Copper Mountain Colorado
One of the best kept secrets in the ski industry and in Colorado is Copper Mountain and its community. Right off I-70, an exit past Frisco Colorado lies Copper Mountain, and the wonderful ski resort.
Several hundred years ago like Frisco Colorado Copper Mountain was home to the Ute and Arapahoe Indian tribes. They hunted the local wildlife, fished our beautiful rivers and traveled along what is now the I-70 corridor. The indians always would travel to lower elevation in the fall to escape the harsh mountain winters, but would always come up to hunt the big game the mountains provide. The Indians are said to have never wanted to leave to revel in the true beauty that the Summit County mountains provide.
The mining boom of the West brought many people out to Colorado and this effectively pushed the Native Americans out of the Summit County area. In 1880 John S. Wheeler established a small settlement between the Ten Mile and the Gore Mountain ranges, which now is Copper. Wheeler immediately recognized the potential for this area and promoted mining, horseback riding and trout fishing retreats.
Colorado mining and settlement was booming and Copper, named Wheeler Junction at the time was reaping the benefits. With miners, trappers, loggers and fur traders Wheeler Junction was home to an eclectic bunch. Soon after a boarding house was built and was known as a ‘wild’ place. Equipped with true china dishes, authentic silverware, beautiful table cloths and an ‘upscale’ feel it was a change from what was normally found in the rough and tumble mountain towns. Dances, balls and card parties filled the evenings as miners, settlers, trappers and hunters used the daylight to enrich their lives with what the area offered.
1971 was the biggest year for Cooper and Wheeler Junction. Chuck lewis, Copper’s founding father saw what was available and knew he could turn huge profits in the area. He told his friends “Im going to build me a killer ski resort.” He negotiated a deal to purchase 280 acres of the mountain and worked closely with forrest service in order to establish parameters and guidelines for his budding ski resort. The summer of 1971 the construction on Copper Mountain ski resort began. With Chuck’s visionary attitude and renegade mentality he was able to open a world class ski resort in very little time. Taking the vision Chuck had Copper Mountain has increased it skiable acreage to 2,465 acres. For the sleepy little town and mountain Chuck created Copper Mountain has morphed into one of Colorado’s premiere year round resort destination.
Less than 6 miles from Frisco, Copper Mountain is an easily accessible resort being literally right off I-70. With only about 2,000 full time residents Copper is the perfect place for a quiet lifestyle, or a resort rental. Copper Mountain always fills up and produces wonderful rental income. With a great mountain, and a better community Copper Mountain still represents the old sleepy ski mountain town.