From new gear to parties, make the most of the visit.

It’s almost time to take everything you saw on the showroom floor to the slopes. As always, Copper Mountain Resort is the backdrop of this year’s On-Snow Demo Days. But this time, it spans two days of epic of testing skis, boards and the other snowsport essentials. “Being on snow really is the best way to try stuff out,” said Todd Walto, of Snowsports Industries America. “You can see everything at one time and in one place, and there is no other time that happens in the world.”

As of Saturday morning, 2,200 people were registered to check out what more than 165 vendors have to offer — an increase from the 1,800 people and 140 vendors from last year. The people registering day-of are expected to create a long line, but at least there’s that extra day.

Getting there

It takes about two hours to reach Copper from Denver. If you aren’t driving yourself, Walton says the best service to get there is by way of Colorado Mountain Express — shuttles, private cars and charter buses. SIA has discount codes on its website. It costs $45 one way per person from downtown to Copper Mountain. And it’s $61 one way per person from the mountain to Denver International Airport. For those with their own cars or renting wheels, parking is plentiful up at the mountain. Rideshare services also are an option, but it’ll likely cost you more.

What’s new

For the first time ever, demos span two days and trail behind Outdoor Retailer, where outdoor enthusiasts, brands and buyers are already together. OR veterans can get stoked to explore Copper’s 1,750 acres — larger than where they’re used to shredding in Utah at Snowbird. New brands include POC, Giro, and other accessory brands.

Also new, this year Nordic ski demo has been packed into the first day. “If you want to try backcountry or skinning, it is the best place to try everything at once and try something new,” Walton said. And an uphill sprint race kicks off at 1 p.m. Monday.

What to do

With a base depth of 39 inches and a forecast of sunshine, Copper will be ideal. The demo is from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. Check out gear in Copper’s Center Village base area and base lodge. In the same area, find registration, food, maps and people to help you navigate your way around. Your badges come with tickets for riding the lifts as well as for skis, boards, helmets, etcetera, which you trade as collateral while playing on the mountain.

Happy hours, entertainment and parties pop off both nights. A kickoff karaoke party will be held Sunday night at Jack’s Slopeside Grill & Bar in the Central Village.

Walton’s advice on how to make the most of the two days? “Get there early, stay hydrated and have a plan.”  

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