Winter and holiday festivities in Leadville, Colorado

November 26th, 2014

Powder at Ski Cooper in Leadville by Scott Smith

Leadville, Colorado — Skiers and riders, rejoice! You’re are always thankful for the low prices here, but you have even more to be grateful for this year: Ski Cooper is opening for the season on Fri., Nov. 28, more than two weeks ahead of schedule. You can stay longer and do more this winter in budget-friendly Leadville, where the plentiful snow and the Rocky Mountains’ highest peaks beckon you to get out and play.

In Leadville and nearby Twin Lakes, you’ll find downhill skiing and riding at Ski Cooper, Snowcat tours at Chicago Ridge, 50 miles of free groomed winter trails, a sledding and tubing hill and an ice skating rink. Leadville is also home to a beautiful and historic downtown district filled with antique and specialty shops and lots of places to eat and to stay. New offerings at Ski Cooper and holiday festivities add to your choices in this authentic Colorado mountain town.

Leadville Parade of Lights from Herald DemocratThe holiday season kicks off on Sat., Dec. 6, in downtown Leadville with the annual Parade of Lights down Harrison Avenue at 5:30 p.m. The theme of this year’s parade is A Caroling We Will Go, and floats will depict a variety of popular holiday tunes. Santa and Mrs. Claus will ride in the parade to the Lake County Courthouse, where they will visit with kids, listen to Christmas wish lists and pose for photos. Area businesses are competing in a holiday decorating contest, so the whole city will be sparkling for the occasion. You can enjoy cookies and hot chocolate to cap off the evening’s festivities.

The Leadville Lake County Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a local version of Small Business Saturday on Dec. 6 as well. Shop at one-of-a-kind, locally owned specialty stores, dine at delicious mom-and-pop restaurants where the owners are often there to greet you, and stay for the weekend at friendly and economical lodging properties. Your Leadville hotel choices range from an 1880s Victorian inn, cozy B&Bs and modern motels to lodges, cabins and vacation rentals.

As a further incentive to those looking to shop, many Leadville/Lake County Chamber of Commerce member businesses will participate in a scavenger hunt that will lead folks into each participating business.  Toward the end of the day, shoppers who have been a part of the scavenger hunt will be eligible for prize drawings at the Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center at 809 Harrison Ave.  Chamber of Commerce member businesses are donating goods and valuable coupons for these prize baskets, and scavenger hunt forms will be available on Saturday at participating businesses and the Visitor Center.

Heavy snow in November has provided Ski Cooper with a 20-inch mid-mountain base to start its season this year, with 100 percent of the runs and lifts opening Nov. 28, now dubbed “White Friday” in Leadville. Ski Cooper’s reputation as one of the friendliest and most-affordable Colorado ski resorts is well-deserved. Whatever your age and ability, you can ride the lifts up, make tracks coming down and then ride back up again without waiting in line. The runs are long and well-groomed, the snow is all-natural and the prices are tough to beat. Full-day lift tickets are $48 for adults and $30 for kids ages 6-14, with discounts available for seniors and members of the military. The resort will be open Nov. 28 – 30, Dec. 6 – 7, and then daily Dec. 13 to April 5.

New this year, Ski Cooper has entered into a partnership with the United States of America Snowboard Association and the United States Ski Association to bring a Boardercross/Skiercross (SBX/SX) training and a competitive venue to the mountain. Additional enhancements include new rental equipment and the renovation of the lounge into Katie O’Rourke’s Irish Pub.

Ski Cooper Chicago Ridge SnowcatChicago Ridge Snowcat Tours, now in its 25th year, provides access to more than 2,400 acres of epic back-country terrain in the San Isabel and White River national forests. You’ll be transported in plush, heated Snowcats and treated to a gourmet lunch in a heated yurt. Tours average 10 to 12 runs per day, exploring deep powder, open bowls, steep runs and treed glades, and experienced guides are almost always able to find fresh tracks. This year, Chicago Ridge is also offering Snowcat sightseeing tours on weekends and holidays, departing from the Lodge at Ski Cooper and venturing up to the ridge for magnificent back-country views.

In addition to downhill skiing and riding, Leadville and Twin Lakes are also prime destinations for Nordic and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, dog sledding, ski joring and snow biking. White Mountain Tours offers guided snowmobile tours and zip line adventures. Winter trail networks at Mt. Massive Golf Course, Turquoise Lake, Colorado Mountain College and Leadville’s mining district, along with the Mineral Belt Trail, include more than 50 miles of free, groomed trails. If you’re a classic cross-country skier or snowshoer, you can find additional trails in Twin Lakes and at the Leadville National Fish Hatchery, and if you’re a mountain biker, you can test your mettle with the Leadville Winter Mountain Bike Race Series.

Beginner to winter sport? You’ll feel welcome in Leadville. Mt. Massive Golf Course and the Tennessee Pass Nordic Center offer Nordic and cross-country ski instruction. Ski Cooper’s Ski School options include a Never Ever package for first-time skiers and boarders with a two-hour lesson, equipment rental and a Magic Carpet lift ticket for $63; private and group lessons for children; weekly Ladies Only clinics and more. There’s also a Three-Lesson Pass Program for first-timers that includes three two-hour lessons with equipment rental for $285; upon completion, you’ll receive a free 2014-2015 season pass.

Sledding in LeadvilleAffordable winter fun also includes sledding and tubing at the Dutch Henri Sledding Hill; it’s free if you bring your own plastic or wooden sleds or tubes. Tube rentals are available from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays for just $5 per hour for residents and $7 per hour for non-residents; the hill is open dawn to dusk daily. Call 719-427-0099 to find out when the hill will open.

Like to skate? The Leiter Ice Rink is one of the best deals around. Admission is $2.25 and skate rentals are $1 for kids 14 and younger and $2 for ages 15 and older. A grand opening celebration with free hotdogs and admission is scheduled for Dec. 19, 5:30 to 9 p.m., conditions permitting. The rink, which includes a snack bar, a warming hut and an excellent sound system, will be open 3:30 to 9 p.m. daily through March.

Ready to take a break from the outdoor activities? Head to the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum, which is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday throughout the winter. It’s three stories tall and packed with colorful exhibits and displays, plus an art gallery and a gift shop. There are more galleries and shops to be found on Harrison Avenue and the side streets in downtown Leadville, specializing in books, antiques and collectibles, clothing and accessories, sporting goods, accents for the home, souvenirs and much more.

Centrally located in the geographic center of Colorado, Leadville is just 103 miles west of Denver and 129 miles northwest of Colorado Springs. It’s located near Vail and Copper Mountain as well, with economical lodging options that make it a good hub to explore and enjoy the region. Question? Getting winter vacation planning ideas by visiting or by calling 855-488-1222.

Big Fun, Affordable Prices at Ski Cooper

November 6th, 2014

Skier at Ski Cooper

By Bob Casey, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Ski Cooper

Leadville, Colorado — At Ski Cooper, skiing isn’t just an amenity, it’s what we do. The mountain offers some of the finest learning terrain in the country, with plenty of progression from gentle greens to some black diamond runs, along with great tree skiing and wide-open groomed cruisers.

Tennessee Pass Nordic CenterSki Cooper is located nine miles from historic Leadville, and 30 minutes from Copper, Summit County, and Beaver Creek. Ski Cooper is the Heart of Skiing… in the Heart of the Rockies, and is recognized as one of the country’s finest mid-sized ski areas. Combine the Ski Cooper experience with our Tennessee Pass Nordic Center’s 24 kilometers of groomed Nordic trails and 10 kilometers of snowshoe trails and the legendary Chicago Ridge Snowcat tour operation, and it’s just hard to beat.

With short lift lines and long runs, affordable prices, and terrain ranging from beginner to expert, Cooper has something for the whole family with prices at just $48 for an adult full-day ticket and $30 for a child’s full-day lift ticket.

This season, you can enjoy an authentic Irish brew and the new atmosphere of Katie O’Rourke’s Irish Pub, formally the T-Bar, in the Lodge, or have a bite to eat on the snow at our on mountain food CAT.

Ski Cooper Chicago Ridge SnowcatIn addition to our legendary Chicago Ridge Snowcat skiing and snowboarding tours, this year we will offer scheduled Snowcat sightseeing tours on weekends and holidays leaving from the Lodge to venture up to Chicago Ridge for deep winter viewing.

Exciting news for this season: Ski Cooper has entered into a partnership with the United States of America Snowboard Association (USASA) and the United States Ski Association (USSA) to bring a Boardercross/Skiercross (SBX/SX) training and a competitive venue to the mountain, which will open new and exciting opportunities for both Ski Cooper and the local community.

Further improvements in the rental shop have been made to ensure greater speed transaction times and guest efficiency… and you can now buy daily lift tickets on line at

Ski Cooper will again host The Tenth Mountain Division reunion and memorial service located at the monument as a long-established annual tradition, along with a number of other events including the Annual Ski Cooper Easter Egg Hunt.

As always, Ski Cooper will host our traditional and unpredictable Cooper Cup races, the NASTAR race course, Youth Ski League Championships, Masters, and High School races. Join us again for $30 Thursdays every Thursday starting January 8, 2015. You’ll get a $30 lift ticket and can enjoy drinks and appetizer specials with live music at the Base Lodge. Our mid-week 2fer Tuesdays special is back this season, too, starting on January 6. Don’t miss out on the best deal of the week!

Containing 400 acres of skiable terrain and 39 trails, the mountain offers premium terrain for all. As one of the most affordable ski areas in Colorado with easy accessibility, Ski Cooper is an excellent family resort mountain. Lodging options are available in nearby Leadville.

Ski Cooper will be open daily for the season Dec. 13, 2014, through April 5, 2015, conditions permitting. For more information, visit Ski Cooper at or call toll free at (800) 707-6114. To plan your Colorado ski vacation, go to or call (855) 488-1222.

Spooky Halloween Fun in Leadville

October 16th, 2014

Leadville, Colorado — Boo! It’s time for some Halloween fun in Leadville, which has plenty of spooky characters in its colorful past.

Roger Pretti at Evergreen Cemetery croppedCemetery Tours: October 24 – 25, 2014
The Leadville/Lake County Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the Delaware Hotel’s summer walking tour program, Leadville Safaris, is announcing two evenings of cemetery tours on Friday and Saturday, October 24 and 25. There will be two 75-minute tours each night, one starting at 5 p.m and one at 6:30 p.m. Read More »

Plan Your Family Ski Trip to Leadville!

October 8th, 2014

Ski Cooper - Colorado Ski Country Gems Project 2008

Leadville is the perfect spot for a week-long family ski trip. It’s affordable, the snow is real and plentiful, and there are activities for all ages. Leadville’s central location — 103 miles from Denver, 129 miles from Colorado Springs, 38 miles from Vail and 23 miles from Copper Mountain — makes it easy to get to as well. Here’s how your week in Leadville could go: Read More »

A Late Summer Weekend in Leadville, Colorado

August 26th, 2014

Wondering how and where to spend the Labor Day weekend? Here are some ideas from Leadville, Colorado. Give us a call at 855-488-1222 or visit us online at to plan your late-summer getaway.

Enjoying the views

Enjoying the views

taking selfies in Leadville's historic mining district

Taking selfies in Leadville’s historic mining district

Paddling on Turquise Lake

Paddling on Turquise Lake

A hike in the wilderness

A hike in the wilderness

A game of croquet on the lawns at the Healy House Museum

A game of croquet on the lawns at the Healy House Museum

Bird watching in Leadville

Bird watching in Leadville










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