rental experience so that guests may continue to obtain rental equipment.
Sanitation, Health, and Education
If you visited us this summer, you probably noticed the increase in sanitation stations, increased facility cleaning frequency, new signage and upgraded air filtration systems around the resort. We will continue to uphold the highest standards of sanitization and have in place a number of Copper Mountain COVID-19 protocols to keep our staff and guests safe. This includes requiring staff be screened daily and required to stay home if not feeling well. While we’re doing our best to hold ourselves accountable to ensure a consistent and robust ski experience, we ask guests also do their part. We urge you to become familiar with Summit County’s 6 Ways to Stop the Spread to help us keep all guests, along with our staff and community safe.
Passholder Promise and Pass Purchase Deadline
Amidst sharing these details with you today, we realize questions may arise over the coming weeks and we will provide further details as they are finalized. In the meantime, we want to remind all pass holders that they continue to be covered by the Copper Passholder Promise, which includes flexible payment options, full refunds before December 10th, and in-season COVID-19 coverage. We also want to let you know that we are extending our best pricing on Copper Season Passes and Four Packs and our Kids Ski Free and Four Pack bonus day offers through September 30th. We want to ensure our guests have the time they need to make a decision about the upcoming season.
In closing, we believe starting the season with a conservative and responsible plan will ensure the wellbeing of our community, staff, and guests, and enable us to provide a great ski and ride experience for the full season. We will continue to work closely with Summit County and the state of Colorado to review the details of our winter plans and ensure a conservative and responsible approach for the duration of the season ahead.
At our core, we are skiers and there’s nothing we want more than to ski. I hope we share the same excitement for the upcoming season. Let’s continue to take care of each other so that we can reunite on the mountain soon!
President and General Manager
Copper Mountain Resort