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Copper Mountain announces Fast Tracks upgrade to beat the crowds

Posted at 6:43 AM, Oct 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-13 17:34:32-04

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. — Copper Mountain has launched a daily Fast Tracks upgrade to skip the long lines.

The Fast Tracks passes will become available online starting Nov. 1 for $49, and will increase in price depending on the demand. The one-day passes will be sold on a limited basis. Visitors who purchase the pass can hop on the American Eagle lift 30 minutes early and will have access to seven express lifts.

“The reason that this is unique to Copper now is it is a daily upgrade experience, where in the past it has been a season pass product addition,” said Taylor Prather, communications manager for Copper Mountain.

She said the park has offered premium options to visitors since the 2000s and over the years the concept has changed.

Copper Mountain enthusiasts had varied responses to the announcement.

Caroline Cunningham and Chris Joyce said they purchased a season secret pass at Copper Mountain last year to skip the long lines. They remember paying about $150 extra each to get past the crowds.

“It’s definitely nice getting First Tracks — not having to wait in the huge line,” Cunningham said.

She went skiing 70 days last year and said she feels like she got her money’s worth.

Cunningham and Joyce said the Fast Tracks upgrade is more expensive than what they've seen in the past, so they plan to hold off on it unless it's a holiday or a special occasion.

“If you are here for a weekend with your family — $50 to be able to rip through the line every time? Yeah, probably worth it,” Joyce said.

Cannon Shockley has 20 years of experience skiing. He said he prefers to ski in the backcountry, where it’s free and thinks the premium option could deter locals.

“Locals will have a harder time skiing and using their pass,” Shockley said.

Troy Peterson said he sees the pros and the cons of the pass. He recalled paying extra at a Steamboat ski resort to skip the long lines and get in extra runs, but he also empathizes with people on a budget.

“For someone who doesn’t have the pass, it’s a big bummer to watch other people taking your lines, skiing your snow. So yeah, for people who don’t have it or can’t afford it, it’s a major downer,” Peterson said.

Prather said the resorts’ goal is to provide a maximum experience for their visitors and they can do that by offering premium options, something she said they’ve done for nearly two decades.

Copper Mountain plans to open on Nov. 22. The resort offers free parking and paid parking options. Prather said at this point masks and vaccinations will not be required to visit the park.