“We intend to have a huge party, a band, and everything, on the Fourth of July. We don’t think we’ll have a problem raising money at this point.”– Mike Moore, Ski Industry Veteran that’s involved in Cuchara’s comeback attempt.
It’s been an interesting past couple of years for Cuchara Mountain. The Cuchara Foundation bought the lost Colorado ski area in 2017 for $150,000 and has slowly worked on getting Lift 4 operating again. Lift 4 is now able to spin after $300,000 of parts and labor but will need to be inspected in order for people to ride it again. More fees are likely to come through, as the Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board inspections and final contractor work will cost $27,000, and the lift insurance will be $24,000. If they can raise the funds via donations, the lift could run this summer. The Gazette reports that their goal would be a July 4th reopening with a party.
This summer, they plan on adding a mountain biking section with a “small pump track, trails, and rollers built for beginners.” Other future plans could include adding intermediate and advanced mountain biking trails. In terms of their winter operations, their goal is to run Chair 4(the unshaded portion of the trail map below) to give families access to beginner and intermediate terrain. Will Pirkey of the Pandero Ski Corporation told me that their goal is to create a “community-based ski hill with as affordable lift tickets as possible.” The rest of the 200 acres of trails on the upper mountain will be free of cost and accessible for backcountry skiing and snowshoeing. Last fall, it looked like Moss Adventures was going to be the one that partnered with Cuchara Foundation to officially reopen the mountain. Their plans were to make it an outdoor adventure hub for various sports. But in January, negotiations ended between the county and Moss Adventures. The issue Moss ran into was that many locals want to keep it a quiet spot for backcountry adventures. Since then, Pandero Ski Corp. has partnered with the Cuchara Foundation to finish off the years-long comeback attempt. Its growth from what it is right now will depend on what the locals want out of this long-lost Colorado ski area. You can donate to the Pandero Ski Corporation here. Image Credits: Pandero Ski Corporation, Colorado Sun, Skimap.org