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Copper Unlimited Sunday Cards Coming Soon???

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
Hey guys,

Just wondering if anyone knows when the Copper Unlimited Sunday Lessons Card comes out for 06-07 and how much it will be. I'm trying to hold out on buying a Copper pass until I know what the price will be on the card. If its not a reasonable price or not offered, I might opt for the Rocky Mountain Super Pass.

I've called several times and checked the website and no one at Copper seems to know much except it was offered last year for about $200.

post #2 of 33
E-mail the ski school director, JP Chevalier, and ask him. His e-mail is jchevalier@coppercolorado.com

Let us know what he says.
post #3 of 33
Thread Starter 

FYI, I sent JP an email and haven't heard back yet.

post #4 of 33
Dan, one suggestion: At Copper, you usually can request and get the same instructor in a group lesson if you let him/her know in advance the day you are returning. If you want to take a lesson every Sunday, or any other day on a regular basis, with the same instructor, you probably can, even if it's not an official "program." It would be a bit more expensive (about $75 a day for an all-day lesson with your returning student discount) but still a bargain when you figure it's all day with an instructor you trust. Several of the students I taught every Sunday last year are planning on doing it that way with me this year if Copper discontinues its Sunday unlimited program. Where there's a will, there's a way!
post #5 of 33
Thread Starter 

I figured I would take a lesson or two, but I can't afford much more than that. I'm really hoping for the unlimited Sunday lessons.

What do you know about the Mountaineering Guides Sunday Sessions? Not that its even remotely close to my price range...

post #6 of 33
New program. You probably know as much about it as I do! Are you considering the Aspen ESA? Fabulous way to develop your skiing with some of the best instructors in the country.

A bunch of us are going to hit Loveland the Monday after it opens. Want to join us? We usually get a group together. Looking forward to meeting you!
post #7 of 33
Looks like the Sunday Lesson program is ... dead. Bummer. My buddies and I participated for the past couple of years. What a deal! it was $200 for unlimited Sunday lessons all season. We had a good time. We really improved our skiing. We spent lots of time and money at Copper.

Now Copper has told us that the unlimited Sunday program will not be repeated this year. Hopefully, this is bad info, but two calls to Copper have yielded the same results. Instead they have an Advanced Mountaineering program on Sundays, only 12 potential days, for $480. If I hadn't had the $200 deal, I might think that was a deal -- after all, ESA for 4 days is $850.

But Breckenridge is offering unlimited adult lessons, thurs-sun, all season, for $159. I called and signed up yesterday. My buddes from the Copper ski school and I are still hoping Copper will change their mind and offer a competitive product. If not, I suspect we will be doing the Over the Hill gang this year, and perhaps next will be at Breck. Bummer.

post #8 of 33
Mike: Send an e-mail to JP Chevalier at the address above. Have your disappointed friends do the same. Let him know you're going to Breck and why. (One thing: From what I've been told, you rarely get the same instructor at the Breck unlimited lessons. Still a good deal, though.)
post #9 of 33
You can get the same instructor at Breck, although it is not guaranteed.
If you have 3 or more people in the group that request a certain instructor,
it will usually be done. The Breck deal is great and there are some great instructors
at Breck.
post #10 of 33

We've all been sending email to JP. Hopefully, he will think about it and reinstate the program. We're about 10 guys who all skied with Stan last year and Pete the year before -- would really hate to loose the connection with the ski school at Copper. As it stands now, if the Sunday lesson program isn't reinstated, we'll probably wind up in the OHG.

post #11 of 33
Thread Starter 



I also have a call into the Copper about this issue, but given how long they've taken to get back to me, I think you we're in trouble and I will have to join you at Breck. I love Copper, but I can't pass up $159 for full day lessons Thursday - Sunday all season. I'll email JP again, but I'm not feeling too optimistic.

Are the Breck lessons full day?

I guess after this year, I'll know if Copper really is my favorite.


If you don't mind, I'll make a new thread about this and have all the Bears email JP. Do you know if he's checking email? I never heard back from him, but that really doesn't mean anything. Also, I may have to take you up on Loveland. I've been waiting to Alpine a long, long time...

post #12 of 33
Hi, Dan,

He's around, but may not be answering. I hope LOTS of Bears e-mail him!
post #13 of 33
Dan -

Yes, the Breck lessons are a full day. There are some blackout dates during the holiday season and spring break.
post #14 of 33
While talking with J.P. today I had the opportunity to discuss the issues raised in this thread. I’d like to share a few of his thoughts with you.

1. The program was dropped because the numbers were static with a limited number of participants making it not commercially viable.

2, There are no plans to reinstitute it this season for reasons enumerated in point #1

3. J.P’s e-mail address was incorrectly listed in the thread; that is why nobody has had a response. It is jpchevalier@coppercolorado.com. If you would like to call him his number is 970-968-2318 ext.60833. He’d love to hear from you.

4. The new Copper Mountain Guides program is not a replacement but an entirely new venture focused on experiencing and developing back-county/advanced skills in an in-bounds environment. The guides chosen will be Level 3’s or higher with significant experience and skills in challenging terrain such a steeps and variable conditions. (I know Stan Nowakowski is chomping at the bit) The seasonal CMG program will work out to about $31 per lesson if you participate in all 12 lessons .
post #15 of 33
Hmm... Let's see if we can brainstorm a bit. I am working again as a surveyor in marketing. I may be able to make some suggestions, but I'm not sure that people will listen. However, let's take a look at the "statitics" issue:

The program was dropped because the numbers were static with a limited number of participants making it not commercially viable.
Okay, but that's taking a limited perspective. A few years ago, I took the Copper Unlimited program. What I loved about it was the fact that they did allow us to take class with the same instructor each week. While I did not influence that many people to take the actual program, based on my ravings about my instructor, I did influence many people to take lessons with him, at full price. So what the Unlimited does, is enable people to take enough lessons with a particular teacher to become free advertisements for instruction.

Also, there was a woman in our class who lived in Maryland. She and her husband were planning a few trips to Summit County that season. When we convinced her to get the unlimited lesson plan that season, it meant that every time they came to Summit County, they skied at Copper.

Here's a wild card. Are they still allowing an unlimited lesson plan for Women's Wednesday? If they are, you can argue sexism.

Again, I will try to make some suggestions. I am not sure that they will listen, but given, as an employee, I don't pay for class, at least it will not seem to be self-serving.

I'm not sure if it is a fight that can be won, but it is an issue worth fighting for. Unlike many resorts, where instructors are hit and miss, there are very few bad instructors at Copper.
post #16 of 33
I just got off the phone with the ski school director at Copper. A lot of people e-mailed him with complaints about Copper discontinuing its all-day advanced clinics on Sundays. He is willing to reinstate them with some conditions and some changes. This is what he said:

Folks can sign up to take all-day, all-season advanced-level group lessons/clinics with the same instructor. These lessons will be held the same day every weekend. He's thinking Saturdays instead of Sundays unless that really doesn't work for folks (football games, religious observances, etc. on Sundays). The groups will be limited to 7-8 clients only.

The cost would be about $680 for the entire season, probably starting early December. This price would INCLUDE a season pass. If you already have the pass, the cost of the pass would be subtracted from the clinic cost. This means you would get a chance to ski with the same instructor, working on your all-terrain skills, for the entire season, for the cost of one half-day private lesson. This is a good deal!

There will probably be two groups set up, one a "ski to die" group which wants to ski hard all day, all over the mountain, and would receive feedback in small amounts only. This group will probably be led by Stan Nowakowski. The other group (mine) would be skiing the same terrain, but with more instruction, focusing on finding the most efficient tactics to ski challenging terrain. Conditions of the day would dictate terrain: powder focus if we have fresh snow, pure carving another day, icy steeps another, bumps interspersed, etc.

This program will only be offered if seven people sign up for a given group. So... if you're in or want more info, PM me or ask for more info here in the forum.
post #17 of 33
Great job Mike and others that made their voice heard!

I personaly will not be able to take advantage of this excellent deal, but what a deal it is.
post #18 of 33
This is pretty good, but there is a caveat. Ski School needs to be really, really sure that Guest Services knows about, promotes and understands the details of this program. This sounds like a no-brainer, but when I took the Unlimited Sundays back in 2004, I only knew about it because of an email sent to passholders. Unfortunately, gust services had no clue about the program, so it took about an hour to set them straight. Then, the same thing started happening to other people who were told that the program did not exist.

So if this is going to work, it should be well-publicized and easy to enroll in.
post #19 of 33
Hi, Lisamarie! From what JP told me, this offering apparently will NOT be publicized. He's offering it as a loss leader to satisfy the people who were vocal in demanding it. I'm told last year's program lost money for Copper every day they offered it. This one won't quite break even. He told me to arrange it myself. If I fill the class, it will be offered; otherwise, no. It fills a niche, but it doesn't look good on the books.
post #20 of 33
Capisco. Hopefully then, people will actually sign up. If they don't, emails to the SSD might be taken less seriously in the future.
post #21 of 33
Well, on the one hand, this looks like some accomodation is being made. On the other, the price was $199 last year, Women's Wednesdays is only $350 and you get the possiblity of winning ski gear, and the OHG is only $225. I and my buddies could understand increasing the price a bit. But increasing the price by a factor of 2.4 looks like it is chiseling, particularly when compared with the comps cited above.

We'll see what we do. Mike, I do really appreciate your advocacy for us clients -- I know that both you and Stan must have put yourself out there for us.

I also find the comment that the program was "static" interesting -- I know that the number of folk who bought the lesson program card must have increased substantially last year -- at least the number taking advantage of it by showing up did!

post #22 of 33
Originally Posted by Lisamarie View Post
Capisco. Hopefully then, people will actually sign up. If they don't, emails to the SSD might be taken less seriously in the future.
Not that they have been taken seriously in the past. After Stan took us to Jackson Hole last February, everyone of us sent an email to JP thanking him and the Copper ski school for making the program possible. We got nothing but the same email back.

Our experience has been that there are some good instructors at Copper, and it is possible to get a good experience there in spite of the management at the school itself. Sometimes management gets in the way of a good experience, however.

post #23 of 33
Since I am a marketing survey person, I will pass on that info.
post #24 of 33

don't kick a gift horse in the mouth

I don't understand why everyone is upset at Copper. A cancelled program was reinstated at the request of a special interest group at a slightly higher price, yes slightly, not 2.4 times (that figure includes a season pass). Instead of complaining about the cost increase, after all this is the United States, a capitalistic country, and ski areas have to show a profit or die, why not thank JP for his willing to risk another loss leader.
post #25 of 33
Well, Tom, I understand your point. I'm as much a capitalist as anyone, in fact probably more. And certainly I do appreciate JP's willingness to try to accomodate those who have formed a close affinity with one another, as well as with Copper.

But your facts are not quite right. The program for the past 2 years was $199. Now it is roughly $440 based upon a $225 cost for the Copper pass. That's an increase of more than 2 times.

Of our group of 10 regulars, 9 are ready to commit as long as the deal is clarified. One is adamently opposed -- it's not an issue of whether any of us can afford it, rather it is an issue of seller power vs buyer power. Our recalcitant fellow feels that acquiesing to a stellar increase in price is tantamount to inviting Fortress to increase the price of everything else.

Personally, I think that the cost of the program is still a reasonable deal -- if it is viewed in isolation. But when you compare it to the Breck program, or even the Women's Wednesday program, it falls short.

Much of the clammoring from our group of devoted ski buds is because the program brought us together. Many of us have skied for the past 2 years together at Copper as a result of the program. We've all progressed as skiers and as friends. All of us are no longer intimidated by any of the terrain at Copper, and are looking forward to refining our skills this winter. Futher, we were led to believe that the program would continue this year -- and that is why we bought season passes for Copper last spring. We've been looking forward to the coming ski season -- in fact, we met as a group in Vail for the Oktoberfest to catch up and talk about our plans at Copper. Then we found out that the program was vastly different than what we had expected, putting us in the mode of trying to decide whether to join the "new" program, go to Breck, or go to the OHG. That discussion continues today -- I've received 10 emails this morning as we try to iron it out.

post #26 of 33
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post
, Women's Wednesdays is only $350 and you get the possiblity of winning ski gear

The skis were a donation by the maufacturer specifically for that program and not a cost factor.
post #27 of 33
I don't think it's a fair to compare the Women's Wednesday program and the OHG to the $199 all season lesson program or the new $680 Mountaineering program. Which offers so much MORE than just a lesson.

In both the $199 season lesson and the new program employees of Copper ski FREE! Many of the participants over the last few seasons were employees. No money made but Copper has to pay the instructor.

In the Women's Wednesday program employees DO NOT ski free. As a result the program has very few employees. $350 for the program + the cost of a pass. $550 with the Copper pass and $650 with the RMSP. Yes they gave away 2 pairs skis at the end of the year- K2 is the sponsor and THEY gave the skis away not COPPER!

OHG is a Social Ski Club not a lesson. $225 for a single membership with out a pass- $439 single membership with a pass. They ski with guides not instructors. (yes some are certified but it is not a lesson!) They do offer clinics thru out the season with a charge.

I just don't see the comparison!

Katy Perrey
post #28 of 33

None of the folk in our Sunday sessions were employees in either of the past 2 years. Further, I'm not sure what specifically you are referring to as "offering so much more" than just a lesson.

Further, it also seems inappropriate to claim that the lesson program did not make any money because Copper was honoring benefits they extended to their employees. If Copper thinks it is too expensive or too great an opportunity cost to offer such benefits to employees, then they should curtail or limit those benefits. But you seem to suggest (or perhaps I've missed your point) that the lesson program was not economic because of employees benefits.

Women's Wednesday's is the closest comp that Copper has to the lesson deal that seems to now be offered. It is substantially less expensive. And both are substantially more expensive than the $159 all season unlimited adult lesson program at Breck.

I don't have a problem with Copper increasing the price of the program. I do think that the price increase was radical and seems to be out of line with other programs at both Copper and Breck. And the result is that some of my colleagues and friends are outraged (not me) and would, if they had not already purchased a Copper pass, not ski at Copper again. And we are talking about guys in their 50's with incomes in the mid-hundreds who live in Frisco.

post #29 of 33

1st- The new program is described in the brochure as "Copper Mountaineering Guides".

"This is the perfect season long program for the adventure seeker who wants to be guided through the big mountain experience. Top guides will take you into Copper's most challenging terrain to enjoy steeps, bowls, powder and priority access to the Tucker snowcat. This program will teach off-piste tactics, line selection, avalanche awareness and safety tips over 12 Sundays beginning in January."

The priority access to the cat, avalanche awareness and safety tips are things Copper has never done in the past. These IMO add a whole new twist to the "traditional" lesson and if I'm right the ski patrol along with your guides/instuctors will be teaching this part of the adventure.

2nd- Sunday sessions without employees taking part still lost money. I say this because your group was not the only paying group. At least 3 and most Sundays 4 groups would be sent out. 1 or 2 of these would have a few employees. The instructors that were teaching these groups are some of the BEST instructors at Copper. The better the instructor the better the pay!!! All instructors get paid their hourly rate + ticket pay + return pay for each student regardless of employee or paying guest.

3rd- Yes the Women's Wednesday program is cheaper but I don't think $130 is "substantially" cheaper. Right now the WW program makes money and I think that is the most important thing in Coppers eyes. Yes both the Copper programs are more expensive than Breck. I don't know?: I can't talk for Breck.

I realize you have been a voice for you friends, so I hope this helps.

post #30 of 33
In my 3rd point I meant to say MORE not cheaper!

$130 is "substantially" more.
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