Copper Mountain Resort will host two Winter Olympic qualifying events

Taylor Sienkiewicz
Summit Daily
Snow guns blow man-made snow below a chairlift at Copper Mountain Resort in preparation for the 2020-21 ski season.
Curtis DeVore/Copper Mountain Resort

Copper Mountain Resort has some exciting news: It is hosting two Olympic qualifying events.

When the Winter Dew Tour and Toyota U.S. Grand Prix return this season, competing athletes will hope to earn a spot in the 2022 Beijing Olympic Winter Games, according to a news release from Copper. Both events are free and open to the public and are coming back after they were canceled last winter during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Grand Prix will host halfpipe skiers and snowboarders from Dec. 9-11. The event will be followed by Dew Tour, which takes place from Dec. 16-19 and features halfpipe and slopestyle competitions as well as men’s and women’s snowboard adaptive competitions and a nighttime street-style jam session.

According to a release from Dew Tour, Olympic snowboarders Shaun White, Julia Marino and Silverthorne’s Red Gerard are scheduled to compete in Dew Tour, along with skiers Maggie Voisin, Alex Hall and Aspen’s own Alex Ferreira.

“I’m so excited to be heading back to Copper this winter season to compete at Dew Tour,” Gerard said in Dew Tour’s release. “It’s such a fun event to be a part of, and this year, I’m hoping to do well so that I can qualify towards earning a spot at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games to represent the USA!”

Copper’s release noted that the ski area’s team is in the early stages of building Woodward Copper’s 22-foot superpipe that sits at the base of the mountain’s Center Village and sets the stage for the events.

But before the resort opens for the winter season Nov. 22, it will host alpine ski race training in mid-October, including the opening of the U.S. Ski Team Speed Center. University teams, the U.S. men’s and women’s alpine ski teams, and national teams from Austria, Italy, Germany, France, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden and Slovenia will be at Copper for training.

The high-profile training and Olympic qualifying events play into Copper’s new branding as “the athlete’s mountain.”

“Copper Mountain is a hub for athletes of all levels to get inspired, be challenged and feel empowered,” Copper President and General Manager Dustin Lyman said in a release.

Also in the news release sent Tuesday, the resort announced a new upgrade for guests who want to get on the mountain early and move through lines quickly.

The upgrade, named Fast Tracks, offers early chairlift access to certain base area chairs as well as dedicated lanes at seven popular lifts across the mountain. Fast Tracks is available for each day of the season in limited quantities and can be purchased on the resort’s website at or at the resort for $49 per day. The upgrade can be added to a lift ticket, season pass or four-pack starting Nov. 1.

As for safety measures related to COVID-19, Copper is the final Summit County ski resort to announce that its employees will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 come ski season. Similar announcements were made by Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, Breckenridge Ski Resort and Keystone Resort last month.

“… Consistent with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration announcement that vaccines will be required for all employers with over 100 employees, we are requiring all employees to be vaccinated. We believe requiring all staff to be vaccinated is the best way to protect one another, our guests and our communities and is crucial to ending the pandemic,” the news release stated.

According to the resort’s website, Copper employees are required to have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by Nov. 8 and be fully vaccinated by Dec. 10.

Masks will not be required at Copper for adults, but they will be required for guests ages 2-11 and are recommended for unvaccinated individuals. There will not be restrictions on dining, indoor space or chairlift capacities, and parking reservations will no longer be required, according to the resort’s website.

Copper’s opening day will include giveaways and a first-chair celebration. The first week of the season will be capped with Copper’s annual Snowsation event, which will feature a free concert Nov. 26 and a snowcat parade followed by another free concert Nov. 27.