The abandoned ski area, Cuchara, nestled among the Sangre de Cristos and Spanish Peaks in Southern Colorado, stopped spinning their lifts over 20 years ago. The resort operated on and off from 1981. After several years of operating, often under different management, the resort has remained dormant since 2001. Since then it has been maintained as a county park, owned by local Huerfano County.
Recently the county has been looking to partner with investors to maintain and revive the Park back into a ski area. This past week the county entertained negotiations with Moss Adventures, based out of Florida.
However, county commissioners decided against partnering with the Floridian investors for a variety of reasons. According to Carl Young, the county recognized a conflict of vision between what the town expected and how the investors planned to renovate the long-dormant ski area. The company planned to create a high-end outdoor experience with camping for land rovers and year-round educational programs. Their focus was not skiing. The county however had hopes of reviving the park as a full-blown ski area. The county, therefore, terminated negotiations.
Cuchara is not new to investment negotiations. Since 1981 when the resort first opened, the area has undergone operations from many different management companies. After many failed seasons of operation, the mountain park has been owned by the county. According to local volunteer Mike Moore, who has been fighting for the ski area, handing it over to the county was a mistake.
“But the lawyers told us the county would be a better entity to own the park and we went with it and now the county is trying to figure out how to run a park and a ski area and they don’t have a clue, not a clue, what they are doing.” – Mike Moore
As of now, the ski area will continue to be maintained by the county. It will continue to function as a “mountain park” and public land where people can continue to enjoy this small relic of a ski area.