I could not agree more with Leadville. I cannot believe that Cooper does not expand or somebody does not start something new in the nearby area. The town needs something to spice up their economy. It was vibrant enough in the old days to be considered for the state capitol. Cooper however, is a super cool mountain; my wife and I took the family there when our youngest (2 years old) spent the day in their nursery. A girl from the ski school who did not have a class came over, set her up with equipment, and gave her a short indoc out in the snow. You would NEVER see that at Vail Resorts and she still claims it was her first ski day.
Cooper is actually owned by the town of Leadville, and leased to the operators. Leadville is a town still hurting from transitioning to a post-mining economy- the whole superfund cleanup really had an impact on tourism, even though the area (and the Silver King driving tour) is beautiful. The reopening of the climax mine helps some, but it is still a town being run on a shorestring budget.
They are at a crossroads with Cooper. Recently the lease came up, and there was some discussion that they get a new operator in to expand. They ended up going with the same folks who have been managing the area, which i think is the right call.
Cooper is certainly not on anybody's list as a destination area, but the atmosphere, charm, and the connection with how resorts USED to be run (with experiences like the above) make me a big fan of the operation. I heartily recommend Cooper for folks looking for someplace to learn to ski, folks coming to Summit looking for a "tuneup" day to start off their ski vacation, and they usually get pretty good early season snow when nobody else has advanced runs with coverage anyways.
I can't help but mention this, because I draw heat in every other thread. I enjoy skiing Cooper much more than Vail and Breck. After I put up with $20 parking and hiking through synthetic base villages for what really are some very unipired mountains, I begin to appreciate how much charm a place like Cooper has. Sure, I'm not going to get challenged, but that doesn't make it a fun, laid back place.