“The wind is back in our sails…We are the ‘Avengers of Adventure’.” -Jeff Moss, Founder/Chief Creative Officer of Moss Adventures
Could Cuchara Mountain in Colorado finally be reopening this winter? According to the Colorado Sun, Jeff Moss and Shayne Young are aiming to partner with the Cuchara Mountain Foundation to reopen the slopes for skiing and many other outdoor activities. With the current operators out of money, this could be the spark needed to ignite the long-lost slopes. According to The Gazette, if the recently repaired Chair 4 passes inspection, which will happen soon, a soft opening could happen this winter.
Jeff Moss and Shane Young are part of a company named Moss Adventures. Jeff Moss is the son of Bill Moss, who was the founder of the Moss Tents company. Equipped with tents and customized Land Rovers, the company will use Cuchara as the initial base for “expeditions revolving around backcountry cooking, surfing, desert rock climbing, mountaineering, whale watching, and wine tours in Mexico, fly-fishing, photography,” and more. If this initial campus is successful, the company plans to expand to various parts of the country (Utah and Montana were named) and the world. The crew will also buy more land around Cuchara if the financial logistics work out, allowing guests to “hike, ski or pedal to a network of huts built out of shipping containers.”
Some of the potential additions could include a magic carpet for beginner skiers and winter/summer tubers, upgrading two of the chairlifts, twelve two hundred-square foot tents across the land, an ice-skating rink, climbing walls, ziplines, an amphitheater, eco-farm, bike pump-track, converting the old ski patrol shack at the summit into an event space and classroom, canopy tours, and yurts.
The mountain was opened in 1981 by a group of Texas investors. They tried to lure outsiders to the ski area with promises of new lifts and condos. Two natural factors caused the resort’s demise: a lack of snow, and large winds. The resort closed in 2001 when the Forest Service revoked its contract.In 2017, local investors, Panadero Ski Corp, and the Cuchara Mountain Foundation raised money to buy the land and repair the slopes. The group has spent time renovating the various building, hosting weddings, and are planning to convert one of the buildings into hostel-style lodging. They have also spent $10,000 on reviving Lift Four, but cash is now volatile, and a new group is needed to help jumpstart the operation. You can view Cuchara Mountain Foundations 2018 master development plan here.
Moss Adventures meeting with County Commissioners seemed to have gone well, with most of them approving of the plans. One potential roadblock is one county commissioner wanted Moss Adventures to pay for a $500,000 irrevocable promissory note, which would eventually grow to $1 million as their long-term plans come to fruition. Talks are ongoing with the company, but there are concerns over the ambiguity and ambitions of the plan, and who will pay for what. You can view Moss Adventures plans for the site here.Image Credits: Colorado Sun, Skimap.org