Investor Plans for Dormant Cuchara Ski Area, CO Rejected By Huerfano County

Aunika Skogen | | Industry NewsIndustry News
Cuchara Mountain Park
Cuchara Mountain Park. Credit: Spanish Peaks Country

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 Ski Area
Vintage Cuchara Si map; image: coloradoskihistory.com

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. 

Cuchara Mountain Park; image: Cuchara Mountain Park

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6 thoughts on “Investor Plans for Dormant Cuchara Ski Area, CO Rejected By Huerfano County

  1. Right?! Dude loves getting on a soap box about what should be done and that it is the environmental liberal’s fault that no one is listening to his ideas. Then he says he really doesn’t care anyway because his personal plan is working so well and you wish you could live his great life. Just sounds like a lonely guy living on his pile of money.

  2. Colin M. Agreed, Econ101 is just a yelling into the void agitator, I don’t think he has many friends 🙁

  3. Colin, you must be one of those regressives. You clearly haven’t been paying attention to what I have been saying.

    I’m saying no to public for-profit companies being involved in the ski industry. I’m saying yes to non-profit entities running ski resorts. I’m also saying yes to new ski resorts being opened by non-profit entities on raw land not used for other purposes. There’s tens of millions of acres of it locked up by the enviros right now sitting there, rotting collecting dead fire wood.

    This article’s example was a for-profit not getting approval by the local government to move forward with their business plan. Not sure how you think applies to anything I have said.

    Anyways my point is and will remain, watch what happens to the ski industry in America over the next 10-20 years. Its going to get way more expensive, way more crowded and way less enjoyable.

    Don’t worry about me. I don’t go to resorts anymore. I’m all backcountry, mostly off snowmobiles for the last 15 years. I should in about 10-20 years have my heli up and running. Don’t worry, you won’t be invited.

  4. Awww but Econ101 wants new ski areas in America (well really just in his California backyard) and thinks private business should be able to use public land however they want no matter the impact. Sorry buddy, guess we will continue to skin up and surf down the mountain without chairlifts or roller coasters or ski patrol and all that wasted resources for the ease of use and entertainment that you feel entitled to.

  5. Wise move. Our experience at Tenney Mt in NH is that if you sell or partner with anyone other than a ski-oriented entity, you will be on the road to disappointment and non-success as a ski area.

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