Winter Dew Tour canceled at Copper Mountain Resort over COVID concerns
One of Summit County’s largest winter sports events just became the latest casualty of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The 2021 Winter Dew Tour at Copper Mountain Resort has been canceled, the Adventure Sports Network and Copper Mountain Resort announced in a press release Thursday morning.
The release said the event was canceled “in light of safety regulations and guidelines concerning the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The four-day Winter Dew Tour includes the world’s best skiers and snowboarders competing in halfpipe, slopestyle, and Dew Tour’s Streetstyle and Team Challenge competitions. The weekend also includes snowboard and ski industry award shows and fan-based activities at the resort.
Before the 15th annual Winter Dew Tour took place at Copper for the first time from Feb. 6-9, the event was an annual mainstay at Breckenridge Ski Resort for several years.
In the release, Courtney Gresik, vice president and general manager of Dew Tour, said the decision was made out of concern for “the health and safety of the athletes, fans, partners and staff.”
Dustin Lyman, Copper president and general manger, is quoted in the release as saying that hosting competitions large and small “are fundamental to what we do at Copper.” Lyman added that Copper is disappointed COVID-19 has disrupted the resort’s ability to safely host larger events like Dew Tour, “but we look forward to bringing them back as soon as possible.”
Olympic gold medalist snowboarder and 2020 men’s slopestyle champion Red Gerard of Silverthorne described the news as a “bummer.”
“But I totally understand why they moved it, keeping everyone’s safety in mind,” Gerard wrote in an email. “I’m looking forward to when we can have the next Dew Tour safely next season.”
While both Dew Tour and the Land Rover U.S. Grand Prix — which was set to take place this week — have been canceled, Copper Mountain is currently hosting training for American and international pro and youth athletes. That includes daily sessions through Dec. 23 in the Woodward Superpipe, the location of the Dew Tour’s modified superpipe event.
Copper spokesperson Taylor Prather said Saturday that the resort is continuing with training but canceled the Grand Prix and Dew Tour because the resort “remains committed to athlete progression and development through training.” She added that the resort knows “that we can safely host training because we’ve been doing it since last spring.”
Nicole Portwood, vice president of marketing for Mountain Dew, said in the release that the company anticipates getting back to hosting action sports events “in the upcoming months when it’s safe to do so.”
“I’m obviously upset to see that Dew Tour has been canceled for the 2021 season,” Brita Sigourney, Olympic bronze medalist and member of the U.S. freeski pro team, wrote in an email. “It is always such a fun and unique competition, but given the circumstances this year, I fully respect the decisions behind this tough call.
“I believe the health and safety of our communities should be the top priority, and I hope that with the sacrifices we’ve made during this pandemic, we will be able to return to our fully packed competition schedule next season. I’m grateful we still have a few events on our calendar this year and hope that they are able to run smoothly and safely.”
The Dew Tour cancellation comes two days after ESPN announced next month’s X Games at Buttermilk Ski Area in Aspen will take place with capacity limits, no fans in attendance and a physical distancing, contact tracing and testing plan for all who are on-site.
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The dual-sport student-athlete was named to the Class 3A Western Slope League all-conference first team for softball as one of two Carbondale players on the Basalt High School softball team team last fall.