Extended Free Uphill Access Hours
At Cooper we know how many of you enjoy uphilling, and we’ve been happy to provide that access over the years. In fact, Cooper was pleased to be one of the only Colorado ski resorts who continued to allow unlimited uphill access last ski season after the resorts were forced to shut down in March. We had to place some new restrictions on uphill access for this ski season due to COVID-19 operating adjustments. However, with a week of operation under our belts, we’re now able to expand free access outside of the operating day.
We initially believed that it was important to restrict free uphill access to the hours between 5pm and 6am. After watching our first week of operation and receiving messages from a few uphillers expressing disappointment in our new policies, we’ve reassessed the situation. We hear you, and we want to ensure that you can continue to enjoy uphilling at Cooper, while still taking appropriate measures to satisfy our COVID-19 operating plan. To that end we are adjusting the additional restrictions prior to opening and after closing to expand your free access. You can now enjoy free uphill access anytime between 4:00pm and 7:30am. We hope the addition 2½ hours of free access allows you the opportunity to enjoy a morning run before work, or a run in the late afternoon.
As we worked hard on operating plans for this challenging season we made the decision, with full support of our US Forest Service, to limit uphill access during our operating day to only those who have purchased a season pass or day pass. This was by no means an arbitrary decision; in order to fulfill the requirements of our COVID-19 operating plan we must manage overall capacity, not just in our buildings but also on the mountain. Restricting operating-day uphill access to season and day pass holders allows us to do this effectively, and also ensures that this season’s limited number of available day passes are available to those who wish to purchase them.
During our decision-making process on this issue, we carefully reviewed how the rest of the Colorado ski industry is handling uphill access this season. Many areas (such as Steamboat, Loveland, Arapahoe Basin, Vail, et. al.) do not allow any uphill access at all during the operating day. We are glad to be among the few areas that still allow it, even if it is restricted to day/season pass holders due to the limitations imposed upon us by COVID mitigation efforts.
We appreciate the feedback we’ve received about uphill access. In light of your concerns and our observations of this past week, we have decided to expand our free access hours as mentioned above. As you enjoy your uphill access, please follow our Uphill Access policies and routes (https://www.skicooper.com/uphill-access-information/), and remember that you must also follow our COVID-19 policies for this season any time you’re at Cooper (https://www.skicooper.com/know-before-you-go/).
Thanks for your continued dedication and support of Cooper! See you on the hill, going downhill or uphill!